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The scoop on 'Old House Gardens - Heirloom Bulbs'

  Company Profile  
Old House Gardens - Heirloom Bulbs

Green Star: Good Old House Gardens - Heirloom Bulbs is a Watchdog 30 company. Green Star: Good

Mailing Address:
4175 Whitmore Lake Rd.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105 (United States)

Phone: (734) 995-1486
Fax: (734) 995-1687

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: $2

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Recent reviews:
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Positive 1 3 3
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This company offers a variety of bulbs.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Company Comment, posted on November 29, 2004:  
We'd love to serve you! Since 1993 we've been America's only mail-order source devoted entirely to heirloom bulbs, many of them available nowhere else.

Our easy, gorgeous, and unusual bulbs grow at historic sites from Williamsburg to Alcatraz and in home gardens from Maine to Texas to Oregon. We pride ourselves on the outstanding quality of our bulbs and our very friendly service.

Please visit our website, like us on Facebook, or subscribe to our email newsletter to learn more and enrich your landscape with "Heirloom Bulbs for Every Garden"!

Vanessa, Owner and Horticulturist, Old House Gardens

  Feedback History and Summary  
299 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Positive dave12122
East Haddam, CT
(81 reviews)
April 2, 2021
Posted on October 31, 2011, updated April 2, 2021
I placed a very small order with Old House gardens, so it is hard to make a definitive statement right now. My 6 hyacinths of 2 varieties were sent immediately, and the bulbs appear healthy. Scott's handwritten note on the invoice was a nice touch. Unfortunately, the prices seem pretty high across the board.and many of the choicer items tend to sell out immediately. I guess the proof of the pudding will be how the bulbs perform next Spring. I'll try to update this review at that time.
On April 2nd, 2021, dave12122 added the following:

Looks like I never "finished" my original review. All the Hyacinths did well for many years before gradually petering out. But that is typical of Hyacinths I find, they are short lived in Connecticut. I just received an order for one item, Crocosmia Star Of The East. The bulbs look exceptionally healthy and I am sure they will do well. I also appreciate the very well written planting guide which features many invaluable tips. Despite the somewhat high prices, Old House Gardens sells some of the best bulbs out there. They have survived the test of time and I now consider them an "institution". May they continue to do well and rock the heirloom bulb industry!
Positive rosefool
Grapevine, TX
(5 reviews)
March 10, 2021
I received a variety of bulbs from Old House Gardens last October. I was concerned, because it was still way too hot here in Texas, so I put them in the refrigerator, planning to plant them in mid to late November. Well, life happened, and they sat in my refrigerator until I finally got them in the ground on February 1st. I wasn’t sure they would survive, much less bloom this year. When I planted them, though,I was amazed by the large size of the bulbs, and the fact that all of them were firm and healthy looking, even after more than 3 months in my refrigerator. So, I had some hope for them.

After only five weeks in the ground one of the daffodil varieties (Carlton) is blooming! Every single one of the fifty assorted bulbs I planted is coming up vigorously, and I attribute this to the size and quality of the bulbs I receive—they are flourishing in spite of my neglect.

I also dealt with them on the phone about a couple of small glitches (neither of which was their fault). They responded promptly, and went out of their way to help me.

I will order from this company again!

Positive SQinNV
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
(3 reviews)
February 7, 2021
I have bought daffodils from Old House Gardens since 2018. The bulbs are so healthy! The daffodils are stunning!
Positive genghiskuhn
Binghamton, NY
(4 reviews)
April 9, 2020
Wonderful experience with OHG. I placed a large order last fall and was very pleased. Great customer service (I had a question about an out-of-stock item), good sized bulbs (all of which came up this spring, except some pesky winter aconite--notoriously difficult, and almost certainly my fault, not theirs), and quick shipping. I have placed another order this spring with them, which I anticipate will also be good--unfortunately, they have had to suspend shipping due to rules put in place to respond to Michigan's coronavirus outbreak and things will be delayed. However, this is not the company's fault, and they have clearly communicated with me at every step of the way about delays. Really great and would recommend!
Positive VeryVer
Middlebury, VT
(6 reviews)
February 7, 2020
Great little company. Lovely catalog -- so much fun to read about the bulbs. All my orders have been perfect, with charming labels and a personal touch. They always ship priority mail. All the bulbs have grown and I've been so pleased. The website is full of information; so much so that this year I tried forcing hyacinths bulbs, and they are blooming now! The prices are higher than other places that sell bulbs, but these are very unusual bulbs, and they make you feel like you are helping to not only keep some of these rare flowers alive and blooming, but also helping small businesses.
Positive DonnaMack
Elgin, IL (Zone 5a)
(64 reviews)
October 28, 2019
Posted on October 15, 2016, updated October 28, 2019
Posted on July 27, 2015, updated October 15, 2016
Posted on October 18, 2014, updated July 27, 2015
Posted on November 23, 2013, updated October 18, 2014
Posted on October 15, 2013, updated November 23, 2013
Posted on October 15, 2012, updated October 15, 2013
Posted on October 10, 2012, updated October 15, 2012
Posted on April 1, 1999, updated October 10, 2012
I would like to add to the raves for Old House Gardens.Having read great things about this catalogue in various places, and having been disappointed in bulbs that I received from another company, I was seeking Anemone blandas, and wanted to purchase them from OHG. I did not see them in the catalogue, so I sent an e-mail to the address listed.Much to my surprise, the very next morning produced a response from Scott Kunst. This started a terrific series of messages, which I will sum up. Mr. Kunst responded that it was not in the catalogue, but if I would agree to purchase 96, he would special order them for me. Stunned, I e-mailed back asking how he would like payment. I also expressed my disappointment with the other company. The next morning he responded that he had researched Anemone blanda, and found that it was not sufficiently antique to include in the catalogue (which is, after all, his goal), but that he liked the blue ones enough to order some for himself. He added that I could order and pay for them now or pay for them when they arrived later in the year. Best of all, he found something nice to say about his competitor, urging me to be patient. Wow!! I expanded my order to 96 white anemones, 96 blue ones, as well as 36 crocuses (so far!!) You already have great comments about the quality of Mr. Kunst's bulbs. I just wanted you to know about the wonderful responsiveness of the people at this terrific company.
On October 10th, 2012, DonnaMack added the following:

I had ordered from OHG in the past, and always was happy with the marvelous bulbs, and decided to try their peonies. I ordered Mrs. FDR, a peony I had at my previous address and wanted to replace. All of the bulbs were excellent, of course, but the peony was traffic stopping. I stopped counting at 14 eyes. Amazing. Even more amazing is that I found it on another website for $26.95. OHG sold it for $17.50. I'm thrilled.

Another note. Like Forest Farm, OHG had seemed expensive to me in past years. But middling companies now charge more than these two great entities. Both have "stood their ground" in terms of price. I will now be returning to both these superior purveyors. I am a very returning customer of OHG.
On October 15th, 2012, DonnaMack added the following:

I should add that I also ordered Mrs. Backhouse daffodils, and I was installing them today. The bulbs are outrageous, not just excellent, as I noted in my review of October 10, with huge double noses. I had to dig more deeply to get these extraordinary daffodils into the ground. I have ordered from some fine companies, but I have never seen bulbs, particularly heirloom bulbs, of this size.

I am so impressed.
On October 15th, 2013, DonnaMack added the following:

I just finished installing my new peonies from Old House Gardens - and it was actually a pleasure. Besides being sizable, the roots are horizontally positioned. I have had problems in the past with vertical roots, in that the base tends to rot and destroy the entire peony. Scott's are beautifully shaped.The trilliums I ordered were packaged with great care, and a clearly visible message, not lost in paper, to plant them without delay. All of the bulbs I ordered were large and fresh.

I can't wait to see what offerings are available in the spring.
On November 23rd, 2013, DonnaMack added the following:

Received stunning lilium martagon albums from the Old House Garden sale. They are so large that I can hardly believe that they are species lilies. And Scott kindly enclosed a couple of extra bulbs. I know that typically these lilies take a couple of years to start blooming, but given the size, I have my fingers crossed!
On October 18th, 2014, DonnaMack added the following:

Just wanted to add that the martagons I got from Scott bloomed THE FIRST year. This never happens. 100% growth on 8 bulbs. Amazing!
On July 27th, 2015, DonnaMack added the following:

I would be remiss if I did not comment about the sensational lilies I received from Old House Gardens last year. Some of the lilies I ordered are notoriously difficult - lilium candidum and lilium auratum platyphyllum, 3 of each, along with three White Henryi. The latter I knew would be fine but the first two are often problematical, and although I did the necessary soil preparation and planting I tempered my expectations.

Not necessary! Not only did my jaw drop when the difficult lilies bloomed, but I got inquiries and compliments on all three, which, of course, many people had never seen before.

Thank you, Scott and your whole team. The two "tricky ones" were dream lilies for me. I have grown lilies for many years but never attempted them. Now I know that if I want first rate "fussy" lilies - I should order them from OHG.
On October 15th, 2016, DonnaMack added the following:

Since my very difficult lilies from last year bloomed then, and then redoubled their little efforts this year, I did not hesitate to order from this great company. My bulbs have arrived, and once again, they are fabulous. My trilliums from two years ago did not appear - I should add that there were NO trilliums anywhere around me this year, which may have something to do with it. But there was no questioning, no hesitation - they were replaced. I will put the replacements in a better place than two years ago, and have no concerns.

The comments I received on my lilium platyphyllums, in particular, were wonderful. People had never seen them - I had only seen them once. It is thrilling when things considered exotic and difficult come up with ease, but then this is exactly what you can expect from The wonderful people at Old House Gardens. That is, the extraordinary becoming commonplace, but never taken for granted by me.
On October 28th, 2019, DonnaMack added the following:

Received terrific peony roots from Old House Gardens: Lady Alexandra Duff and Mrs. FDR. I ordered peonies from them a few years ago that have consistently performed, and some are available nowhere else. And the prices for them are the same, or lower, than many other providers. I tucked them in the ground and am looking very forward to their bloom.
Positive ameliedanjou
River Forest, IL
(1 review)
October 16, 2019
I've been ordering from OHG for years now, and they are great! Their catalog and website are a delight to read, and the bulbs they send are in great shape. I love the history of the plants. This spring I got dahlias and gladiolas for the 1st time, and they were amazing! The Peter Pears glad and Jane Cowl dahlia in particular (both peach) were beautiful. If they run out they will either give you a credit or send other bulbs, your choice. I've already ordered for this fall and next spring!
Positive mylittletrees
Corning, OH
(20 reviews)
March 30, 2019
I placed an order for fall planted bulbs. The bulbs arrived, and looked great; nice sized and very healthy looking. They have a great working website that is informative. I'm a satisfied customer, and would order here again. Everything I planted is coming up now. I only had a little problem with one item, but they worked with me on that one. Great place to buy bulbs! Recommended!
Neutral gwallace4159
Dubuque, IA (Zone 4b)
(1 review)
June 13, 2018
Posted on June 6, 2018, updated June 13, 2018
I loved Old House Garden catalog and customer service, so last fall I placed my first order. I was sadly disappointed by my order. Both irises were soft and rotting, the David Howard Dahlia was a spindly, dried out dead tuber and several other dahlias had no viable eye. Only the gladiolus looked great. The company’s response was shocking. They said that they were sorry that I was angry about my order, but heirlooms have a different look. I could send the whole order back and get a refund. Since I had placed the order to get the David Howard Dahlia and the Jane Cowl Dahlia, I only wanted a partial refund. I wanted the good items. I stated that I didn’t need a refund, but I would never order from them again. Jane Cowl never did develop an eye, so I am back to being mad about my disappointing experience.
On June 13th, 2018, gwallace4159 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

P.S. Thank you, Old House Gardens, for kindly refunding me for my dahlias and Irises. I am sadly disappointed that I didn’t get to see some of my order, this year, but I would like to try again next year.
Positive flowers4birds
Chilton, WI (Zone 5b)
(12 reviews)
May 10, 2018
I can't say enough good things about Old House Gardens. I've been buying from them for a few years and have never failed to be impressed. On one occasion I got a plant that failed to thrive, and they quickly replaced it. I'm a history buff, and such an old citizen, that I remember heirloom flowers my mother grew 70 years ago. When we bought a very old farm in Wisconsin, a lot of neglected heirloom plants came with it. I helped them thrive and kept most of them going which is not always easy. Thus I appreciate how so many growers for Old House Gardens have managed to keep heirloom plants alive. I love heirlooms, and keep on buying more even though I'm running out of room for them. Each bulb comes with a paper explaining how to plant and grow it. Their catalog also is loaded with information about growing the plants. There are more varieties online, complete with detailed information about how to grow them. The only failure I have had is with Irises. I couldn't keep the heirloom irises that came with our farm going. Irises I bought didn't thrive either. I have some heirloom pass-along irises of unknown variety that survive and bloom, but even one the Old House Gardens sent as a bonus refuses to bloom, though the plant is extremely healthy. I thus assume that there is something about my soil that Iris plants find lacking. The bulbs and roots I buy from them are always large and healthy, and the daylilies I have bought came larger than I expected. My mother grew Mrs Backhouse daffodils which were my favorite, so I got some bulbs from Old House Gardens and the flowers are twice as big as the ones my mother grew. That was a surprise. If you love old tried and true varieties of bulbs dahlias and lilies, you'll love what this company offers.
Positive dacoitdan
Lanexa, VA
(11 reviews)
April 30, 2018
My first order with this company. I ordered dahlias and iris. Because of the cold weather, the iris delayed my order a bit. They grow them in Michigan and the ground was still frozen. I was in touch with Kelsey in customer service who made sure my order went out promptly and followed up with me. My order was received and all plants were top grade and healthy. Besides product quality, the true measure of a company is customer service. This company is top notch in this regard. I will definitely order from them again and recommend them highly.
Positive nkda1819
Indianapolis, IN (Zone 6a)
(2 reviews)
November 18, 2017
I have ordered from OHG over the past 2 or so years, usually a fall and spring shipment. Although their prices may sometimes be a bit higher than other suppliers (if their stock is available elsewhere which isn't usually the case), I feel good supporting their business and the work that they do. Everything I have ordered from them has arrived promptly and in tip-top shape. They even managed to coordinate delivery of last spring's shipment to a friend's address while we were involved in a cross-country move. The dahlias, especially, which I have received from them have been superlative. Their dahlias have grown better than those from any other supplier I have utilized. Keep up the good work!
Positive nitzi1944
Kings Park, NY (Zone 7a)
(12 reviews)
December 17, 2016
Posted on November 2, 2015, updated December 17, 2016
Posted on June 18, 2015, updated November 2, 2015
Posted on October 21, 2014, updated June 18, 2015
I just received my hyacinth bulbs. They were well packed and are huge. I can't wait to plant them. A quality company.
On June 18th, 2015, nitzi1944 added the following:

This is a top notch company. Followed up with me on some hyacinths that's didn't bloom. Now when was the last time a company followed up with someone rather than the customer chasing the company??? I am impressed. Hopefully, the new hyacinths which will be planted this Fall will make it.
On November 2nd, 2015, nitzi1944 added the following:

I received the replacement hyacinth bulbs and some others I ordered. They were all top quality and were planted. This is a A #1company to deal with.
On December 17th, 2016, nitzi1944 added the following:

A great company to deal with. I love the unusual selections. the bulbs come well packaged. I wish i had known about this company 20 years ago when my son was at UM. I would have visited!ll
Positive wahle
Glen Carbon, IL (Zone 6a)
(3 reviews)
October 23, 2016
Very nice bulbs which arrived in excellent condition. What I really liked was the label on every bag...not only listed what was in the bag, but also the description from the catalog and very specific planting details. So nice not to have to go back to the web or catalog to get exposure and soil conditions in order to plant.
Positive Ves
Buffalo, NY (Zone 5b)
(13 reviews)
October 17, 2016
This was my first order from Old House Gardens and my experience couldn't be more positive. Their bulbs are huge, healthy, and the daffies have so many offsets that I felt as if I got them in a doubled quantity. One of the rare tulips didn't make it this season at their Dutch grower and there was a nice personal note explaining it. I remain hopeful that this was only a one-season crop "hick-up" and that this tulip will not go extinct. I was very happy though that the other tulip, which was my top choice and would not be able to find in the states had it not been for this company, did make it! For someone who prefers heirlooms without gambling on the quality, OHG is a treasure find. Not just a quality bulb provider, but also doing an admirable task of preserving the heritage.
Positive Elspeth65
Stow, OH
(6 reviews)
July 10, 2016
I placed quite a large order with Old House Gardens last fall. I'm a history buff and love heirloom plants of all kinds. The order arrived in good time for planting, and all the bulbs were huge and healthy. Many of them had so many offsets it was like getting 2 or 3 bulbs in one. They all came up in the spring, even the ones the dog replanted, and bloomed fiercely. I'm very pleased and will definitely order again.
Positive kazulstrut
Portland, OR (Zone 8b)
(1 review)
July 8, 2016
The very BEST customer service experience I've ever had.

As a first-time customer in Fall 2015, I bought five varieties of tulips from Old House Gardens, some broken and some not. The resulting blooms were even more beautiful than I'd anticipated (especially the broken tulips, next to which my more modern "Rembrandt" tulips paled in comparison), but one of the unbroken tulips I'd ordered was affected by tulip breaking virus (despite the precautions taken by OHG to package each variety separately and the care I'd taken to isolate my broken tulips). When I contacted Old House Gardens to ask what I should do to keep the virus from spreading to my other unbroken tulips, I was blown away with the promptness and thoroughness of Vanessa's reply. She recommended immediately removing the affected plant from its virus-free neighbors, and offered a refund, a replacement bulb, or store credit +10%. As availability of the same variety had not yet been confirmed for 2016, I opted for the credit +10% and asked whether one of the similar tulip varieties might be a suitable substitute. Though I expected just a brief reply, Vanessa included photos of the varieties I'd mentioned to help me decide. This year, I'll be buying both a replacement for the affected tulip and additional broken tulips, as they've become perhaps the most striking flowers in my garden.

Though more expensive than the other catalogs I tend to peruse, my 2016 order from Old House Gardens will be the first thing I account for in my Fall planting budget, and I anticipate being a returning customer for many years to come.
Positive falkenberg
Bolingbrook, IL
(1 review)
May 19, 2016
Healthy bulbs that produce flowers that bring a smile to my face when I see them. I love the ability to pick bulbs that my grandmas, mom and aunts would have used. Friendly, knowledgable staff. The best.
Positive MollyBlooms
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
(12 reviews)
May 1, 2016
Posted on November 30, 2015, updated May 1, 2016
Posted on April 19, 2015, updated November 30, 2015
Posted on January 19, 2015, updated April 19, 2015
Scott and his crew consistently deliver excellent customer service to go with their carefully vetted selection of heirloom bulbs. I appreciate their caution in their canna offerings; not every company would be so scrupulously ethical. I've ordered from OHG for years and will do so again.
On April 19th, 2015, MollyBlooms added the following:

Received my order last week, and as usual, it was full of plump, healthy bulbs/tubers and detailed directions on how to make them thrive. I received a HUGE cluster of Little Beeswing dahlia - looks like the produce of an entire plant!
On November 30th, 2015, MollyBlooms added the following:

A further testament to the quality of OHG's bulbs: I dug up my glads last week, most of them from OHG and one variety from Brent and Becky's bulbs. I was delighted with the abundant bulb harvest. It surely helps to start with quality!
On May 1st, 2016, MollyBlooms added the following:

Received my spring bulb order; as usual, the quality, communications, and attention to service are impressive. Because of crop failure, the parrot glads I wanted were not available, but OHG more than made up for it with substituted bulbs (I specified in my order that I was willing for OHG to substitute).
Positive rdtjr05
Franklin, TN
(30 reviews)
April 11, 2016
Posted on November 2, 2015, updated April 11, 2016
First time purchaser but won't be the last. All the bulbs looked high quality. Pricing was fair for size and quality. Excellent selection. Very pleased.

On April 11th, 2016, rdtjr05 added the following:

Update for spring 2016 order. Just received last week. The heirloom iris - all pre 17th century varieties - have already started growing again. The rest of the order was bulbs which all look plump and solid. I was equally impressed by the personalized handwritten note where they even wrote that they hoped I was enjoying the bulbs from my order LAST fall!
Positive AS
(Zone 7a)
(46 reviews)
November 4, 2015
Posted on April 20, 2015, updated November 4, 2015
Posted on April 20, 2015, updated April 20, 2015

On April 20th, 2015, AS added the following:

They are pricey, but seem like a good supplier for bulbs, corms, etc. that are hard to find elsewhere. They also carry some things that are very easy to find, and generally inexpensive from other suppliers, like Ice Follies daffodils.

What. I received was satisfactory or better. Mostly impressive sizes, but the iris ranged from “wow” to pretty small (I was debating about whether a couple should go into a nursery bed first, instead of straight into the border.) And I’m not crazy about their method of sending sprouted iris in the spring, so you have to run out ASAP to plant them and water them in, rather than sending them during the dormant stage like everyone else. But that’s how they do business, and you know that up front.
On November 4th, 2015, AS added the following:

A small selection of their bulbs arrived promptly, fresh and firm. Their daffodil bulbs seemed small, which surprised me for the high price, but I'll wait and see how they bloom in the spring. Could just be the variety.

My experiences with their iris from last spring were mixed. None bloomed (not too surprising, given the planting time). The largest fan did very well, a smaller one did fine. One of the two tiny ones rotted after looking like it would be OK for a few weeks (could have been borers, though I haven't had trouble with them in my other irises). And the tiniest one disappeared within a week. I would definitely try a nursery bed or pot sunk into the ground if I ever try their irises again and they're this small. Everything else was fine.
Positive Okcdebbie
Edmond, OK
(1 review)
April 23, 2015
I live on a corner lot that is passed by everyone entering or leaving my neighborhood. Old House Gardens is my "go to" place to have a head turning curb appeal view. We also have a large number of walkers who often stop and ask where I get my amazing day lilies, tulips, glads, etc. my answer is always Old House Gardens. Keep up the great work. My neighborhood appreciates it.
Negative kfoster15
Houston, TX
(1 review)
April 2, 2015
I have placed several orders with Old House Gardens. I have ordered Dahlias, Irises, and many of the very expensive broken Tulips. I tried to call and place an order in the Fall of '14 but was informed that since it was 20 minutes past the deadline they could not accept my order. I was really disappointed as I had my eye on, among other things, true English Bluebells. What is the use of supporting small, specialty companies if they are unwilling to accommodate a 20 minute lapse due to their bureaucracy?
Company representative comment on April 3, 2015:
On Apr 3, 2015 11:04 AM, Old House Gardens - Heirloom Bulbs responded with:

We’re sorry we served you poorly! You caught us at the very end of our fall shipping season, when a sudden onslaught of sub-zero weather had us scrambling to fill the last of our orders and ship them safely.

But you’re right, 20 minutes shouldn’t have made a difference, and I hope there’s some way we can make this up to you. Please let us know. We appreciate your past support and we want you happy!

Scott Kunst, owner

Positive AlGrowsWeeds
Northwestern, NJ
(1 review)
March 24, 2015
If I could rate my experiences with OHG as 'outstanding', I would do that. I can't say enough good things about this company or the people who work there.

Every bulb that I've received from them (and I've received MANY over the years!) has been huge, healthy and exactly as promised. The customer service is awesome and, of course, the hand-written notes are the best!

I wish every mail order flower company delivered the goods the way this one does. It truly is a pleasure doing business with them.

Okay, I sound like an advertisement....
Positive stewardess
Easton, PA (Zone 6a)
(8 reviews)
January 22, 2015
I placed my first order with Old House Gardens last spring, for dahlia tubers and gladiolus corms.

They arrived in perfect condition, apart from one dahlia tuber. That tuber was accompanied by a brief note which described the tuber as "homely" and explained that, while the tuber appeared a little ugly, it was perfectly viable and I was urged to give it a try. The note went on to say that if I chose not to plant the "homely" tuber, I could simply contact OHG for a refund or credit. Moreover, if I planted the tuber and it didn't thrive, I could contact OHG for a refund or credit. I was both amused and inspired by this opportunity. Although this particular dahlia crop hadn't produced OHG's usual healthy tubers, I was still given the chance to try to grow the dahlia I had wanted. Gardeners are by nature highly ethical, and they respect life. I was elated that the perfectly viable tuber hadn't gone to waste, and I was thrilled to be consulted and given the choice to salvage the less-than-perfect tuber, rather than simply told the dahlia wasn't available.

I love the way OHG does business. Beyond the admirable ethics of salvaging rare items, OHG treats their customers ethically, and with respect and care. I trust them. I have since placed a subsequent order for additional tubers for the coming spring. Tubers from the previous order thrived and quadrupled in size. Gladiolus corms also thrived. Both tubers and corms produced flowers that mirrored the photos depicted on OHG's website. Very satisfying results!
Positive glendower
West Park, NY
(3 reviews)
November 24, 2014
I placed two separate orders for bulbs in the fabulous end-of-season sale OHG had earlier this month. Both orders arrived looking great, but best of all were the kind and encouraging notes Kathy wrote me on each of my orders. This company does personalized customer service and does it wonderfully. I'll certainly keep coming back! Thank you, Kathy, and OHG!
Positive ycn4chin
Dickson, TN
(38 reviews)
November 19, 2014
I order Spring blooming bulbs every year. This is the first time in a long time that I have been satisfied with every single bulb I received. The majority of the daffodils were double-nosed. All the bulbs were firm and fresh. The peony I received had many eyes. I loved the handwritten note from Scott and the extra bulb he included. This company is as passionate about their stock as the customers who purchase it! I cannot wait to see the blooms on these heirlooms. I look forward to ordering more items, and would recommend this company to my gardening friends.
Positive Alexander_R
Santa Clarita, CA (Zone 9b)
(6 reviews)
November 17, 2014
Highly Recommended. This is a company that really cares. I have ordered from them many times. They are more expensive than a lot of other companies, but for very good reasons: Superior personalized customer service. Quality bulbs. An excellent and amazing selection of bulbs from throughout history, many so rare you will only find them elsewhere in historical collections.

Although not as bad as when a wild species disappears, once a named variety of plant or flower falls out of fashion or meets rough times, unless it is grown every year by someone, it simply disappears forever, which sadly has happened far more often than not. There are many botanical books and catalogs from centuries past showing the literally thousands of plants that have been lost. At one time there were about 2,000 unique varieties of hyacinths alone.

I often order more than I plan to. If they have something you like, it may be your only chance. Their rarest bulbs actually do come from historical collections. Others are grown by only one last grower and on several occasions have suddenly become commercially extinct.

Positive GingerLu1
Casco, ME
(1 review)
November 17, 2014
After many years of buying bulbs from Old House Bulbs I am truly excited to say they continue to exceed my expectations with every order I receive from them. I have sent many orders to family on special occasions and they have been thrilled with their gifts of forever blooms in their gardens. I especially like the comments Scott and his staff take the time to personally add on the bags and order form to make sure I plant them exactly right to assure the best results and to give encouragement like an old friend! They are the best! Jane Chouinard 11/16/14
Positive RosemaryK
Lexington, MA (Zone 6a)
(6 reviews)
November 16, 2014
Gosh, I should have written before because they are teriffic. The garden stock is top notch, you know you are supporting a company that cares to preserve heirloom plants, the website is informative and easy to navigate, their sales are super...This week I ordered fall bulbs on the last day of the sale knwoing full well that I might have a cold snap. Scott took the initiative to send the bulbs express with a kind note to say why he rushed the bulbs. Well you know I had to go out with the flashlight and a trowel the night they came, because that kind of thoughtfulness inspires action.
Positive Alison_turtle
Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b)
(1 review)
November 13, 2014
Lovely bulbs! - I won't know until spring how fabulous they really are, but in the meantime, OHG sent a lot of great information about each of the species I ordered. I've grown bulbs for years but I have to admit that I learned quite a few new things reading the package inserts with this shipment. I'm really impressed by the dedication and obvious love that they have for their plants and I'm very happy to be their customer. (And will have great fun choosing which dahlias to order come spring!) Thank you!
Positive granitegneiss
Norridgewock, ME (Zone 5a)
(3 reviews)
November 13, 2014
I've now had two orders from this company, and both have been such a pleasure. They are friendly people, the bulbs are great, delivered promptly, the information is complete, the one substitution that occurred (which I had said in advance was ok) was very generous and welcome. Definitely will be back.
Positive chflowers
Bar Harbor, ME
(1 review)
October 16, 2014
Old House Gardens has impeccable taste and top of the line quality bulbs, but the best part is knowing that I am playing a small role in something much larger than myself- preserving historical heirloom plants! Thank you Old House for your hard work and dedication! (you should see my stand of 'black beauty' lilies! knock out!!)
Positive HopMan
Cleveland Heights, OH
(1 review)
June 2, 2014
I Just had to write a note with how impressed I have been with my dealings with OHG. I ordered a bunch of tulips, daffodils and a peony that were planted last fall. The bulbs all came up and prefromed beautifully. I am new to growing peonies. I had begun to worry that the super cold artic blasts we recieved in Northeast Ohio this winter had done in my Mrs. FDR peony so I sent OHG an e-mail requesting some further information about what I should be expecting. I got a wonderful respones suggesting it might be another week or so till it breaks the ground but that they would check back in and see if she had appeared and if not they would refund with 10% credit per thier policy. However, I hadn't even asked for a refund and I was impressed with how importatnt it was to them that I was happy. I got a follow up e-mail two weeks later, mind you I forgot to update them to let them know that the day after my e-mail Mrs. FDR had appeared and is settling in wonderfully. Thanks OHG for being such a great resource!.
Positive plover12
Grand Marais, MI
(6 reviews)
May 12, 2014
I just received my gorgeous "Blue Rhythm" iris and it is a top-quality plant! I was delighted to receive not one, but THREE fans, which will help it establish much more quickly. Old House Gardens has, hands down, the best service I've ever received from a mail-order garden company. Great products (I've never had a bad one!) and wonderful service. Too bad all garden mail order companies can't be run like this.
Positive earthwindandsky
Whispering Pines, NC
(1 review)
May 12, 2014
I love the bulbs I got from this company and am preparing to place my third order. The narcissus I planted last fall are some of the best narcissus I've ever had - gorgeous, mature size, and bloomed for weeks. I appreciate this company's commitment to high quality, heirloom bulbs and their excellent customer service. They really do seem to care about their customers and included a personal note with the packaging. They even called me to let me know that I had inadvertently ordered some bulbs outside my plant hardiness zone and asked if I wanted to substitute something else. Thank you Old House Gardens!
Positive nevadagdn
Sparks, NV (Zone 7a)
(118 reviews)
May 6, 2014
Posted on October 10, 2013, updated May 6, 2014
Posted on October 10, 2013, updated October 10, 2013
Posted on April 13, 2013, updated October 10, 2013
Posted on November 6, 2003, updated April 13, 2013
My bulbs were shipped promptly, and are in good condition. There was a nice personal note from Scott Kunst on my order. Unfortunately for my budget, I'll be a return customer! I love the selection, and am willing to pay a bit extra for heart-rendingly gorgeous tulips, daffodils and other bulbs from previous centuries.
On November 10th, 2003, nevadagdn added the following:

I didn't even make it to the next season before another sale jumped out of the Old House Gardens website and raided my budget! Again, the bulbs are lovely, and Scott included 15 Crocus tommasinianus, my very favorite of all the Crocus species, free of charge.
On March 22nd, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:

Everything is either up and budded, blooming, or already done blooming. Gorgeous bulbs, gorgeous varieties. Did I mention how much I love C. tommasinianus?
On October 13th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:

Everything from last year did so well that I was able to harvest offsets or even blooming-size bulbs from what I planted. Encouraged by my success, I placed an embarassingly large order which has arrived in wonderful condition, and there were plenty of extras. There was a nice personal note with my order, too.

The prices are not low, but OHG carries things you just can't find anywhere else, like tulips from the 17th-19th centuries, daffodils and hyacinths from the 19th century and other beauties. I'd say the prices are justified considering the gorgeous flowers I've grown from their bulbs.

I'd say the only reason this company is not in the top 20 is because of their narrow specialty (same can be said of Odyssey Bulbs). It certainly should be in the top 20!
On November 5th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:

The lilies I ordered this year are the fattest, heaviest bulbs I have received from any source, mail-order or brick-and-mortar retail. (I hadn't ordered *lilies* from OHG before--just daffs, tulips, hyacinths and crocus).
On April 4th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:

I HIGHLY recommend the Hyacinth rarities sampler. Sure, it's between $5.00 and $6.00 a bulb, but what colors! Oranjeboven (sp?) is a wonderful orange-sherbet color, Lord Balfour is an unusual (and attractive) mauve, Apple Blossom is a pale pink, just like (surprise!) an apple blossom, and Blue Diamond starts an intriguing blend of cream, sky blue and light green maturing to a beautiful clear sky blue. Menelik really IS almost black. The colors are richer and more nuanced than modern hybrids. And then there's the dizzying fragrance...(Scott, I'll email you a photo tonight)
On April 27th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:

The antique daffodils offered by OHG are incredibly gorgeous. Try the rarities samplers for some that will make you swoon. My spring order arrived today, and everything is nice and healthy.
On October 21st, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:

Ho-hum! Another absolutely wonderful order, complete with a handwritten note from Scott, notes on the condition of some of the bulbs, and a personal stickie from Charlie (the cat)! I just finished sorting all of last fall's tulips and hyacinths from OHG, and the vast majority (I think I lost maybe 2%) of them are still healthy, with good increase.
On October 31st, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:

I (finally) got my bulbs in the ground this weekend. Beautiful big bulbs. I also placed another order late last week, because I just couldn't resist some of the things I'd overlooked.
On November 5th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:

My final order for the fall arrived this week--beautiful bulbs! Of course I'll be back for more in the Spring...
On November 6th, 2007, nevadagdn added the following:

Nicest bulbs I received from any company (and I order from several to get everything I crave). Same good service and personal touches.
On April 13th, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:

I got an order of daylilies and iris yesterday. No change. I also got an order of mostly daffodils last fall. Still wonderful after all these years.
On October 10th, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:

I got my fall order. Beautiful bulbs. I can't wait for spring to see them come up and bloom.
On October 10th, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:

Wow! 10 years! This must be the crocus anniversary, right?
On May 6th, 2014, nevadagdn added the following:

Excellent, prompt service, great usual :-) I got daylilies and iris this time.
Positive yaelbelle
Baton Rouge, LA
(1 review)
April 5, 2014
I can't say enough good things about Old House Gardens. The first bulb I ever planted came from them a little over a decade ago. The service, info, product, and help were so spectacular, that I have ordered from them ever since. I have never been disappointed, but have frequently been happily surprised. I buy bulbs online exclusively from them. Locally I try out a variety of other things at local plant shows, but frankly, I am most often most pleasantly surprised by Old House Gardens. My bulbs always arrive with excellent information and instructions never leaving me unclear or with further questions. I can't recall such a long-term satisfactory shopping experience anywhere else for anything else!
Positive NeliM
Henderson, NV
(1 review)
March 16, 2014
I ordered four Cryptomeria Radicans/evergreen trees. For this small order I received so much attention (incl. several e-mails, future discounts, instructions for my plants...). I am so satisfied because my plants were shipped immediately and I received them in perfect condition after a long way traveling.
Thank you so much
Positive ShadowWoods
Brownsville, CA (Zone 7b)
(3 reviews)
January 13, 2014
This is an excellent company with great communication and customer service. Their unusual collection of unique bulbs is certainly their niche. The only nit I have with them is that some of their run-of-the-mill items can be found less expensively at other sources.

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