On Jul 10, 2012, leegray Pittman Center, TN wrote:
I received the catalog in the mail yesterday for the first time. I had planned to place a substantial order this year for Iris's but after reading all the negative reviews I believe I will continue looking for another company. Thank you all for the heads up. Lee
On Jul 10, 2012, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
On Jul 7, 2012, mc003 Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on July 2, 2012, updated July 7, 2012
Posted on July 2, 2012, updated July 2, 2012
Posted on June 28, 2012, updated July 2, 2012
I placed an order back in May of 2011 that included two daylilies. One didn't make it through the winter and the other just recently bloomed for the first time and that's when I saw it wasn't the variety I ordered. I contacted them through their customer service page but didn't get a response, so I went back to send another and saw the new website "look". I was not aware they filed bankruptcy or that they had been bought by another company. I did however receive a response almost immediately that they were in the process of moving to new facilities and had limited access to customer records and that once they could they'd access my account and take any actions to rectify the situation. I appreciated the quick initial response this time. Hope to hear more from them soon!
On July 2nd, 2012, mc003 added the following:
Just an update, it is now July 2nd and their response said they would have access to my account by June 30th. Still haven't heard anything. I'm starting to get a little dissappointed. I sent the an email with an attached picture showing the wrong daylily, hopefully that will expidite things a little? I had a similar issue with Schriener Iris(a mislabeled iris). However, their contact customer service page allowed me to send a picture of the Iris in question that still had the wrong label on it. I heard back the next day, with customer service saying they'd send the correct Iris at the appropriate shipping time. Here's hoping....On July 2nd, 2012, mc003 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Or not....according to the CS reponse, they are still in the process of moving...At least I got some sort of response???On July 7th, 2012, mc003 added the following:
In hopes that they somewhat pay attention to customer issues on this watchdog website I'm including the email I sent today July 5, 2012 in response to no response.
"Hello once again.
It has been 5 more days and still no one has gotten back to me. Since you seem to be unable to find my records I sent a copy of my order confirmation from May 2011 showing I did indeed place an order with Van Bourgondien that included reblooming daylily 'Berrylicious', the plant in question. And once again I am attaching a photo of what I actually received. Of the two plants I received last year, one did not come back up and the other as you can see from that attached photo is not the variety I ordered. So if someone, anyone really, could RESOLVE my issue and not just tell me that I will hear from somone soon, because I have a different definition of 'soon'. If you were able to find my records you would see that I have placed quite a few orders with Van Bourdondien and from the wholesale site K. Van Bourgondien. I would hope my patronage would be more apprieciated.
I'm going to leave my rating as neutral for now, giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are indeed still having issues with customer records, but I'm losing faith quickly.....to be continued, 'soon'.On Jul 7, 2012, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help."
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 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.
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 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 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 Jan 6, 2011, vossner Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Just want to comment on the multiple catalogs they send w/ the 50% off coupons. I've noticed the prices appear competitive w/ other sources; however, upon closer examination see that their sizes are usually half of what other vendors offer. So, you are not really getting 50% off at all.
On May 29, 2010, Beachelle Long Beach, NY (Zone 7b) wrote:
My biggest problem with Van Bourgondien is their poor communication. "This is our busy season" really doesn't cut it. This is my busy season, too. I'm supposed to be out in the garden, planting the items I haven't yet received!
Poor communication enters into misunderstood pricing, as well. A recent order on which I was supposed to receive free shipping didn't qualify. I found this out in response to my email, when they stated that, because I ordered some Clearance items (and they consider those to be a 'discount' or 'promotion'), I couldn't combine the promotional pricing.
Both the quality and survivability of plants from Van Bourgondien have been variable; daylilies, in particular, have thrived. Other items haven't, or the size and quality have been dubious.
My experience with this company over the years was best when they were located on Long Island (NY) and I could drive out to their location and pick up my order myself.
this is my first transaction with this company. did it because of the 50% off sale and because the catalog was so goshdarn purrrty :). THEN I read their rating... It's a little worrysome but it doesn't seem all that bad so I'm hoping for the better ^_^. So I'm going to give them a chance- if they screw up (or not) I will be updating my rating to either red or green :) [the way i look at it, i'd only be out 50% of the original price so it would hurt 50% less! ^_^]
On Apr 14, 2010, Emma75 DeLand, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Posted on May 28, 2009, updated April 14, 2010
We've ordered from this company on and off for quite some time, and have always been pleased. I usually wait until they're having their 50% off sales, and then make a fairly substantial order. I had to utilize their customer service department for the first time on my most recent purchase due to an issue with the website not processing my order; their IT department promptly found my order, and the rep I'd spoken with even called me to make sure I'd received the confirmation e-mail. My entire order arrived yesterday, and everything is very healthy, especially the hemerocallis; the bulbs are medium-large sized stock and have no signs of problems. Though I see they've had very mixed reviews, we have never had one bad thing to say about them!
On April 14th, 2010, Emma75 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have very mixed feelings now about Van B. A large percentage of the plants I purchased didn't survive, even hardy things like daylilies. The products I've received from them are either fantastic or mediocre, with very little in between. Though I've received some outstanding plants from them, I've made the decision not to purchase in the future because their very high shipping rates and unreliable product are too risky when I have had better experiences and lower shipping with other companies.
I read some time ago, in Fine Gardening Magazine, that there were three quality bulb companies, John Scheepers, Brent and Becky’s, and Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs. I met Joseph Van Bourgondien at BWI one time, waiting for a flight to Norfolk VA. We talked about how their family was from Long Island and relocated to Virginia; and how they must have found me by purchasing mailing lists of on-line garden catalog customers. And I had started ordering a few things from them.
When I read the negative comments about this company, I think there is a misunderstanding. They do have a good guarantee policy. They have replaced anything I have told them has not survived, whether I have emailed or called. I used to order something from them every year, and never have I had to ask more than once to get a replacement or credit.
Their prices are fairly low, especially their Best Buys, and you know you will get about average sized bulbs and seedlings. The quality is certainly much better than the dried out prepackaged plants at the discount stores.
I have to admit that some of what I receive just did not prosper the first year; I should say too much. Sometimes I did not get the colors I ordered. Sometimes the description and photo in the catalog was too heavily filtered to show the real color. I have just found this difficult, digging up what does not fit my palette, and giving away to neighbors who want them. So in the end I have given up trying their bulbs and plants. It is just that I have gotten to know the Ohms family at John Scheepers, which offers no guarantee but over 90% grows and survives. The extra digging of bulbs that fail is too much work no matter how good the guarantee.
But I would still recommend Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs to those seeking the plants they carry to try their luck.
I ordered over $350 last July and overall was pleased with the products. Initially I have to admit, I was pretty frustrated due to the fact that my shipment date continued to get pushed back. I sent them e-mails and received "I'm sorry this is our busy time of the season. We will get you your products as soon as we can". Finally, three months later, the bulbs had arrived! Big relief to me as often times, October means frozen ground for us so no more planting, AND I was ordering for myself, friends, family, and a landscaping job as well! As far as the product goes, I was overall happy with the bulbs - looked larger than expected and healthy. Will have to wait and see what comes up this year... Crossing my fingers.
On Nov 21, 2009, loveslilies Youngstown, OH wrote:
Bought end of season fall-planting bulbs on clearance. Of 50 daffodils, 48 arrived (2 bags were short 1 bulb) and 3 bulbs were mush. The remainder were healthy and large. 2 roots for daylilies looked good. 2 packages of jacqueline asiatic lilies bulbs were firm but tiny - not the 12-14cm size posted on the website.
Called customer service which was very responsive, and offered store credit for the 5 daffodils and all the asiatic lilies. They wouldn't refund money because they were purchased on clearance, although that's not specifically stated in their written policy. I guess I'll see what grows and keep you updated. Neutral for now. I'm hopeful despite all the reviews I've read here.
On Oct 15, 2009, pastime Waterman, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on November 11, 2007, updated October 15, 2009
I ordered 6 Destined to See daylily fans and 6 Green Envy coneflower roots from them in the Spring '07. The daylily fans were smallish, but caught up in size by the end of the season. They even bloomed which is great for a 1st year daylily. The Green Envy coneflowers were also small, but grew well over the summer and bloomed.
On April 22nd, 2009, pastime added the following:
In 2007 I ordered 6 Destined to See daylilies. They arrived in good shape and bloomed the summer of 2008. Unfortunately they turned out to be Wild Horses daylilies, not Destined to See. In the fall of '08 I took a chance and emailed them along with a picture of the bloom. The actually wrote me back acknowledging their mistake. Last week 12 Destined to See arrived. They were nice, healthy, big roots. On June 27th, 2009, pastime changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
The 12 supposedly Destined to See plants are now blooming, and again, they sent me Wild Horses. I emailed them asking "what the heck!", No reply. I take back my positive rating and give them a neutral because the quality of the plants were good, but the company needs to look into why their stock of DTS is mislabeled. I wonder if people ordering Wild Horses got DTS instead.On October 15th, 2009, pastime added the following:
After numerous emails back and forth since June '09, they sent me another 12 plants labeled Destined to See with a note stating "this is the last replacement". Like I'm the one who goofed up! I won't know until next summer if I indeed received DTS. If they turn out to be Wild Horses again, I will then have 36 of them. Looks like I will be doing some trading on DG. I'll keep my neutral rating because the plants arrived healthy. I hope DTS turns out to be worth all the fuss.
Bought a himalayan blue poppy that was half dead on arrival and promptly died when planted. When I contacted VanB they said it was not meant for my zone; it likes cool and moist springs. We had the coolest, wettest spring in decades. I ordered elephant ears and it looked like a dried stone but I planted it anyway; it rotted in the pot. They said they will replace this next spring. Also, I ordered Stutgartt canna; this canna is sold for its variegation. It blooms after reaching a height of around 7 feet. This one has no variegation and bloomed about the size of a dwarf canna. I also bought foxglove, toad lily and hardy geranium and these are ok. I have some tulips and hyacinths from VanB and they are beautiful.
On Jul 2, 2009, liebran Valencia, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered 2 Angel trumpets which arrived in pot, bent but not broken and so far look good in the planting. Also, I ordered two bleeding hearts-they arrived in a plastic baggie filled with potting soil and 2 bright gold stems (I assume from sulfur). I have planted the stems, but no results yet. I am not sure they are going to survive. Only time will tell,but I was not happy with the bleeding heart packaging. Karen Shaver
On Jun 11, 2009, onewish1 Denville, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
I placed an order that was shipped 3/25/09.. a part of the order was the PENSTEMON COLLECTION (73906)... I contacted the company twice to tell them there is no growth and they appear to be dead ... via there website... both times I received NO RESPONSE
I would not recommend buying from a company that doesn't not even take the time to send a respond to a problem
On June 11th, 2009, onewish1 added the following:
sorry for the typo... I meant responseOn June 16th, 2009, onewish1 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I did finally receive a reply 3 days ago... the replacements were shipped yesterday
Placed an order in March, 2009. Slow to ship. Some good, some bad: plants were well packed but small. The phlox had not sprouted and I'll have to see how they do, but they looked fine. Coneflower was backordered with NO indication of shipping date. Who knows when it will arrive. I have ordered from this company several times in the past, with mixed results. Some of their plants are very nice, others are marginal at best and don't live well. I have about 60/40 luck with them (60% good, 40% not so good.) Got a "deal" on what I ordered this time so I took a chance.
On Mar 5, 2009, 17decker Grand Junction, CO wrote:
Last April or May of 2008 I placed an order of Gaint Phloxs, Day Lillies, and other plants, thinking I would get them soon. No I didn't get them till that fall. I ended up losing all of the plants except for the day lillies. And even though the day lillies did ok they were not the plants I ordered. I have request my money back for the plants that died and was told that I could only get a credit. Since then I have made another order that should arive this spring and I'll have to wait and see if this will be a waste of money or just a fluke.
On Sep 15, 2008, SonjaSkyles Elk Grove, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
About 5 years ago I bought a dark blue double tradescantia from them. When it bloomed, it was single and almost white. I contacted them, but I had to wait a year for a replacement, because they were out of them. The following spring I received what was supposed to be a replacement plant, but the plastic bag contained only peat moss and there was no plant in it. I contacted them again and was promised a new plant the following spring. I never heard from them and I will never order from them again.
On December 8th, 2008, SonjaSkyles changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I made a mistake. The tradescantia order was from Van Dyck's. The order from Van Bourgoundien was in August of 2004 and it was for several bareroot plants, that arrived all black and shriveled up and never came to life. I was promised a replacement in the spring. As of 5/12/05 I had not received them and wrote to them again. I did not receive a reply to that e-mail, but I have now received an encouraging message from Sofia at Van Bourgondien, and hopefully this will be resolved.
On Aug 12, 2008, p1mkw Danville, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:
This company was recommended to me by a Master Gardener (president of the local chapter, BTW). So I thought they must be good. I placed a sizeable order with them last year. Probably 50% (or even less) survived planting. I figured either I had done something wrong, the plants weren't right for this area (I had check the zones so I knew that wasn't it) or 'something.' Not having learned my lesson last year, this spring I placed another order with them. Same experience as last year. Not one of the ferns I ordered from them survived, several lilies never sprouted and some of the plants that did sprout don't look all that great. The Blazing Star is the only plant that looks like something that will survive and even flourish. I'm sure the person who recommended this company has had good experience, but sadly I can't say the same thing for me. And looking at the other comments out here, I'd say more people share my experience with them than have positive experiences. There are too many other highly rated companies out there ... save your money and spend it with them rather than this company.
On December 6th, 2008, p1mkw changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I would like to acknowledge that a representative form the company contacted me and is willing to work towards a solution by replacing the plants that did not thrive for me. I would encourage people in the future to contact the company first and give them an opportunity to resolve any issues you might have with them. I am changing my rating to Neutral based on their willingness to work on a solution.
Two years ago I ordered a number of various bulbs from here. Packages were marked with right names, when they flowered, they were anything BUT what I had chosen! Ordered early to INSURE getting a certain variety of tuberous begonia, recieved a bag of mixed gladiola bulbs instead, and the dahlia tubers proved to be types not even listed in their choices! I wrote them a letter of complaint, NEVER heard a word back! Now when their catalogues come in, they go right in the scrap pile for recycling.
On January 7th, 2009, olesagegrouse changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
After almost 3 years, I have been contacted by the company and they are going to stand behind the original order, REPLACE, free of charge what was sent erronously, when proper shipping time occurs for this zone. I think, that after all that time, it's mighty BIG of them: time will tell when I see results, til then I'd like to remain neutral in opinion.
On Jul 15, 2008, allyphant San Francisco, CA wrote:
I'm not a gardener but I just decided to plant for fun. My mother loves dahlia's so one day I came by the Van Bourgondien's website and was aww-ed by the varieties of bulbs they carried and was delighted by the clearance sales. I ordered a few varieties of dahlias .. and ordered strawberry plant, toadlily and a hot flash calla lily.
I found the company's shipping a bit hard to deal with because they only ship during season but never have an expected arrival date, so you basically sit and wait until it ships.
It finally came and the dahlias and strawberries are beginning to grow leaves. The calla lily and the toad lily bulbs came and were a bit dry, so I'm not sure if they will grow. There is one dahlia bulb that might be mislabelled because the leaves are coming out different from the rest of them. We'll just have to see later. I noticed a lot of people have problems with their mislabelling.. hopefully these ones are the ones I ordered.
Two years ago I received a $10 coupon for this company and ordered 3 Christmas ferns. They arrived healthy but small, but they were after all, a bargain -- only $10 for 3 with the discount and shipping.
Last year 2 of the ferns were still healthy, one was marginal and after the winter snow melted, all I could find of these 3 evergreen ferns was 2 of them. The 2 are still small but they live. For $5 each for the 2 that live, I could have done just as well locally, so be advised that you get what you pay for!
In late March I ordered 5 Picasso Calla Lilly bulbs and Green Envy Echinaceas from VB. The order was received promptly and safely, the Picassos have been planted in a pot but have yet to grow, but since I dont exactly live in zone 10 I expect it might take sometime. However the green envys (bareroot) never grew at all and ended up dead. Upon calling them, I was informed they were now out of stock and was given 2 other types of echinacea as replacements without any trouble and they were received promptly. They also sent 7 of one type of echinacea instead if the 3 that they were supposed to send so I was pleased with that, but as of now nothing has shown any signs of growth. Overall I can't complain about customer service and shipping but the quality of plants remains to be seen, I will adjust my feedback according when I see what becomes of my bulbs/bareroot plants.
On June 23rd, 2008, WinterStinks added the following:
Just as an update all 5 Picasso bulbs are coming up nicely so they are doing nicely however everything else is DOA, everything they have sent bareroot has never shown any signs of life. I have also since found out (according to American Meadows) that many of their bareroots are wholesaled off to other places and "quite often they are bad" from being transported multiple times, as this was one of American Meadows excuses for some dead items. So i would say order bulbs or even plants but anything bareroot should be avoided.
I can only give a partial review since I just got my order from them last week (and not the crocus bulbs I orderred since they don't ship those until fall), but from what I can see I have no problems with them.
Shipping was reasonably fast, everything was packaged well (a nikko blue, bleeding heart and a doz everbearing strawberries). It's too early to tell about the nikko blue and the bleeding hearts, but the strawberries!
The strawberries were just a crown with roots. I planted them Sunday afternoon and when I went outside yesterday evening at least a handful of them had sprouted leaves!!!
On June 5th, 2008, donicaben changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Now that it's been a few weeks and I've had a few orders with other nurseries I'm a bit wiser.
Though the strawberries are still EXTREMELY healthy (the only thing saving this from being a negative review) my hydragea hasn't grown, and my bleeding heart not only didn't grow, but the inch of grow it had on it when I bought it is totally brown.
At the time when I first reviewed I didn't know that most other nurseries send you plants with gobs of green leaves and about a foot of real growth. Silly me.
Yea, I'm not orderring here again.On June 6th, 2008, donicaben added the following:
I'm still on the neutral, but leaning toward positive.
I just got off the phone with their customer service. They are replacing the hydrangea and substituting the bleeding heart with a hollyhock (they're out of the bleeding heart). If these replacements work out I will be changing my rating back to positive.
On May 11, 2008, gavinsmom Lakewood, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered from this company in spite of hit or miss results in the past because it was the only place I could find the "Orion" begonia that I like so much. I have moved and wanted to replace the ones in my old yard. Since everything was 1/2 off, I ordered a few things. The butterfly bush was dry and poorly packed. We'll see how it does. I had to soak the begonia roots, as they were dry as a bone. They are coming up okay. The lily bulbs were okay, sprouting in the packages, but neither rotting nor too dry. Order from this company knowing that there is a risk that you will not be entirely pleased, and only order when there's a big sale.
I ONLY order bulbs from this company using the wholesale catalog and I understand that a small percentage of the bulbs will be rotted or damaged and that sometimes they are mislabelled. I've ordered from them for over a decade and this is how I get 1,000's of crocus lining my driveway in a cost-effective manner. The prices are incentive for me to continue ordering from them knowing the negatives.
I've had similar experience as mjzajic. The bulbs I ordered from them were fine if a bit small, but perennials--specifically daylillies--were not. Several years ago I ordered what I thought were 3 blue daylillies (Prairie Blue Eyes) at what seemed to be a great price. They were in ok condition, but just tiny shoots and took 3 years to finally bloom. When they did finally bloom, they were not blue at all, but salmon w/ red in the center. They are not bad-looking but not even close to what I ordered. I have moved them several times because their odd color does not really go with anything else I have. Maybe this is "just me" but I have never really enjoyed them because every time I see them I am reminded of the fact they weren't what I thought I was getting.
On Feb 6, 2008, EugeniaBostwick Pinckney, MI wrote:
Von bourgondien sends out two catalogs, one wholesale, one retail. Unfortunately they use a lot of gimmicks with their customers, but their prices are sometimes good. Last year I placed a large order that included achimenes. These arrived very late, in early summer! They needed to be started MUCH earlier. However, I did not complain and I started them in pots. Only one of thirty actually grew! I work at a plant nursery, and know how to start and take care of plants.
I have ordered and received bulbs and perennials from van Burgondien for several years. All the bulbs I ordered were both bargain priced, came on time, and were mostly fat and healthy and large. The bulbs have been all outstanding and the variety they offer is exceptional.
However, my experience with ordering perennials from van Burgondien is not one I will repeat. All three times they made a mess of the order, one batch of pink double hollyhocks being delivered a year later, after I had already re-ordered it and received the re-order thinking they had lost my original order. None of the perennials ordered came at the best planting time. One batch of very expensive new cultivar of a violet daylily was a disappointment I am still angry about. The root they sent is a single tiny one which I ordered and planted three years ago. Last year one of the six plants was big enough to produce one flower. After waiting two and a half years I discoverd they had not shipped me the variety I had purchased and desired, but a very ugly brown and dark purple one. The money lost was bad enough but the disappointment after nurturing the pathetic starts for so long and finding they were the wrong one was infuriating. I will continue to order bulbs from van Burgondien, as long as they continue to be good, but never again will I risk ordering any perennials which come late, mistaken, and often in very poor condition.
My calls to them about problems were answered with smooth assurances without any follow up. mjzajic.
I was getting ready to order from the Virginia store (aka the bulb lady) when I saw all these posts. I couldn't believe it because I grew up on Long Island where the catalogue used to be based. They were considered one of the premier nurseries, and I have ordered from them in the past with good results. So I googled Van Bourgondien Long Island and came up with the website for what I think may be their original nursery--www.vanbnursery.com . They do mailorder, so may be worth a try.
I ordered madonna lilies and something else in Fall 06. When I received lilies (6), 5 of them were sprouted 4 inches or more. I emailed and was told to plant them, they would be fine. Spring came and 2 managed to send out an inch or 2 of leaves. Nothing else. I just emailed ,enclosing my original email, and they have issued me a full credit to be taken off my next order. (I have since learned that they would not likely survive in my zone, also they have increased price, likely dueto all the refunds they have to issue) Now, what to do with the refund! Should I order something as simple as a daffodil? Seems in past years I didn't have a great experience, but they keep sendlng catalogs, hence I forgot! I never did see a $25 off $25 order. Must have been a special mailing, or a misprint somewhere. I have always seen $25 a $50 order or more, hence why my mind halves all their prices.
Need suggestions on what to do with my credit!!! They were prompt via email!
On Jun 3, 2007, tepelus Fremont, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered from VB for the first time this year, ordering 3 Lady ferns, 2 Pandora's Box daylilies, 1 Blueberry Sundae daylily and 1 You-Angel-You daylily. All but one Pandora's box is growing decently, the one that isn't is very small, but I am patient and will give it some time. I hope that they all come true to flower. The ferns, on the other hand, came as three little dried up sticks without any signs of life, so I planted them each in four inch pots in dirt from the spot of which they will be planted in, mixed with sphagnum peat. As of right now, one has three fronds, one has two and the third has one. I'm going to continue babying them until I feel they are large enough to survive in my garden. I have bought bulbs from them through retail stores and had good luck with those, but I won't order from these guys again unless they have something I really, really want and can't find elsewhere.
On May 27, 2007, saintartaud Kansas City, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:
Did business with the sister company, and despite the order being late, was pretty pleased with the quality. Mind you, I'm basically a beginner and just learning to discern this stuff.
The order through Van B. arrived in a timely manner, and everything looked OK when it arrived. Results in the spring were mixed, but I am willing to conceded this could have been due to weather conditions and the local squirrel population. The corydalis and Cum Laude tulips did very well and made it through a late frost swimmingly. The English bluebells sprouted but never flowered. The species tulip violacea never came up at all. There is a possibility I received crocuses instead, but since I couldn't remember exactly where I planted everything I might be wrong. Since I was looking forward to the species tulips most, this was a big disappointment.
Worth taking a chance with the $25 off, but also worth being cautious. I may or may not order from these companies again.
On Apr 26, 2007, figaro52 Oak Lawn, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I've been generally satisfied with this company; however, upon reading many of the comments here I'm starting to get worried! I placed two orders from VB this season. I received one of them yesterday -- a dahlia tuber and some non-stop begonia tubers. Everything looked great. The balance of my order is to be shipped after May 19. This concerns me since the original ship date was to be after April 16. Perhaps something's on back order. I'm expecting red tenor phlox, some more begonias, another dahlia and some achimenes. I'll update this comment when I receive the balance of my order.
On May 4th, 2007, figaro52 added the following:
A rep from VB saw my April 26 post here and contacted me for more information about my order. She determined that it was being held up because one small item (the achimenes) was on back order. She rush shipped the begonias, phlox and dahlia to me. The items arrived yesterday in excellent condition. Nice healthy eyes on the non-stop begonias. VB seems to ship small clumps of dahlias rather than single tubers. The phlox roots were very much alive. I continue to be satisfied with my "VB Experience"!On June 5th, 2007, figaro52 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I am changing my rating to "neutral" for the following reason: On my order 2559651, the Stars of India (achimines) were scheduled to ship on 5/19/07. I checked my order status on their website only to see the notation, "item no longer available." But did I get any communication from the Bulb Lady about this? Noooooooo!
I will consider myself lucky that I've had what amounts to reasonably good luck with this company. And obviously that's all it has been -- luck! However, I will not press my luck any further and will not do business with this company in the future. I get "really frosted" when vendors do not communicate with their customers. Just when you think things are going well...
This was my first order fromt this company, I also used the code which gives $25 off, but to protect myself I only placed a $25 order, so all I would be out was the $8.95 shipping cost. I also wrote a check and mailed the order instead of giving out my credit card number. My order was promptly acknowledged by e-mail, including a separate reply to my request to ship early (before the stated beginning ship date of March 19 if possible). My order arrived March 22. No one tried to convince me to increase my order (other than by sending me more catalogs).
I ordered 2 bags of Chinchincheree (Ornithogalum thyrsoides) purportedly containing 10 bulbs each. More than half were moldy and shriveled or rotted.Those that were not moldy,shriveled or rotten were tiny and already sprouting. One bag contained a small, almost rectangular piece of gravel in lieu of one of the bulbs. I also ordered six narcissus described as "Summer Daffodil Erlicheer" which appear to be plantable, although sprouting already. However, they were not rotted or mushy and except for sprouting, were of average quality.. I suspect they may have been somebody's fall '06 inventory, as the ones in my garden have already bloomed.
I also ordered a Gloriosa Rothschildiana (Climbing Lily) I do not know if what I received was good or bad quality, as I have no experience with what it should look like.
Considering I only paid $8.95, I did not get ripped off, but the quality of the order did not give me the confidence to place additional orders, especially in light of their overall negative rating on this site.