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 .
In the summer of 2009, I ordered several hundred dollars of bulbs and hostas. When the lilies came up the following spring, they were not what I had ordered. After several e-mails, they sent replacements. Again, the wrong bulbs. I also ordered a (rather expensive) cobra lily , some toad lilies, a half dozen hardy ground orchids and virginia bluebells. I've yet to see signs of life out of any of these. Of the 6 hostas I received, only 3 came up. Of these, one was the wrong plant entirely and one has not thrived. Since I haven't had problems with plants/bulbs from other companies not thriving (including some planted at the same time), I can only conclude that they sent junk. A huge waste of money -- I won't be ordering from them again.
On May 17, 2011, ripper69 New Braunfels, TX wrote:
I didn't get to the part where I actually got the plants. I put in a large order and used a couple of coupons I found. Although the order form said they were valid, I was charged full shipping on the order. The shipping is very high, considering about everything I bought was bulbs. It was higher than any other online nurseries that were selling the same things. I tried to tell them and got an invoice with no response to the information about free shipping. I wrote them a second email telling them to cancel the order if they were not going to honor the free shipping. I finally got a very rude response and was told the order wasn't charged and wouldn't be until this was cleared up. I saw on my bank statement they charged my order anyway and tied up a lot of money for me. Then they wrote and said they wouldn't honor the coupon on the sale items, which was all there was left at that time. I canceled the order again, but don't have the money back in my account and they were rude. It was my first time, but will give them a miss for the rest of my plants/seeds/bulbs. Customer service if very important to me. If you have problems, then these are the people you have to talk to.
On May 14, 2011, wabisabi0214 Pleasant Hill, OR wrote:
I placed an order of about 50 asiatic lillies. They arrived in good condition; however, after they were planted I realized they were not the variety of bulbs that I wanted because the blooms were different than the variety I had purchased. The worst part was contacting them afterward when they told me even though they sent me the wrong bulbs they would not refund my money. They would only give me a credit for a future order, and then only if I dug up the bulbs and sent them back to them, at my expense. I did not trust them to send me the correct bulbs in the future, so I just disputed their charge through my credit card company, who gave me a credit. Geesh!
On May 10, 2011, ginalove294 Youngstown, OH wrote:
I made a pretty large order--over 100 bulbs. All of the daffodils bloomed beautifully, as did most of the tulips. One tulip variety was not the variety I ordered, and maybe a half-dozen of the bulbs appeared to be either underdeveloped or damaged, but I planted them anyway, and even though they were stunted, they still bloomed. As of today I still have two daffodil blooms and most of the tulips, which bloomed Easter week, are still up and beautiful. Overall I'm very happy with my order.
Terrible service. I told them from the beginning I had to have the plants in seven days. If not I would not order. Everyday they say order is printed and being packed. It is being packed on Monday. Now on Friday it is being packed. Their customer service rep told me on Thursday she was expediting my order and was being shipped that day by FedEx. I would receive on Friday. Of course on Friday no shipment. Now I have landscaper coming but no flowers. They did not have to lie that it was sent when it was not.
I will NEVER EVER order from this catalog again. I have been ordering from it for several years- all plants came dead and nothing grew up, although their prices are very high!
Plus , typically all the palnts came very late.
On May 1, 2011, connoisseur Indianapolis, IN wrote:
One of the most frustrating aspects of ordering from VB is that they so often send things that are not true to name. Of the four tree peonies I ordered, three were not true to name, and of course, what they sent was not nearly so nice as the cultivars they were supposed to send. Don't count on anything being what they claim it to be! By the way, they did send a replacement on one of the peonies not true to name. Guess what? It too was not the cultivar advertised. I even got in an expert who showed me what the real cultivar looks like. What a waste of time and money!
I ordered bulbs on April 16th. I would consider 1 week time adequate time to process order and ship. When I inquired as to when my shipment would be made, I was informed that shipping would not be for another 10 - 14 business days. I was surprised as their website did not indicate a long waiting period BEFORE items for SPRING shipping would be shipped.
You then have to tack on the additional time in transit. Which could amount to almost 4 weeks from the time you order and pay to actually receiving it.
I ordered a set of periwinkle and a hardy fuchsia recently. The periwinkle was okay, basically stems with a few roots just starting. Definitely not as nice as the periwinkle I got from Peekskill nursery. It will probably do okay since it is so prolific. The fuchsia they sent to me was a 4 inch long root the size of a piece of yarn. I was disappointed to say the least. However, I planted it and I will see if it actually grows. I do not think I will be ordering perennials from them again.
On Apr 18, 2011, lilypadlady Whittemore, MI wrote:
I would not recommend doing business with this company. I have order from them many times in the past and all the Daylilies I ordered were not what they were labeled as.After doing research on the internet I did find out what the correct names of each flower was, but nobody wants to order something and then when it blooms it is not what you thought you were buying!!
Part of my order from this catalog was several plants of 4 types of Hardy Geranium. When they bloomed, all but 2 were "Orion" (ironically one of the cheaper types). I called, recieved some replacements - also "Orions"! I had also planted Anemone "Lord Lieutenant" bulbs which failed to grow the following spring. Looking this plant up on other sites, most stated zones 7- 10, while Van B. claimed 5-10. I called again, stating the info I'd read elsewhere, but the rep claimed their info was correct (therefore, everyone else was wrong). They sent more, and none grew again. Well well, their 2011 catalog now shows zones 6-10, and a totally different bloom time! I also don't like their high prices when what they send is a bag of roots. My other catalogs send actual plants at lower prices.
On Mar 21, 2011, moosewood Dewitt, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
This is a neutral; as you will see, there's some good & some bad.
4 years ago, i ordered the whole shootin' match of Japanese Peonies from these guys. Something like10 to14 plants.
When i got them, they were fabulous!
VanB.'s sent them in early March, which turned out to be perfect.
I unpacked them, found all but 3 (dried roots) to have some healthy growth, potted them up & left them in the garage. (With those 3 exceptions), they developed strong foliage, and were easy transplants.
They were planted out in April/May & you may believe it or don't, over half of them bloomed (!) that 1st. year.
And they have been stronger and more beautiful each year.
VanB. sent replacements for the dead items, on request.
If you are new to Tree peonies, vanB.'s are, to my expierience, as good as you are likely get on mail-order.
This was the best expierience I have had to date, with bare-root items; usually avoiding b/r's like the plague.
Now for the bad news:
Last year, i ordered their Monkshood Collection.
Out of the 5 plants:
one was OK (I expect to see up it this Spring)
two I couldn't tell (I did not see them in Fall & won't look for them this Spring)
one was most definootely croaked (dry roots in the bag),
one was a DOA: road kill, mystery meat, blotto, a rotted mush.
How vanB.'s could have sent such a so-called "inspected" order, I don't know.
I complained, received 3 replacements, and they were just as bad as the first shipment.
But: being as fair as I can: I suspect, that eeef, I say eeef, Dr.McCoy, these were shipped Trans-Atlantic, we should remember it would have coincided with the volcanic eruption in Iceland; which could very well have ruined their shipping schedules, etc...
Anyway: I placed a new order for the same Collection a couple weeks ago, but from the confirmation info; it looks like one of the 5 plants in the offer is either n/a or b/o... how a $$ change is handled when one member of a "Collection" is missing...?
Let's see what happens with the price,this year's shipping, and if they try to slide in a piece of junk plant, as
"compensation" for the other Monkshood?
On Feb 9, 2011, lewalcindortx Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered bulbs in november and received them promptly. i purchased hyacinths grape feather, muscari, daffodils- mixed halo and pink butterfly and paperwhites ziva. The tulips are coming up and I have already been rewarded with hyacinths and paperwhites. Out of 225 bulbs, only 7 had to be discarded. I just placed my second order with them and hope to have as good an experience.