On May 25, 2012, LeawoodGardener Leawood, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:
In late April I ordered 15 large trumpet lilies and 25 glads to add to my garden. The order arrived promptly and everything was in great condition. The glads are already up!
Recently, on one of the DG Discussion Forums, I recommended Van Bourgondein to a gardener who wanted to plant tulips and was considering going to a big box store. I order 1,500 to 2,500 tulips every year for my garden (and a friend), and I have had excellent experience with Van Bourgondein over the last 20 years.
Others in the Discussion Forum jumped all over me, bashing VB and scolding me for recommending them. I was shocked to hear the company was in Chapter 11, so I apologized for my ignorance. Now, looking at all of the negative comments posted, I wonder why it is that I have had such good luck. Some say "it didn't grow" - I wonder how much of the problem lies with the gardener?
All I can say is I've had a positive experience, as recently as three weeks ago, so I'm going to give the company the benefit of the doubt and order my tulips from them, just as I have in the past. I feel I need to post a positive comment and I hope they survive and thrive.
Here is a link to a forum describing my tulip experiences, including a problem with VB that was resolved quite nicely by the company.
Wouldn't be surprised if they go bankrupt - lousy customer service. I had ordered in the past but this last year, a small order in the Fall 2011 didn't arrive until after Thanksgiving! Some of the tulips were rather small and a lot had mold. I planted them anyway and lo and behold, they were almost all mislabeled - lavender and purples tulips came up red with yellow edges, a purple mixture sported such a range of variety it was obviously the wrong bulbs. And some of the flowers were about 1 1/2" while others were normal 4" tulips. I sent photos this Spring in an email, pics from their catalogue and pics of what came up - and my auto response from the complaint was supposed to be answered in 3 days, 3 weeks later nothing has happened. So just avoid, shop instead at Brent and Becky's bulbs!
On May 11, 2012, StacyP9 somewherein, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
Horrible experience. I ordered three plants, a blue poppy, a canna and ranunculus. Shipping was delayed repeatedly. When the plants finally arrived I was shocked that someone would have the gall to pack them up to fill an order. There were two leaves on the tiny poppy. Both were gray black and rotting. They canna was a tiny shoot, also with two tiny leaves,with mold and rot. I've ordered plants on line for 20 years and I can honestly say this is the worst experience I have ever had.
On May 4, 2012, WVsusie Corporation of Ranson, WV wrote:
I have ordered from this company for years, with mixed results. In early March, I ordered dahlias for a cutting garden and rhubarb among other things. I asked if the dahlias could be shipped soon as I wanted to start them indoors for earlier blooms. They assured me, yes. The were not received until 4/27. Same day, I got an email saying rhubarb no longer available. I noticed the refund was not posted to my CC. I googled the company for the ph# to call them and found all the bankruptcy info!!! Called them....on hold for 40 minutes....and when I politely explained that I was looking for a refund....CSR hemmed and hawed....and disconnected me!!! Called CC and they gave me a credit for the appropriate amount. I guess I won't be ordering 500 paperwhites for Christmas from them this year!
I have read many of the most recent reviews and I thank those who took the time to type with such detail! I have had the same experience! I placed a rather large order, several of the items never came up, some even had mold when they arrived, and ever since I have been battling with "Mike" to get a simple replacement! They insist, rather "HE" insists that I am only entitled to an $8 credit (it should be more than $30) and then no matter what I choose for that $8, the shipping and handling is $8.75! I chose a $5 item and it's $8.75 for S&H even though the "postage" was only $3.10 on a box full that arrived! They're making you pay for the cost of the plant again yet they advertise full free replacement! I've written back and for at least 20 e-mails now and this "Mike" person lies and lies and lies. First he says he WILL refund the S&H then nothing for a month. Then he sent an e-mail stating "you will receive a letter with a pin number to be used for your credit in the mail." 2 months later, nothing came. I wrote again. He responded, "Sorry, I was really busy and had to work to get this resolved." Really? Another month and I finally wrote, "Just send me the pin in an e-mail!" He wrote back with a credit and pin and after I asked for the S&H credit because it's only fair, he wrote that he agreed and would. Three more weeks, nothing. I wrote again asking for the credit(S). He wrote back that my original $8 was there and another $2.55 for S&H! I asked where that number came from he wrote, "I had to beg to get that!"
This company lost my business for good along with many of my bloggers who have been waiting to see how this gets resolved! I asked for escalation many times but he does nothing, only refuses! I hope they do go out of business because with customer service like I got, no one deserves to be issuing paychecks to anyone! :-( TWO GREEN THUMBS DOWN for this one!
On Apr 30, 2012, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On May 15, 2012 9:51 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Where I come from stating company policies is not considered lying. I could publish the entire email string for you to see, I will not though, I know what it says and my manager knows what it says, that's enough for me to sleep well at night. This customer did get what she wanted in the end and then some; I don't see a follow-up from her though, funny eh? It's just another case of the squeaky wheel get’s the grease. Too bad customers that have good and positive things to say, rarely take the time to post them (I do see a couple of nice ones here, thank you); I guess they are content to wake up and smell the garden's fresh aromas and enjoy the blooms."
Last year, 2011, I ordered a number of dahlia bulbs and other plants from this company. Although the dahlias did grow except for one, out of the 5 that did grow, 4 were mislabeled and ended up being the wrong color, hot pink instead of shades of orange. This year, I placed an order on February 10, 2012 for some phlox and hibiscus, and just now received an email stating that the hibiscus was out of stock and that part of the order cancelled. (on April 26, 2012) I believe in 2nd chances, but this company will not get my business again.
Posted on November 29, 2011, updated April 26, 2012
Posted on June 8, 2009, updated November 29, 2011
I ordered peony and 6 lily bulbs this spring.
The packing is not that good. The box is a bit oversized. One root of peony broke when I got the shipment.
The peony is growing fast at the beginning. Now the leaves are getting thicker and bigger, but growing slowly.
The 3 gold stargazer lilies are healthy and producing bubs.
2 elodie asiatic lilies are growing healthy. One didn't grow, but I got the replacement within a week, They sent me a bag of 3 bulbs. One replacement is shooting out.
I have to call them for replacement because they didn't reply my emails.
The shipping charge is so high, so I only order when it provides special offer.
On November 29th, 2011, eyfng changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Based on my shopping experience with this shop in the last few years, I have noticed that the quality of bulbs are not good. Sometimes, they are not true to name.
I ordered serveral Glamini gladious on 2009, received initial shippment in 3/2010. The naomi and zoe didn't grow well, none of the naomi produced flower. Received replacement in 3/2011. Naomi turned out to be misty red instead of purple and white. Zoe turned out to be 9 in orange red and 1 in pale pink instead of peach and yellow.
Requested for second replacement. The sales representative Toni gave me the hard time for the replacement. She said they don't carry these colors. The items were already replaced once. The company is losing money for second replacement. The internet doesn't reflect the true stock of merchandize, they sometimes may still have stock in the shop, ...
Zoe is out of stock, I don't want to wait for another year to get the replacement, so I changed the color to Charlotte. Received replacement on 6/2011.
Naomi turned out to be pink, only 3 produced flower, but only one bloomed. The subsititution Charlotte have only 5 produced flower, but they didn't grow well.
So, I have neve seen the real Naomi. I totally waste time and money on Glamini gladious. I give up on them. I am good at planting gladious.
The first shipment of Charlotte on 3/2011 didn't grow well on the second year.
The German breaded Iris Pink Perfection, one turned out to be Edith Wolford in purple and yellow, the other one has not produced flower yet after one and half year planting. The Motherearth Iris, one produced a flower on the first year, the other one has not produced any flower yet after one and half year planting.
I usually made an order when it is 50% off, because their original price is almost double the regular price in the other places. Their shipping charge is always based on the original price which is very high.
I will not dare to place new orders with this place in future. Too much time on replacement or mjerchandize credit, it is not worth it. On April 26th, 2012, eyfng added the following:
As the other said, STAY AWAY from DB due the following reasons:
1) payment in full before shipping
2) keep on delaying delivery date for spring items without notifying customers
3) products not true to name
4) refuse for replacements
5) NO response to customer email
6) long waiting time for telephone service
7) customer representative not honest, some are very rude
8) previously mentioned, high charges on products and shipping
9) previously mentioned, weak products take long time to develop
I ordered the Hosta White Feather last year; it is supposed to be shipped to zone 8 where I am living now in March this year. DB kept delaying the delivery date from 3/5 to 3/25, then to 4/25.
I emailed them in early April; the reply was that item will be shipped once they got it from the supplier in Holland. I emailed back to say that I don’t want to receive my spring item in summer.
Two days later, I received the shipment confirmation for the Hosta White Feature via USPS. How come suddenly they have the stock to ship to me?
I received one with ¼” of sprout and one with roots only with no sprout. I planted them in the self-watering container with new planter mix from Gardeners Supply to make sure that they will grow first.
I emailed DB to ask whether the one without sprout will grow or not, NO RESPONSE so far. However, it is producing sprouts now; I hope that it will be true to name.
The one with sprout is growing to an inch tall now. The young leaves are in green with darker green in the center instead of WHITE. The leaves are smooth without veins showing as the picture on the internet. Yesterday I checked the online product description on DB’s website, Dave’s Garden’s panfile and the other places that carry this product.
Dutch Bulbs online description:
“As it appears the leaves are completely white. With maturity, streaks of green begin to appear and lavender flowers rise from the top.”
Customer Comments and Reviews
Romi October 6, 2011
Hosta White Feather
My plant started out with white leaves now their green. Will they go back to white next spring?
The Bulb Lady Reply October 7, 2011
Hosta White Feather
Yes, each season the leaves start out white but as they mature they turn green.
Pictures showing in Dave’s Garden panfile are white first when just grow.
Breck’s online description:
White Feather Hosta: Unique white leaves are a welcoming surprise as they emerge in spring. As it matures, the leaves transform into a blend of green and cream. Lavender flowers illuminate your garden in midsummer.
I called DB yesterday 3 times to ask for replacement. After waiting for almost 10 minutes I hung up the phone for the 2 times. I called the third time, after waiting for 10 minutes, I was able to talk to a female representative.
Her answer was:
1) I don’t know when the leaves will turn white.
2) I can not give you the replacement because you have just received the items not long ago. (Item was received on 4/13/2012.)
3) We may not have the item in stock. You call back in June. We will send you the replacement if it is really not true to name by then.
I then emailed DB to complaint about this with NO RESPONSE yet.
I suspect that DB has never had Hosta White Feather in stock this spring; DB just shipped me another hosta. If the company is going bankruptcy, I don’t think that I will get the replacement next year.
As mentioned previously, the German Iris “Pink Attraction” ordered from DB took 2 years to produce flowers in purple with yellow instead of soft pink. The wrong color spoils my color arrangement for my German Iris flower bed. It is wasting my money and the time to grow the product. How can I ask for replacement after 1 year guarantee?
I will never have business with DB. Dear gardeners, please be smart to stay away from Dutch Bulbs.
I order 2 kinds of bulbs for my wife for Christmas 2011 and was told that the items wouldn't be shipped until January. I have since been in contact with them twice and still not delivery and its almost May.
I urge people to stay away because it's obvious that there's a problem with the company and that they're either out of inventory of they're just plan bad at business.
Either way, I will never purchase anything from them again.
On Apr 16, 2012, smitty1931 Suncoast Estates, FL wrote:
Ordered dahlia tubers on Jan. 4th . As of April 16th have not received tubers. Terrible customer service! It appears the Dutch Bulb Co. has taken over. I wonder if they will honor my order? I ordered dahlias from Eden Bros at the same time and they were delivered March 21 and are up and growing.
I had never ordered from any online retailer until last fall, when I moved into a new house. My first order was for a selection of Peony bulbs and a Peony tree. My order took around a month to get delivered, I planted them as soon as I received them and all of them except for one started sprouting around February. I added more soil last week to the one that was not growing up with the rest and it is now coming out. There are 9 bulbs total and I can say they are looking good. The cause of my neutral rating is that I was not aware they were facing financial difficulties to the extent of filing for chapter 11 and I placed three separate orders one of them with K Van Bourgondien. All orders were placed the last week of February and first week of March as I remember. Most of the orders had shipping dates on or about 3/28 or 4/4. On 3/28 after reading the reviews on this website I called to check if the orders were being processed. The customer service rep, was very nice and let me know what was going on, he said most likely the orders will be mailed around mid April. I expressed my concern in case the plants and bulbs were damaged due to the waiting time and he said the company was up and running and if I encountered any issues they would replace any of the plants. I had ordered Windflowers, Fern, Delphiniums, Cote D'Azur, Lilly of the Valley and other plants. I checked my orders online the day after calling them and most of the plants have shipping dates now on or about 4/28. That is a whole month which means I am now waiting for orders close to two months.
I don't know if I can cancel at this point and my garden needs plants, so I am being very patient with them. I am hoping they can rebuild their finances and become a better company. Let's see what happens when I finally receive my orders.
On Feb 28, 2012, njdevilfan Virginia Beach, VA wrote:
Posted on August 14, 2005, updated February 28, 2012
I have been ordering from Van Bourgondien for many years. I dealt with them when they were in NY and now they have relocated to my neck of the woods. Just this spring, I went to their facility, and picked up my purchase, and saved on shipping charges! When I placed my order, the phone operator was knowledgable and courteous. My daylilies are incredible, and the oriental lilies are just great. I sampled some grasses, as they seem to be the "in" thing, and I cant wait to try more as they have really taken off. I look forward to dealing with these folks again.
On February 28th, 2012, njdevilfan added the following:
havent been here in a while. Placed a new order just today as it is warming up in virginia and I am getting spring fever. Asked them what the story was, they advised they had some financial difficulties, but are up and running stronger than ever. Cant wait for my dahlias and Glads. Was upset to think they were gone, but apparently they are not!! Yay!
I would like to say a word of farewell to this company. They used to be so good when I was a beginning gardener, 20 or 30 years ago, when they were still based in New York. I ordered lilies from them one time and the bulbs were as big as small cabbages and their bulk prices were so good. I ordered from them every year and was nearly always pleased. I built up a daffodil collection and still have some of them, dug up & transferred to a new home, 11 years ago. Van Bourgondian, RIP.
On Feb 25, 2012, HeidiNH Brentwood, NH (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on July 19, 2011, updated February 25, 2012
At first I was hopeful, but I should have known that holding up my order for one fall bulb was a bad sign. Of all of the things I ordered, there isn't much that has lived or thrived. The foxtail lilies had only one sprout which has subsequently died. The 12 Blue and White Windflowers were planted and only 4 white ones came up. The iris has yet to even think about blooming. I contacted the company about the foxtails and the windflowers, the windflowers were out of stock so they issued a store credit. The foxtail lilies were replaced (but only four bulbs, not five, which was in the original order), and none of THOSE have surfaced either. I contacted them about the missing bulb and was sarcastically and condescendingly lectured, I was told told that they usually only replace what didn't work, so even by sending me four instead of five, I actually got more than I paid for because I had said that two out of the five had shown 'signs of life', when in fact not one of them has grown beyond a few inches. BTW I am not a beginner gardener, this isn't any mistake on my end. I think when the customer contacts the company about THEIR bad merchandise, they have no room to be snarky, condescending, or rude. I asked for the name of Harold's supervisor, meaning I wanted to communicate with her, he said "Her name is Beverly and she'll tell you exactly the same thing". I'll tell you something, Harold, good job losing a customer, you can bet this is the last time I will ever bother with this place. Customer Service training, anyone?
On February 25th, 2012, HeidiNH added the following:
Whoo. Bankruptcy, big surprise. So much for that merchandise credit I was offered for the anemones that never sprouted.
On Feb 24, 2012, Scepter72 Casco, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
They charge as much or more for their perennials than what I can purchase locally or on other websites. Their plants are extremely small, poorly packaged, and most don't survive the first 6 months. I would never purchase from this company again.
I've been ordering from Van Bourgondien for probably at least 6 years. If it's true they are going bankrupt, that is a big disappointment...! When you order $50.00 of bulbs, you just can't beat the pricing online anywhere.... For Tulips, daffadills, Allium, lilies and so on... Dahlias came in LARGE clumps, unbeatable by any other company online... Anything that was a plant, is pretty
risky no matter who you order from... (the shipping just beats them
up , badly)... those are best bought locally...! I've lost trumpets I ordered from this company, only to have them reship more and lost those too... They have been very good at replacements...
I for one wouldn't want to be them and replacing everything you sold...!
Weather, plus the way people plant stuff, has alot to do with if they make it or not... You just can't blame it all on the company...
It's a big expense to ship anything now adays...
I will definately miss this company....as I said their pricing could
not be beat...
If you order late in the season when things are on sale, your going to get some bulbs that have rotted, or have mildew, but my experience has been the majority of the bulbs I ordered were
in healthy condition... I for one most certainly do not want them to go out of business....
Well, I see from this site that they are filing for bankruptcy, and I'm not surprised. I guess I'm out my $83.
I ordered plants and bulbs in July of 2011. I asked that they be shipped before the end of September, as our average first frost date in Cheyenne, WY is 9/30. Their acknowledgement stated ship dates on/before 9/14 and 9/27. My first shipment was packed 10/17, and I received it 10/28. The poppies were back-ordered, and I received them on 11/1 in 8" of snow. In addition, one supposed pkg of 3 Black-eyed Susans only had one plant, and all 7 plants in the three "pkgs of 3" were about 1/2" x 1". I wrote to them in complaint on 11/1 and received an e-mail stating that I would hear from them in 3 business days. I heard nothing further. I wrote again on 11/8 and they e-mailed back that they were behind, and would get to me in 4-5 days. As of February I have heard nothing from them.
I rather doubt that poppies, camassia, and black-eyed Susans are going to survive being planted in half-frozen ground in the snow.
I had been ordering from them for years, but obviously I'm done with them. I'm entering this comment on the chance that they restructure and try again. At the very least, make small orders so when you have to write them off you aren't out a lot of money.
Have ordered numerous times from van Bourgondein. I don't remember a single shipment which did not contain dead plants. We ordered several well known daylilies. If alive, plants were so small (new seedling) that they took 2 sometimes 3 years to bloom. When they finally bloom, rarely are they the varietiey purchased. Classic example: 3 years after planting seedling size Night Embers, it bloomed last summer and was variety Night Beacon, which we already had in our garden. Same thing with 2 other daylilies. The catalog looks beautiful. The company needs to invest more and focus on quality control. When plants are received that are mushy or fungus covered, those conditions existed at the time of shipment and should have been culled out. I've written this company off my list as has everyone in our local daylily club based on similar experiences.
I recently ordered tulip bulbs from Dutch Bulbs. When they arrived, over half of them were mildewed. Since it was December,heat was not the cause of the problem. I am still waiting for a call back from them.
On Jan 3, 2012, flowerscrazed Davenport, IA wrote:
I've ordered with this company three times (two in the last couple of weeks). I also have to admit that I usually just order when they have sales. Most of the bulbs I got were in good to excellent condition, and with "buy 1, get 2 free," I figured if they've all survived, that'd be great. When some or most make it, that's still a bargain. I think the shipping is okay, it's not too pricey. However, with the sales, free shipping coupon is not usable. The 50% off is good with new merchandise only, not clearance.
I have not ordered any plants with them, so I don't know about their live plant quality. So far so good for me.
On Jan 3, 2012, Jlgayton1086 Highland Mills, NY wrote:
I ordered about $50 worth of bulbs (fritillaria, indian hyacinths, dragon arums, & aliums...its gonna look awesome!) , and all came in good condition except 2 dragon arums, which customer service promptly replaced the same day I told them about it through email. All around positive experience,
Posted on April 8, 2011, updated December 30, 2011
Posted on March 21, 2011, updated April 8, 2011
I placed a very large order with this company about 3 weeks ago as they offered a lot of summer blooming bulbs that I coldn't find all in one place elsewhere. They sent a confirmation of my order immidiately to my email. Also, I had requested immidiate shipping and a customer service rep. contacted me to let me know that, they could ship immiditely but that that would void the replcement warranty because it is too soon to plant these in zone 5. I replied explaining that this zone has been expereincing days in the 80s as early as mid-April over the past few years and requested an early April ship date and we agreed on April 4, which is the soonest ship time that ensures the bulb warranty will still be in effect.
In any case, i was impressed by the customer service care and how considerate the company has been in processing the order.
3 Asiatic Lily Sugar Love
3 Asiatic Lily Forever Susan
25 Asiatic Lily Deep Red
25 Asiatic Lily Yellow
25 Asiatic Lily Pink
25 Asiatic Lily Orange
2 Iris Siberica Butter & Sugar
I'll update when the order arrives.
On April 8th, 2011, JMKM1976 added the following:
As promised, my bulbs shipped on April 4th and I recieved a huge box today (4/8). I haven't opened the many indiidual packages yet but on first inspection through the packaging, everything looks good. The lily bulbs are big; bigger than those I get from other places (mail order and locally). Except for the large landscaping collections of asiatic lilies, those are medium sized, I can't say small because I have planted much smaller asiatic lily bulbs and still had them bloom the same year.
The two butter-and sugar siberian irises are meduium sized roots with a small amount of growth, they were slightly dry on arrival and so are removed from their packing and soaking in water for a couple hours, I will plant them in pots later and set them with other plants that are awaiting drier, warmer weather in the basement. All the bulbs will be put into the spare refridgerator in the basement to remain cool until the ground dries up a bit and I can get them planted without making mud holes and freezing my hands off.
So, for now, this remains a positive and I will update when the plants bloom as to true-to-nameness and such. On December 30th, 2011, JMKM1976 added the following:
I had a lily show to beat all lily shows my yard has ever displayed before this year! I planted the asiatic lillies in masses by single color; all came up and were true to their color as well. Now, my sisters would like to do this as well becasue in-mass, these lilies were just beautiful!
The tiger lilies bloomed next, I also massed these, but not by color.
Then, the oriental lilies began blooming, each variety was planted in its own mass. These were breathtaking and amazingly fragrant! I was sad that, my oriental lilies began blooming just as a drought with 100 degree temperatures set in. Fortunately, only the open blossoms were scorched and burned. Those that opened after the temperatures decreased were just fine and lasted a long time in bloom.
AS for the siberian irises... I didn't actually expect these to bloom this year, especially since I planted them in a gallon size pot and parked them at the edge of my water garden. Surprise-suprise... these tough little ireses thrived (even in the pot) and bloomed lovely yellow irises!
So, despite the many negatives by others here, my expereince was awesome and I intend to order fromt his company again this spring... I'd like to add some foxtail lilies, tree lilies and trumpet lilies and possibly some tree peonies this year and I think this will be the company I order those from.
On Dec 9, 2011, HouseofFlowers ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:
I was initially very excited when I received a catalog and visited the website. This is my first purchase experience with Van Bourgondien.
I have a specific and limited budget for my gardening. I placed an online order after hours, and shortly after I hit the confirmation button, I realized I had erred twice in my selections. (example: I ordered purple Sensation Alliums instead of Giant Purple Sensation Alliums). The company was having a very limited buy one get two free sale. I ordered several items other than the alliums.
As soon as I realized my mistakes which was shortly after placing my order, I sent the company an email requesting the changes to my order.
Later the next morning, I received a response indicating that my order would be cancelled because they cannot make changes to the "buy one get two free sale" items. I was okay with that. I figured I would simply re-order my selections.
Just to make sure my order was cancelled (nothing had yet been shipped) I called Van Bourgondien.
To my astonishment, I was told that my credit card had been billed, that my order was not cancelled as the email had indicated, but had been placed on hold. I then asked that the order be cancelled and my money refunded but I was told that if I wanted a refund it would take a couple of days to refund money to my credit card because they were busy. I have no idea if the sale prices would be in effect by the time the refund goes through (If it goes through).
While on the phone, I explained that I really didn't want to miss the sale, and that my credit card could not accommodate a second order. I then provided my phone number, requesting a call back. (I was not given a time frame for the call back....but I did ask for one.) Two days later, no callback, no refund.
This does not amount to good customer service. I do not like that I was told my order had been cancelled when it was not. Additionally, I have already had my credit card billed although nothing is being shipped, yet refunding my card in a timely fashion seems problematic.
I wish I had read the feedback on this board before ordering, I could have avoided all of this trouble.
On Oct 1, 2011, Sydney440 Worland, WY (Zone 4a) wrote:
Posted on September 5, 2011, updated October 1, 2011
I ordered the complete reblooming iris collections for planting in the fall of 2010 as well as 9 lilies. The order finally came and the lily bulbs were large and healthy looking. The iris were mostly dry husks with no sign of life at all, but I planted them anyway. Spring came and no iris grew and only 2 of the lilies came up. They thrived and both bloomed. I finally dug up several of the iris and there was just nothing there so I contacted the company. They said there was still time for them to grow. I waited a few weeks and still nothing so contacted them again. They promised to replace them and the other lilies this fall so we'll see. I'll update this review as soon as I hear from them.
On October 1st, 2011, Sydney440 added the following:
I received my replacement iris and lily bulbs and the iris tubers looked 100% better than my first order last fall. Lily bulbs weren't quite as big, but look really healthy. CS was very nice about replacing them and I have high hopes that I'll have great plants next year.
We've used this company for fundraising for our nonprofit preschool for last fall and this spring and plan to use them again.
The quality of the bulbs, the blooms, and the customer service were excellent. I went to the time to register on this site just to post this. I was disappointed to see all the neg reviews and wanted to give them a positive one because of this good experience we've had.
On Aug 8, 2011, loveplantsalot Bear Valley Springs, CA wrote:
I originally ordered about $300 worth of bulbs and plants. Bulbs arrived looking ok, but the other plants were minscule and dried out. Most disappointing was the Echinacea (Coneflower) collection-$152.00 for 18 plants. Each came the size of a toothpick and 2/3 were dead.
I notified the company, they sent replacements. Same thing! Two were about 3" high, the rest teeny-tiny and dried up. Of course none thrived, no matter how much TLC I gave the (almost invisible) plants.
I also ordered four collections of Re-blooming German Irises. "Pink Attraction" (supposed to be baby pink but was peach colored when it bloomed)."Victoria Falls" supposed to be blue-bird blue, but the bulbs they sent bloomed a variety of purples, some bi-color. Obviously NOT the colors I ordered. "Pass the Wine" (burgundy) turned out pale lavender, and only ONE of the "Orange Harvest" bulbs bloomed orange! It's as if they kept all the iris bulbs in a barrel and just send you whatever they grab.
I sent them a letter about what happened, they issued a store credit for about $32, not anywhere near what I had spent. And wouldn't you know? A minimum order is $50, so I had to order more plants, PLUS shipping! What a rip-off. I'll never buy from k.van Bourgondien & sons (KVBWholesale) again.
Posted on May 28, 2011, updated July 28, 2011
Last yeart I ordered 2 plants--an amaryllis which was supposed to bloom in December, but did not bloom until March. and an echinacea. The latter was a scrawny plant which did not grow, nor survive the winter. Last week I received a replacement plant which was dead--leaves completely wilted with the root ball totally dried out. It was soaaked in water then planted, but has no signs of new growth. For what I paid, I would expect better quality plants than that.
On July 28th, 2011, Buster2 added the following:
They are now offering a credit toward my "next" order, which I won't do because it won't even begin cover the cost for a replacement plant. I will not do business with this company ever again.
Oh how I wished I had checked the Watchdog before I ordered last year, but I was desperate to get bulbs late in the fall season for my newly planted garden! I placed 3 separate orders in fall of 2010.
The first order arrived and most of the bulbs were mush, having obviously been frozen. When I called CS, they were pleasant and agreed to send replacements immediately. Placed a second order of mostly perennials, and while they arrived unfrozen, they looked distinctly substandard. Planted them anyway and then placed a 3rd order of bulbs, taking advantage of the 2-day shipping special for the price of regular shipping so I could get them in the ground before Christmas. I am in zone 8, so I can plant late. I didn't receive them in 3 days, by which time they had closed for the holidays and there was no way to contact them and they don't answer e-mails. My order finally arrived more than a week later.
Since then, of the 32 items I ordered (bulb sets and perennials) only 17 either came up or were the correct variety. I requested credit on June 8, 2011 and when I sent a follow-up message on the 28th, I got a reply saying they were very busy and would get to it as soon as they could, and then requested that when making claims in the future (!) that I not combine the orders. Apparently the table I sent listing the item number, name, and associated order numbers was too much for them.
It is now more than 6 weeks since I requested credit and have heard nothing. Don't be suckered in by their low prices, unless you really don't care what you get or by when. When I get my credit I am going to use it up on cheap and disposable bulbs and then be done with them.
A substantial number of irises ordered in August arrived last week of October - too late for planting in my area - and they were all completely dried out, brown, totally dead. Contacted customer services immediately, who suggested that I plant them anyway and if they did not come up in the spring they would replace them. Anyone who provides such poor merchandise and then treats me like a fool no longer gets my business.
Posted on November 12, 2010, updated July 8, 2011
I ordered a lot of bulbs, almost $200.00. I got it on Friday, check the quantities and found out that there are some that's back order. I called Monday and inquire about it and I talk to CS and NO PROBLEM we'll ship them to you. Keep on planting following day and found out that my lily of the valley is missing 3 and some of my daffodil's bulb are bad. Called them following day and talked to CS and explain my situation and o.k. NO PROBLEM. They really have a good customer service especially the guy named Kevin, he is very helpful.
On July 8th, 2011, alannarae06 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I'm moving my rating to neutral because even a lot of plants that I received are mess-up or never came up, the CS are replacing most of the stuff and even issued me a credit for the plants that did not sprout. BUT the bulbs that I received are either WRONG COLOR or some did not bloom / sprouted.
Parrot Tulip 'Blumex'--------wrong color
Windflower Mix., Allium Roseum, Rainbow Alliums Mix, and
lily of the valley---none of these bulbs sprouted.
Red Lily Blend ------ out of 5 only 2 sprouted with 1 flower
Daffodil 'Jetfire', Dutch Iris Mix,--only almost half bloomed
I talked to CS and they are backing up their policy about replacements and told me that they are shipping the replacement on fall. I just hope that the colors and what I ordered is what I will receive.
I bought lily Monte Negro last fall and planted it. Out of 5 lilies, I got two (2) 7" lily instead of 48" tall so I called the CS and they replace the 3 that did not grow. I received the replacement planted it and now they bloom, ( WRONG COLOR ) Instead of deep red lilies, these are orange lilies. I called the CS and they said that ---WE ALREADY REPLACE THIS WITH OUR WARRANTY--- WE CANNOT HELP ANYMORE. Just because I bought the flowers with coupon, ($10) when I sign up for newsletter, they will not give me a credit...I DO NOT WANT CREDIT, I WANT WHAT I BOUGHT 5 MONTE NEGRO RED LILIES not orange not pink. Yes they replaced the lily but it's the wrong color and they want me to just shut up because THEY ALREADY REPLACED IT (WITH THE WRONG COLOR). Bottom line they want you to buy their product BUT when you need replacement they want you to just be happy that they replace it, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER IT'S THE RIGHT ONE they replace it so JUST SHUT UP. THAT IS JUST PLAIN BS. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY.
On Jun 28, 2011, morgen San Luis Obispo, CA wrote:
Posted on July 22, 2008, updated June 28, 2011
I ordered about $75.00 of clearance items from them June 16th. Today I checked the status of the order online because I hadn't heard anything at all since the order confirmation.
They said my credit card was declined and they cancelled the order. I just took that credit card on vacation for two weeks and used it every day-I find it hard to believe. And even if there was an error with the card, wouldn't they have let me know?
I asked if I could re-order and they said they stopped shipping the day after my card was declined.
From reading the reviews, it's probably for the best anyway.
On June 28th, 2011, morgen changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I made an order of clearance items and was totally pleased. I ordered mostly gladiolus and they popped right up. They look healthy and green and I look forward to hundreds of beautiful summer glads. No problem with the credit card this time and they shipped with good communication and timeliness. I will definitely order from this company again. Good stuff, great clearance sale, fast shipping.
On Jun 23, 2011, paradiseirisfan Paradise, CA wrote:
Received tree peonies that appeared like they had been refrigerated. They did not thrive in pots the first year. The company gave me a credit. I appreciate their standing behind their products.
Separately my garden club ordered several thousand daffodil bulbs to be planted throughout our community and in our personal gardens. They have multiplied beautifully. The mixed varieties are a bargain with decent sizes and several unique color combinations.
I ordered a canna. It arrived rotten. I contacted the company and they did replace the roots. One of the replacement plants was rotten and one has grown but the living plant is NOT a Red Furturity canna. Additionally quite some time ago I ordered Little Business day lillies. They are diseased with LEAF STREAK. Now my healthy day lillies are diseased. Stay away from these guys.
Beware of purchasing clearance plants!!! You will only receive a merchandise credit if the plants do not survive.
I purchased 6 Himalayan Blue Poppies and 3 Pulmonaria Raspberry Splash. The plants were packed well but upon opening the Himalayan Poppies all six appeared quite dead. The leaves look like they were freeze dried. A document came with the items indicating that if they look dead, they are only dormant. I should have sent them back but I would have had to pay the postage and would have still received a merchandise credit. I called the company and they were scheduled to send me 6 new plants. I was later e-mailed that they were sold out. I called again and was advised that I could not get a refund, only a merchandise credit. I asked if anyone inspected the plant before they are shipped. I was advised that when you buy clearance plants that some of them don't live. So basically, I felt that they intentionally shipped me 6 dead plants.
Don't be lured in by low prices.
On Jun 15, 2011, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Jun 16, 2011 8:36 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
If you were to read the terms of sale on our website you would have saw that we do state that if clearance items do not grow then you will receive a refund. Also if you wanted a refund, you should have returned the items, dead or alive. You cannot expect us to issue you a refund and you do not return our product. I feel that is not fair.
On Jun 16, 2011 8:37 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) added:
Sorry for the last comment, I meant to states that if clearance items do not grow then you will receive a store credit. Sorry for the typo."
On Jun 10, 2011, blueberrypatch Mansfield, OH wrote:
Attention all buyers!
If you have purchased or received any blueberry plants from Van Bourgondien, Dutch Bulbs, or Simple Pleasures this season, then we have news for you! Van Bourgondien has chosen not to pay for the plants received. Van Bourgondien does not grow any of their own plants; they just buy from growers and resell to you, collecting your money in the process. But this year, they have chosen not to pay for the plants, and simply keep the money you have given them. Several companies from growers, to trucking firms and even the widows of growers recently passed away are now suffering the losses of their time and hard work at the hands of Van Bourgondien. Here is a link to the Better Business Bureau complaint against them, http://norfolk.app.bbb.org/complaint/view/48027658/c/3c982f , and also a copy of the letter sent to us threatening bankruptcy, http://www.theblueberrypatch.org/Van_Bourgondien_letter.pdf .