I mail order perennials from various companies across Canada and I've found Breck's quality to be impressive and of one of the highest quality. I've ordered bulbs, rhizomes and roots and all have been robust and large, well packaged, and arrived quickly after the shipping season began. I look forward to future purchases!
The only complaint so to speak, which I have of most companies selling perennials, is that some of their hardiness ratings are off which can be important factor in a plants success and survival for folks in the colder 3-4 zones. I always cross reference a plant's hardiness zone from a few sources before purchasing as should most buyers, the same goes with buying from some nurseries and garden centers.
Cheers from Atlantic Canada
johnsankey Ottawa, Canada (1 review) July 28, 2017
I tried to place an order with them, and they won't allow me to unless I agree to receive marketing emails. I get far too much spam as it is without adding to it!
As previous reviewers have noticed, VERY slow shipping. Especially in the North Northeast. I hope to get my plants before I have to get a pick axe to dig a hole in frozen ground!!!
benavis Dunnville, Ont., Canada (1 review) May 7, 2016
I have always done well with Breck's Bulbs buying many spring flowering bulbs. I bought perennials and received them when specified. Each perennial was about 3 inches in length consisting of mainly roots. I have planted them all but considering the size of the plants and the cost for each I do not think I got value for money.
The recent catalog stated that my credit card would not be charged until the shipment shipped. This was scheduled for September. I found out my credit card was immediately charged and when I phoned I was told because one item was shipped. The item was a free plant. The order was around $300. As much as I like the bulbs I will be cancelling this order. My advice, stay away from the perennials.
nalababe Toronto, Canada (1 review) November 13, 2015
Late one night earlier this week, I was thinking that I really needed some bulbs for the garden and front yard. Flipping through a number of sites, I found that Brecks still have bulbs for sale and at the 80% discount. So I bought some tulips, muscari, hyacinths, Hardy Cyclemen and crocus...maybe 150 dollars worth (all at the 80% saving...so no way I would have spent the money for all these).
Order was place on the 10th just before midnight.
Bulbs arrived today the 13th!
When I opened the box and did a quick check of the 100's of bulbs, I only saw one that was "squishy" (a Anastasia Hyacinth)...the rest all looked good. We'll see tomorrow when I plant them.
Jhbulbs Fordwich, Canada (1 review) November 13, 2015
After purchasing my current home I purchased thousands of bulbs through brecks and brecks wholesale. I have no complaints about the bulbs or the order process... The negative interaction came later.
Let's start at the beginning: the very first bulb order I put in, I accidentally, distinctively mis-spelled my first name. So ever since, my brecks catalogues have been coming addressed to a slight variation of my name. Whatever right? No big deal. BUT then the junk mail started. For 6 months now I've been bombarded with junk mail. And not just any junk mail... I'm talking scams, charities, promotions, and all kinds of useless crap. The one thing they all have in common is the same distinctive typo in my first name. So it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that brecks is sharing mailing addresses with 3rd and 4th party companies. And I know someone's thinking- they typo could be a coincidence, but you've got to understand-the only other thing I get by mail is my property tax bill (and they have my name spelled properly)- I don't belong to any other mailing lists, I don't provide my full mailing address any where or to any one, none of my neighbours get any of the crap I get in the mail - so if one puts 2 and 2 together here, there is only one explanation- BRECKS IS SELLING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. So there goes most of my respect for what I once thought of as a reputable company. Now here's where the rest of it goes:
After receiving another mailbox full of junkmail-I called brecks customer service to attempt to resolve this issue. After being put on hold for way too long I got to talk to the most poorly trained customer service agent I have ever spoken too. And this new Canadian had the nerve to tell me that it was my fault I was getting junk mail with my name misspelled because it was me that misspelled my name originally... Clearly he is not capable of understanding a customers concern. So after that I don't even want my bulbs to come up in the spring because they now represent the breached trust and sharing of information after my dealings with brecks. It kinda makes me want to dig up 1000+ bulbs and deliver them to the home door step of the person that shared my mailing address, and while I'm at it I'll drop off the 100+ pieces of junk mail I got thanks to them.
Don't be fooled by the "sign up for email notifications and get instant savings of $35". After they get your email address they then proceed to indicate that it cannot be combined with any other promotion and that it's only good for 7 days. Since they always have promotions on there is no value added by giving them your email address. Its false and misleading.
I have ordered a number of items from Brecks over the past 8 years and while some items have been "hit and miss", I find their customer service is very good. They guarantee all their plants and while it can be frustrating to find they no longer carry some plants I want replacements for, at least they will refund my money or send me a replacement certificate. All of the bulbs I order from any mail order company I treat with a fungicide before planting and I find the success rate of them goes up. Their shipping dates could be better as I've received items after the snow is on the ground but their customer service rep said plant them - so I did. Surprisingly, most of them came up - bulbs. The peonies didn't fair as well but they refunded my for them so I am happy. The plants are well packed and usually arrive in good condition. In all, I would say my experiences with them have been positive.
nickbolk Squamish, Canada (1 review) December 14, 2012
Ordered November 19th,
I bought 4 of their "Premium Dutch Bulb Grab Bags" described by their site "If you love premium, exotic Tulips, fancy Daffodils, splendid Hyacinths as well as other unique Dutch bulbs, and don't mind SURPRISES, then this Grab Bag is for you!"
Well when I ordered, I was given a delivery estimate of November 28th in my order status. Ordering this late should not be an issue for me as where I live (zone 8, BC) the ground rarely freezes for more than a few weeks all winter!! Well when my package didn't arrive on the 28th I checked again online. It wasn't even shipped from Ontario until the 26th!! It arrived on December 3rd, but I dont know why it took them a full week to drop the package off at Canada Post according to the tracking info I found on it.
The bulbs were a mix of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, muscari, bluebells, anemones, lavender mountain lillies, and orchid iris lady. I was pretty disappointed that the mix was filled mostly by such a large number of small bulbs, and that ordering a quantity of 4 mixes didnt give me better variety. i.e. for hyacinths I recieved 4x5 = 20 white Carnegie but no other colours
I've planted the anemones and orchid iris lady in pots but nothing else. It seems that this is the clearance to get rid of the last of what's left in the warehouse, and the quality is definitely lacking. A good portion of the bulbs in each package (tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, muscari, lillies and bluebells) were damp and seem to have some sort of powdery mildew with the tulips being the worst of the bunch and are fully engulfed. I've thrown them all out save for 8 hyacinths that looked in decent shape that I will try to force. I don't think its worth it to infect the other bulbs and plants in my garden by planting these and ruining the soil I have been fixing for so long. The anemones and orchid iris lady were on the top layer thrown into the box and seemed okay so i've planted them in pots to quarantine them and see how they work out.
Really not impressed by this as I am scrambling to try to find whats left at the garden centers and lo and behold they are out of stock, wish I had just bought bulbs I could check in person.Company representative comment on December 17, 2012: On Dec 17, 2012 11:28 AM, Breck's (Canada) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate you letting us know about the problem with your bulbs. The mold on the bulbs was most likely storage/transportation mold and it is harmless. Unfortunately with a mix of bulbs there is no way to know what is included in the mix. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and we can refund or reship the bulbs to you.
LadyAssassin Belleville, ON (Zone 5b) (17 reviews) October 15, 2012
I had a good experience with Breck's. I ordered a few hardy 'Robinetta' gladiolus bulbs at the beginning of August and had the estimated ship date of October 15. They ended up shipping at the end of September and even arrived before their estimated delivery date. Bulbs appear healthy and I can't wait to see them next year. I just hope they really do survive our zone 5 winters.
Even with the good experience, Breck's is not the place I would typically order fall bulbs from just because their prices are so high compared to other Canadian sources.Company representative comment on November 2, 2012: On Nov 2, 2012 10:48 AM, Breck's (Canada) responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post. We do have a lifetime guarantee which most companies do not offer so if you ever have any problems with your bulbs just let us know.
KPater Oakville, Canada (2 reviews) October 24, 2011
Order 60 tulip bulbs mid-summer and Brecks advised they would be delivered mid-Octobe, which they were. Nice big fat bulbs. Can't wait to see them in the Spring.Company representative comment on November 2, 2012: On Nov 2, 2012 10:21 AM, Breck's (Canada) responded with:
We appreciate your wonderful feedback. Enjoy your bulbs!
I ordered four items on May 17th this year. This order includes DAISY, lily tree mixture and the other two kinds of lily. They sent daisy on May 28. Then I checked my order online two weeks ago. I found out they will send the lily tree in the early of June, and ship the other two kinds of lilies in Septemeber. But I checked my order again this morning, and I got a big surprise. The lily tree mixture I ordered disappears from my order without any notice. Then I checked my credit card statement. They did deduct the money from my credit card including the price of the lily tree mixture. How come they removed the item I ordered without any notice, but deducted the money for this item? I am pretty sure I did order the lily tree mixture, since the amount of money deduct includes the lily tree mixture. I checked their store, and found out the lily tree mixture is out of stock now. Weired company... Company representative comment on June 8, 2011: On Jun 8, 2011 4:19 PM, Breck's (Canada) responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. A customer service representative will contacting you to see what happed with the lily tree and to make sure you are refunded.
pcouton Ottawa, Canada (3 reviews) December 17, 2010
I tried to order 20 sets of bulbs from this company, using their online service, twice they sent the wrong amount (only 2). I then tried to place the order over the phone, and was promised the bulbs would arrive promptly. They never did, and my order was apparently, and without notification, cancelled! These bulbs were a major part of my spring garden. I can now look forward to a bare patch of ground this spring.Company representative comment on December 20, 2010: On Dec 20, 2010 3:41 PM, Breck's (Canada) responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to post. We appreciate your feedback. We apologize for the trouble you had with your order. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information.
Posted on August 13, 2010, updated October 14, 2010
Posted on August 13, 2010, updated August 13, 2010
Just finished posting about Spring Garden, but basically the same story. Placed and order Monday. Website said it would send me an email notification. Didn't get any notifications. Sent them emails - no one has replied to my emails. Will be cancelling my order.
which is a pity because I was told by a friend that Breck's was a good place. I'm not looking forward to breaking the news. The order I placed was not just for me. So I can't really let anything slide as it's not just my money that is at stake here.
I am sad to have issues with Breck's as I was so excited to be ordering from their catalogue.
Guess for the rest of the plants I was going to buy next year I will have to find other suppliers. :(On August 13th, 2010, GeorgeandMisty changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Just updating.. since it the same as Spring Gardens, I just cut and pasted my update from there.
Thought I would send an update. For the time being I have changed the rating to neutral as I have been contacted by a Customer Service rep for Breck's who was able to confirm my orders for both Breck's and Spring Garden.
Since I had not yet called my credit card company, I figured I would keep my orders and see how this all pans out.
Hopefully for the best.
I am however, a little sad that it took a negative posting to a reply - or maybe it was just a coincidence. Either way, I was contacted and I appreciate that.
My orders will not be shipped until October, so I'll update this post then.
ThanksOn October 14th, 2010, GeorgeandMisty changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
The bulbs were in good condition. They have been planted. Now to see how they grow in the spring.
thanksCompany representative comment on August 13, 2010: On Aug 13, 2010 8:59 AM, Breck's (Canada) responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to post. We appreciate your feedback. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information. We apologize for the trouble you had with getting your email confirmation and we will have this issue checked out.
Catherine70 Victoria, Canada (2 reviews) February 19, 2009
My dealings with Breck's Canadian affiliate were definitely not as frustrating as many of those detailed in the ratings for their American company. Overall, I'd say they're pleasant enough people to deal with on the phone, while emails to customer service seem to go unanswered. They are a little disorganized with their ordering and shipping, and tend not to let you know if something is backordered or out of stock; it's up to the customer to chase down missing items.
All that said, the quality of their bulbs seems pretty good. Plants are so-so, but since I have only ordered a few plants from them, I can't really say definitively. From a collection of four of their lily trees, only two seem to have grown. The Astilbes I bought also seemed to expire, but since reading a few posts on this site about growing Astilbes, I'm hopeful at least some of them may come back this year.
One caveat: You do seem to end up on an awful lot of mailing lists once you've purchased from them, so if you're opposed to junk mail, this company is probably not for you.
I would order from Breck's again if they offered a product I couldn't find anywhere else. But given the profusion of online gardening companies, that's not likely to happen. My favourite company to deal with so far is Vesey's. I am also trying out Botanus, after reading their reviews on this site.