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The scoop on 'K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc.'

  Company Profile  
K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 289
Cleves, Ohio 45002 (United States)

Phone: 800-552-9916
Fax: 1-800-327-4268

» E-Mail them
» Visit their website

Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 0 1 1
Neutral 0 1 1
Negative 0 1 3
This company is affiliated with Gardens Alive!

This company offers a variety of bulbs.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
21 positives
9 neutrals
30 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Neutral ninagail
Evans, GA
(2 reviews)
March 2, 2021
Placed an order (Cinnamon fern and Hostas) in January hoping to get an early shipment to 8a. Shipping schedule indicated mid-February expectation. As of first of March, I am told that items are not available and will not ship for months. In the meantime, I continue to receive emails offering the same items, without mention of lack of availability, AND at a lower price. Cancelled the original order and re-ordered with lower price. Was going to post Negative and opted to wait and see what happens with the order before I do.
Positive cwalke
Longview, WA (Zone 8b)
(15 reviews)
November 2, 2020
I have ordered from this company for many years and they offer a great range of common bulbs as well as bulbs that are harder to find. This year I ordered 200 daffodils and was pleasantly surprised at the large bags I received...many double nose bulbs but all large and healthy.
And their pricing is reasonable. Very happy with my experiences K. van Bourgondien.
Negative Daryl_K
Gaylord, MI
(1 review)
October 31, 2020
This company has clearly been going downhill. Ordered various bulbs (tulips, daffs, crocus) and they changed shipping dates multiple times during the season. Worst though, were the Mount Hood daffodils. Half of the 1st bag (100) was rotten or mummified. They sent a replacement (which I waited almost 3 weeks for) and fully 3/4 of it were the same as the 1st bag, with the added bonus of fat grubs in some of the rotten bulbs. I won't be doing business with these folks any more.
Negative chivelu
Mohawk, NY
(5 reviews)
June 11, 2020
I ordered a "Cora Louise" white peony several years back. It took several years to bloom and reveal itself to be a yellow bartzella. I contacted the company and they wanted to refund me. It took several phone calls for me to convince them to send the correct plant instead. This year i am worried that the leaves look like those of a herbaceous peony instead of the itoh peony i ordered. Until it flowers, i cannot be sure if i have the correct plant on the second try.

This year i am having the same experience with a different supplier of dutch grown peonies. There must be an issue with their dutch growers. Buy field grown USA plants if you can.
Negative Cyanne
Ellicott City, MD
(5 reviews)
May 31, 2020
I ordered twice from this company: an order of red astilbe 'Fanal' and white astilbe 'White Diamond', sent to a family member as a birthday present; and three heuchera 'XXL.' Most of the red astilbe came up, two of the white astilbe (out of 20), and one of the three heuchera. I requested customer service and got an automated note saying they're busy because of the pandemic (fair) and would get back to me, but I've heard nothing since.

I cancelled my next order (looks like they removed the thing I most wanted anyway) and won't be going back.
Positive gardenertom
Felton, CA
(1 review)
January 12, 2020
A mixed experience, but leaning towards positive. I ordered 6 items - tulips, daffodils, and alliums. On the negative side, two of the bags had mold problems that looked fatal to about a quarter of the bulbs. However, after an email exchange with customer service I was promptly sent replacements for one bag and given a store credit for the second (because it was out of stock). I was pleased with the quick response from customer service. The tulip bulbs were on the smaller size, but in line with what I expected for the discounted prices. The bag of mixed daffodils came with a bunch of bonus bulbs. Overall, I was satisfied with the experience.
Negative TerryLCarrico
Richmond, KY
(1 review)
December 16, 2019
I placed my order on 11/08/19. It consisted of 6 different line items. All items were shown as in stock when I placed my order. I followed the status of my order on their website. The status for each line item changed frequently over the following weeks from 1) “Available for shipment with an estimated ship date of (usually 2 – 3 days from the date I checked)”, 2) sometimes the line items would show “Batched for shipment”, 3) Other times it would say “Back ordered”. The status changed between these 3 states multiple times over the life of my order. I would check back every few days only to find a new ship date had been assigned – again 2 – 3 days down the road. On 11/25 I received an email notice that one line item was out of stock and they would issue a credit back to my card. Of course, they promised to ship any remaining items promptly, when available. Right. I logged an email complaint about the cancelled item, noting had they sent it when I ordered it, they would not have had to cancel this line item.

I eventually received one line item on or around 12/5/19. Finally, after seeing my ship date postponed for the umpteenth time, I called them. I spoke with Mark and he was apologetic and sent a request over to the shipping department to get my order processed right away. I requested Mark call me back later in the day with an update as to when I would receive my order. A few hours after speaking with Mark I went to their website. I expected to see the status changed to “Shipped”. Not to be. What I saw for the remaining 4 line items is “Cancelled”. To Mark’s credit he did call me back and was very apologetic. He promised to flag my account for a $10 credit on a future order. I suspect had I not called they would have held on to my money for several more weeks/months – probably hoping I would forget about it so they could pocket the money without shipping the product.

In short, I believe the company is a scam. Yes, they ship some things to some people some of the time, but I believe the heart of their business is to take people’s money and draw interest on it until such time that their hand is forced and they have to refund the money. I will NEVER order from them again.
Negative CMB1218
Oakmont, PA
(1 review)
May 17, 2019
First and last time ordering from them. I placed an order for 10 mertensia ( Va bluebells) which, after waiting weeks, finally arrived yesterday.
When I opened the packaging, I got 6 very small tubers, 3 that were literally 1/2 inch long or less, and one thing that may have been a dried out tuber, or maybe it was a stick. Hard to tell. I called customer service to see what could be done, thinking that they’d step up and send me 4 more very small, but at least recognizable replacements. Nope. She said to plant them, wait 3 weeks to see what happens and then call back. By which time it will be too late to fix the problem. Disappointing product, astonishingly bad customer service
Negative SeattleSun
Seattle, WA
(2 reviews)
April 25, 2019
I ordered spring planting bulbs, tubers and bare root iris and perennials. They shipped it in February when there was still 16 inches of snow on the ground and everything had to go into storage. Most did not survive storage. Rot and just failed to come up.
Negative PetalCrazy
Port Townsend, WA
(1 review)
March 21, 2019
I ordered large quantities of five varieties of daffodil bulbs in September 2018. They didn't arrive until November, so planting in the chilly rains of the Pacific Northwest was not a delight. I had spent quite a lot of time planning the garden at the historic cottage I moved into in July 2018. The color scheme and fragrance was very important, and I had chosen all varieties that were NOT YELLOW: Mount Hood (giant white), Thalia (solid white), Professor Einstein (white with bright, orange trumpet), Pheasant Eye (white with small, green/yellow eye), and Kedron (bright orange). EVERY SINGLE DAFFODIL IS BLOOMING STANDARD DAFFODIL YELLOW--275 OF THEM! Not one is fragrant.
I had checked the shipping invoice and the labels on the bags; all were correctly labeled with the varieties I thought I had purchased. It seems like a sick joke. When I called their customer service number, I got a representative speaking broken English in some third-world country.
Negative kphimmas
Brooklyn, NY
(1 review)
October 20, 2018
I will never order from K Van Bourgondien again. I contacted customer service 4 times over 4 weeks and still have not gotten my bulbs for planting in my zone and I have not even gotten confirmation that my order can be canceled so I can order from someone else.

I ordered Sept 28 and the order confirmation said it would ship on October 1. I did not receive the order by mid-October so I contacted customer service and they said my order was delivered on October 16 but I never got a delivery and I was home that day so I followed up and they said they made a mistake and that my order would ship 5 days later and then take 7-10 business days for delivery. It's almost November and too late to plant bulbs in my zone.

I then called customer service to cancel my order and get a refund but the reps and 2 managers said they could only refund me once the order is shipped. To top it off, they could not even email me that I would get a refund so I have documentation of the conversation.

I have zero trust in this company and recommend not to order from them.

So I called customer service to cancel my order. I spoke to a rep and 2 managers and they said they would refund me for the order once it shipped 2 days later. At this point, I had no confidence in them so asked for a simple email recapping our conversation and that a refund would be issued when the order ships. They could not even do that! Now I have to follow up in 48 hours to make sure I get a refund or call them again. I have never had such a bad experience with a store.
Negative perennialaddict
Columbiana, OH
(1 review)
October 11, 2018
Ordered fall bulbs from K. Van Bourgondien. Shipping date was constantly moved back until it was over a month from when I'd originally ordered. Customer service was very responsive but could offer no additional information about when items would ship. Eventually I canceled the order, having gotten the sense K. Van Bourgondien was just a name attached to another company that also didn't actually have any plants.
Positive Suze1
Dodge Center, MN
(6 reviews)
June 1, 2018
I recently ordered Ozark Beauty strawberries, and was notified that the order arrived damaged at the shipment facility. When I let customer service know, they were prompt, proactive and professional. They cancelled the charge on my card and provided expedited shipping on my reshipment. The new shipment arrived securely packed, plenty of peat, plenty of runners, and healthy roots.
Positive arinazina
Kennebunkport, ME (Zone 5b)
(3 reviews)
April 15, 2018
I have ordered from this company multiple times over 5-6 years. The order has always been correct. Sometimes a bulb or plant doesn't make it but their prices are low and the bulk bulbs and plants have helped me populate over an acre of garden area much cheaper than from almost any other place. If anything, they send their orders out a little too early for Maine but I just store things in a cool place.
Positive Stretch777
Little River, SC
(1 review)
April 6, 2018
I ordered their 10 mixed hosta plants, 10 hosta Aureo Marhinata, and 25 Lily of the Valley from this company in January 2018. I had read all the positive (and bad) reviews, so a little skeptical, but I could not beat their prices. I said if even 1/2 grew I would be happy. Imagine my stunned look on my face when I unpacked them. The root base was very large, many crowns with more than one eye! I planted and boy did they grow! I only lost one out of the mixed bag hostas. There was some variety in variegated and plain, but not much. However, very excellent for my use. The same with the Lily of the Valley. Extensive root systems with very large pips. None of the plants had rot or mildew. The other group of hostas initially grew only 5. I sent them an email about the situation and they sent me another 10 at no charge!. I only wanted five. It turns out that two more sprouted very late, about one month after the other ones grew.. Excellent customer service! I was so happy with the plants that I sent a repeat order. It also came quickly. From my perspective, this is a 5 star company who now has a customer for life.
Positive tomspeak
Vashon, WA
(12 reviews)
March 31, 2018
I've order hundreds of dollars of bulbs and starts over the years from K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc. and have always been happy with the stock I received. In the few instances when the bulbs had issues, the company sent me replacements immediately.
Negative solstice23
Beloit, WI
(1 review)
November 7, 2017
They were late in shipping to northern Illinois.
They only shipped part of the order after I called the credit card company and KVB.
Product quality was average
The box included a 2018 catalog for Breck's Bulbs! Is Garden's Alive a shell company?

I never had a problem with KVB until this year. Typically I get my fall bulbs from them by early October. I had received nothing as of Nov 1! I called their overseas(?) customer service line and was told my order would be delivered in December! I notified the credit card company. A partial order arrived the next day! A partial order was in stock- why didn't they ship it for the proper planting time?
The bulbs were definitely dormant- I dug up an existing bulb in my garden and found a mass of roots. I don't know if this KVB order will grow at all due to the late delivery. I was surprised to find a Breck's 2018 bulb catalog in the box. Maybe Garden's Alive which is been consolidating nursery services is also being replaced. I don't care because I'll never knowingly purchase anything through their companies again.
Positive architectmom
San Francisco, CA
(5 reviews)
July 27, 2017
Very happy - Dahlias - The tubers were well packed and healthy, and large. All have matured into healthy, robust plants and blooms. I was lucky to get them on sale and they are a great value. Like that the tubers come in multiples of 5. Looks better in the garden and it's easier to figure out if they do well in my garden with multiple plants. Will shop again next year.
Negative Echomesquite
(1 review)
April 13, 2017
I ordered 800 bulbs last summer. Because of their company moving warehouses, I didn't receive my bulbs until December which meant snow on the ground already and I had to plant in between snow storms which wasn't very pleasant. I ordered 100 bulbs of mixed hyacinth colors. The only colors I got were white, yellow and purple. None of the other colors showed in the pictures on their web site. I also ordered 100 mix color tulips. I only got coral and yellow. Once again, not what was pictured. The 600 daffodils are beautiful but the unpleasantness of planting in December means I will never order from them again.
Negative luby3307
Austin, TX
(1 review)
April 12, 2017
i ordered from this company in march, 2017, expecting them to send my plants immediately (we live in austin, texas - by mid-march, we'd already seen 92 degrees!). 2 weeks pass, and i go back to check on my order, right? i see that THEY decide when to send the plants (based on zone) - and that the shipping wouldn't happen until mid-april. since this was my fault for not reading all the fine print, i op-ted to say nothing - but i was seething. this company might get their zones correctly, but they DO NOT understand the temperatures in texas. finally, after waiting another two weeks (in which it got hotter & hotter), i called to cancel. they had NOT shipped the products as of yet. the salesperson put me on hold for about five minutes, and with each request i made, was put on hold for ADDITIONAL minutes. after about 15 minutes of holding, i understood the ploy - she had no intention of cancelling my order and was hoping i'd just hang up from holding so long. uh uh. i'd now go to my grave before i did that - sure enough, they couldn't cancel; it was already packaged to be shipped. but this was the ticker, and i quote: "we understand that texas has warm temps at this time, but you can always return the plants." really??????? eight pounds of plants via post office? i can only imagine the expense!
so, to online first time gardeners? please, don't make the same mistake i did - make sure YOU get to decide when you receive your shipment - read the fine print and ALWAYS check the company reviews first (NOW i see that i'm not the only unhappy camper with this business).
Neutral nitzi1944
Kings Park, NY (Zone 7a)
(12 reviews)
December 17, 2016
Placed order. Then was notified 1/2 was cancelled.This as for hyacinth forcing vases. Since the ground is now frozen, I cancelled the rest of the order for some unusual daffodils. This company needs to upgrade the website. Why is it possible to order on the website, and then be notified it's not available????
Negative Kallium
Pueblo, CO
(1 review)
December 4, 2016
I placed an order for bulbs on 10/4/16. The estimated delivery was mid October. They hadn't arrived be the end of the month so I emailed them to see what was up. They said they had moved and that was causing delays on orders. Yeah. I'd say. I didn't get them till the end of November. The ground is now frozen.
Positive BlazingFungi
Sumas, WA (Zone 6b)
(1 review)
October 19, 2016
Never had a problem with their service or their product. Everything has been in top condition and expertly packed, and their catalogue is sent nice and early in the year so I can plan what goes where. Great company!
Negative lsp8
Fennville, MI
(1 review)
October 18, 2016
I echo the previous comment completely and cancelled my order. They never let me know the order would be delayed. They offered discounts, but no expediency to process the order. I'm off to the store!
Negative Caitie02
Westfield, IN
(1 review)
October 4, 2016
I placed an order in early August. The status of the order delivery date has been updated four times since placing my order. Usually the expected delivery date passes then seems to auto-populate with a new date. I tried calling and emailing with each encounter with customer service worse than the prior one. I am guessing customer service has been off-shored as the representatives either by phone or email can't understand what I'm asking, The reps oftentimes saying gibberish that make no sense. I'm giving them until the end of the week to ship before cancelling, I'm a bit afraid based on my experiences so far and reading the stories here what my order will be if it ever does arrive.
Positive lraff1
Colorado Springs, CO
(4 reviews)
October 3, 2016
My mother and I purchased dahlia tubers for the 2016 planting season. We did not receive one of the most important tubers we had ordered. It was disappointing to say the least, but Van Bourgondien issued a credit back to our credit card - note NOT a store credit or a commitment to send next year. Later in the season, as plants started to grow, a number of the tubers did not grow the expected plants. I photographed these and sent the descriptions of the problems to Van Bourgondien last week. Again, they were prompt and gracious about issuing a credit to our card. All of the companies we deal with (at least 6 in any season) make mistakes. It just happens, and sometimes the plants genetically revert on bi-colored hybrids. You will find this anywhere. However, you will find few companies that process an outright refund as readily as this company has. Though we had mixed results this year, we will certainly order again due to their excellent customer service and guarantee practices.
Neutral icyangel2
Duluth, MN
(1 review)
April 5, 2016
Posted on April 5, 2016, updated April 5, 2016
Posted on April 5, 2016, updated April 5, 2016
Being people were posting about other websites, not just Van Bourgondien, I decided I'll leave comments about my experiences too... First I'll say that I haven't ordered from Van yet... I still may try them but these reviews are discouraging. There is 2 other garden websites that I have ordered from before and I'll say that my experiences could have been better, I would post negative feedback but being they were my first times, it may have just been bad luck or something. So anyway, one website I ordered from was Gurney's... it was 2 pink weeping cherry trees, they used to have this thing were if you ordered from them and they were out of stock they'd just ship your order next available season/year. So as you may have guessed they were out of stock... I assumed they were going to ship next season/year... I waited... and waited... nothing... well so a year later I emailed them asking if they were going to ship them or what, and they said they refunded me last year because they were out of stock... but I never received a refund... turns out they sent the money to my mom and not me, we have the same address so somehow they screwed up our cards. Luckily it was her and not some stranger. BTW every time I order something from a nursery they always put my mom's name on the shipping label, that's really goofy. Don't they realize some people live at the same address? Anyway my other negative experience was with Breck's... I made 2 orders... long story short none and I mean NONE of the bulbs I bought grew... I waited and waited... finally I had enough and dug them up to see what was going on, they were all moldy and rotten/squishy. So I emailed them... no response, waited at least a month (I think more then that even), emailed them again. Waited a week or so, no response, emailed again, FINALLY a response... They said they'll issue a refund check through the mail, I received a check with my MOM'S name on it but that's not the worst part... I had made 2 separate orders, one was about $150-200 or something and the other was like $50... the check I got was only for the $50 order... so I emailed them asking about the other half... no response... I may have emailed them again with no response but I had enough of this bogus and contacted them on Facebook... immediately I got a response and they sent a check for the other order, again with mom's name on it... Whoever is responsible for checking/replying to emails is a jerk! This was a few years ago so hopefully whoever was doing that is no longer working there. And I don't know what's going on with them putting my mom's name on everything but they need to fix that!
On April 5th, 2016, icyangel2 added the following:

I forgot to add, there's one other Garden website I've ordered from before, Direct Gardening or is it Garden Direct? Anyway, DO NOT order from them! Seriously don't recommend. Maybe I just had a bad hand of them, but I remember the first time I received my order from them, well the trees were supposed to be dormant so I figured they were fine (this was in the fall), planted them... next spring I waited and waited. NOTHING budded out. Check on them closer, yup they're dead. So they have a free replacement thing... ordered for that. I got them the following spring, they looked like they were already dead, a red oak still had dead leaves on it and just didn't seem right at all... Planted, waited... sure enough they were dead, nothing budded. The only thing that was alive were the tiny 3" potted trees, the rest were bareroot, but even they didn't look so good. I have yet to see if they survived winter or not, I'll update when I find out. But generally even with the free replacement they aren't so good. Remember these are all first time experiences, maybe just bad luck, but even so some of that stuff really needs improvement.
On April 5th, 2016, icyangel2 added the following:

Of course it wasn't until after I ordered and received their replacement that I read online somewhere that Garden Direct has a ton of bad reviews from other people.
Positive paullg
Paramus, NJ
(1 review)
March 9, 2016
We were surprised to see so many negative comments on this site. We've been buying bulbs and other plants from Van Bourgondien for years (maybe decades) without problems. The garden materials we've received have been of excellent quality and the service impeccable. Maybe we've just been lucky? Hope not. We intend to remain customers.
Positive flowermaiden2
Saint Maries, ID
(19 reviews)
May 21, 2015
Posted on May 10, 2015, updated May 21, 2015
Right now, I am giving them a neutral, because what's left of my order hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know how the quality will be.

I will say this much: At the time I placed my order for 3 sets of 3 Eremurus Foxtail Lilies Shelford Hyrbrids, I was told that all three colors were in stock.

Awhile later, I received an e-mail with my order status, and I noticed that one of the colors wasn't listed. I called, and was told it was out of stock.

Recently, I received a postcard as well as an e-mail telling the a second color was out of stock.

I know that I shall now be receiving only the remaining color I ordered.

Now, this company has been good about keeping me informed about out of stock merchandise. They have also offered to refund (credit) my account for the overpayment without my having to ask them to do so.

As for their being out of stock, something could have happened that decimated their stock. They didn't say why, but I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. They could indeed have had all of my order in stock at the time I ordered it, and something went wrong afterward, and it may have been something out of their control. Things happen.

So, I shall wait to receive the one set of three remaining, and I shall also wait to see if they really do credit my account for the others.

If they come through, and the quality of their product is good, I shall change my rating to positive.

On May 21st, 2015, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

My order arrived with the one set of three foxtail lilies. They look good, with a well-developed root system. While I don't have as good a luck with bareroot as I do with potted plants, these look like they should do well.

I particularly appreciate that full planting instructions are provided on the label, as to depth, space apart, etc.

Don't know what happened with the rest of their stock, but at least I have these, and if they do well this season, I can order more next year. Maybe by then the company's problems will be ironed out.

Negative psudan
Mentor, OH
(18 reviews)
April 15, 2015
Posted on April 9, 2015, updated April 15, 2015
I was warned about this company but have ordered a few times in the last two years. Maybe I just got lucky but I've always received pretty nice dahlia clumps and hyacinth bulbs. My most recent order has been a nightmare. I received two packages of dahlias on 3/23. One package was so-so the other contained four clumps instead of the five I ordered. One clump was nothing more than a rotted stem and all the others had nothing but broken, dangling tubers hanging from the stems. There's no way these could possibly grow. I sent an e-mail immediately. I got the instant message saying a customer care rep would be in touch. After waiting more than a week with no response, I sent another e-mail on 3/31. Still nothing but the instant B.S. message. On 4/7, I sent another message, this time through the Watchdog's site. Still haven't heard a word from them. Eighteen days with no response from what these jokers call their "world class" customer care service. This should have been a simple matter that could have and should have been handled the first day. I don't expect to hear from them and I don't really care. I have moved on. I threw away the pathetic dahlias and will buy more locally if I need them. If I can save one person from falling prey to these disrespectful crooks, I'll feel like I have accomplished something good. It's always possible to receive a bad plant or bulb from even a respected seller. But ignoring a customer for 18 days is totally unacceptable. Especially a company who says, "We take great pride in our world class customer care service." Yeah, right!
On April 15th, 2015, psudan added the following:

Well it's been "only" 23 days since I first contacted these crooks and I still haven't heard from them. In case anyone is interested the following companies are affiliated with the umbrella company, Gardens Alive ; Van Bourgondien, Michigan Bulb, Spring Hill Nursery, Breck's, Gurney's Seeds and Henry Fields. There are others. If you want a good laugh, check out the "outstanding" positive vs. negative ratings of some of these stellar companies. What a bunch of losers!! If you wonder why they are still in business, the answer is simple. People, myself included, are sucked in by the cheap prices. I may have lost this round but you can rest assured that I will continue spreading the "Gospel" at every garden club and garden center in the area. All these companies need to go belly up.
Negative reeve1
Plano, TX (Zone 8b)
(55 reviews)
April 14, 2015
I received the same as others. Broken, unviable plant material and wrong plant counts. These people should be put out of business. They are no friend to gardeners, just taking money through fraud and delivering complete junk! Stay away from any Gardens Alive company. I can assure you that nothing you receive will be even remotely Alive!
Negative GardeningisLife
Tipp City, OH
(3 reviews)
December 17, 2014
This company went bankrupt and was bought out by the Gardens Alive umbrella company. I urge you fellow gardeners to stay far away from this and all other Gardens Alive companies, they are bad news. Having had a first hand look at how this company operates it was shocking. They will list products that they don't have in stock then due what's called a "silent substitute" in the biz, essentially sending you the customer a different but similar variety w/o you knowing. Usually these varieties are cheaper or overstocks that they are trying to move before they spoil. Ever wonder why your flowers don't look like the picture? It's not just you, you weren't sent the right variety to begin with. This is a common practice done across all Gardens Alive brands.
Positive connoisseur
Indianapolis, IN
(26 reviews)
October 28, 2014
In regard to spring-flowering bulbs, I had a positive experience so far this fall. Bulbs were comparable in quality to those of other major companies. There were some bad bulbs (as there are with most companies), but customer service readily gave me credit. In fact, I now have a second order. Of course, I don't know yet if the bulbs are true to name. One positive also is that I was able to order bulbs in smaller lots (25 tulips, for example, rather than 100) at a very good price using the company's discounts.
Negative Suebeeee
Bayville, NJ
(1 review)
October 20, 2014
I stopped ordering from Brecks because of poor bulb quality and orders cancelled after their planned delivery date.
After coming upon K.van Bourgondien's website, I figured they were worth a try as I needed many bulb for my planned garden. Immediately after ordering, they sent my email account a confirmation which included the SAME account number which Brecks had given me. I contacted them asking if they were affiliated and received no answer. So, six weeks later, I received a partial order in the mail. My many tulips were delayed a week. Then they were delayed again. I checked the site by chance and checked my order and realized the tulips were no longer listed in my order status. Consequently, I contacted them. Two days later, they wrote me and told me they were out of stock, the order would not be filled and they would refund the cost of these tulips to my account. This is the same kind of bad business practice that Brecks used. What would have happened if I hadn't contacted them? Would they have just kept the money?

Consequently, I have contacted them and cancelled my spring order as well. I cannot trust they will deliver these bulbs. My fall planting is now delayed another year and my spring plants if they didn't arrive would have left a bigger hole in my garden too. I already have holes in my garden due to the bulbs that were OUT OF STOCk at Brecks and holes from their bulbs that didn't germinate.

I will find somewhere else to purchase my spring bulbs and perhaps I still have time to find my parrot tulips this fall.

We'll see if they fight my refund.......
Positive BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
(6 reviews)
September 21, 2014
I ordered alot of different bulbs (for a spring layering garden) from the wholesale site. I couldn't be more pleased! They arrived when promised - and when I called customer service later that day about two items that hadn't been included: the lady was very nice and helpful, arranging to have them shipped immediately . . . well, here is a copy of the email thanks I sent

Today I received the missing items from my original order and can have my gardener plant my entire flower bed tomorrow as we had originally scheduled.

I had called customer service about the missing items and explained that my gardener was scheduled to come in 4 days since I couldn't plant my own bulbs. The lady was very nice and helpful. . . but I had no idea HOW helpful until the missing bulbs arrived! I had told her "things happen". . . . but this prompt (and TIMELY) correction of a mistake is really impressive!

I had expressed my amazement at how large, well-formed and CLEAN the bulbs I HAD received were and then this superlative experience with your customer service! I will continue to do business with your company whenever the need arises, without hesitation.

Although I initially had reservations about having bulbs shipped from overseas to the States, I have ruefully discovered that the particular company's committment to customer service determines the difference rather than the distance.
Neutral TheRectory
Stanardsville, VA
(2 reviews)
May 20, 2014
I ordered 12 wine-colored peonies. After several false starts with shipping/delivery dates the plants arrived and most of the rhizomes were well sized with good eye development. A couple of them were very much on the puny side of things but that type of thing is par for the course. All of them had gray fungus issues which we treated.

We planted everything and were optimistic when things started to grow. The fungus treatment, unfortunately, does not appeared to have been as effective as we had hoped so we are likely going to lose 3 of the 12 plants. Another 2 suffered bloom blast. Again-as far as we are concerned, this is acceptable given the wet weather we have had in Virginia this winter. But the seven remaining peonies all pushed through and presented us with a perfectly formed single form bubble gum pink first year's flower that they could be proud of.

In case you did not catch that, the double form dark wine-colored petals we had waited for months to see had been swapped out/mislabeled for a cheaper single petal bubble gum pink flower that we had no use for in our gardens.

I called KvB and spoke with a couple of their phone support team members last Friday. I sent an email showing the difference in the flowers as well as the product number of the peony we thought that suspected had been substituted. The customer service agent first informed us that KvB only warranted their product for 10-days after the producted arrived. After discussing with this representative that it was impossible for us to know the color was incorrect until it bloomed, I was finally told that he could replace them but that the peonies were out of stock until next year. I requested my money back and was finally offered a check that would take 4-6 weeks to arrive.

I spoke with my wife about what had happened and we decided that we would see if they could pull stock from one of their sister catalogs who offers the same product but with a different name. Fortunately, it seems that in the six hours since my first call, the second rep was able to identify 12 available peonies and guaranteed arrival in two weeks.

Ultimately, there are a couple of take away messages here:

-The customer service agents were friendly though limited by a very tight script that did not seem to take common sense into account
-The order fulfillment division has some systemic issues with packaging
-The answer you will get to questions on inventory and delivery will change with the agent you speak with and, bless their hearts, I think that each just told me what I wanted to hear in order to get me off of the phone

The reason that I am giving this company a neutral and not a negative rating is because their customer service team did their best to correct the situation. Granted, they took no heroic measures to save the day (i.e., expedite ship/ship mature plants/etc.) and I am not holding my breath that they will keep their commitments. But if I take them at face value, they attempted to correct the issue in the best manner that they had available to them. Sadly, it will be another year before I know whether or not they succeeded. We will certainly not place another order though until they have.

Happy gardening!
Negative psda
Shoreline, WA
(1 review)
May 10, 2014
I have ordered from this firm for at least 25 years, almost always with great results. However, my latest order makes me rethink that relationship. I placed a couple of orders in early March with the wholesale division. Most of the items were bulbs, some plants. When the first package arrived at the first of April, the live plants were fine, but the dahlias and begonias were unacceptable. Bishop of Llandaff roots were rotten, as were some of the Gallery Rembrandt tubers. The entire lot of Begonia Switzerland had rotted. This was not due to freezing (as the live plants and other begonias were fine). Strangely, a few days later another identical order arrived - with some of the same results. After calling KVB, I was assured that they would replace the order and give me a $10 credit. My second order arrived in good shape (different items). And then the replacement order showed up a week later. In it, the dahlia pot tubers were mostly fine. The begonias once again had some rotting, some dried. A Dahlia Karma Lagoon order was OK, but the Stuttgart canna roots need watching. This early in the season the poor condition of the order - not to mention the confusion over shipments - is simply unacceptable. I cannot recommend KVB at this time for soft tubers like dahlias and begonias. The quality control for these simply is inadequate or non-existent.
Negative garethnyc
South Orange, NJ
(1 review)
May 8, 2014
Experience so far is poor (and my order hasn't even arrived yet!!)
1. I placed an order on Apr 28th on the K. Van Bourgondien & Sons website and the email confirmation estimates delivery between May 1st and May 6th. Taking this literally (my first mistake) I initiate steps to arrange help with the planting over the weekend of the 10th/11th. On May 5th I check the order status on their website and it still estimates delivery between May 1st and May 6th.
2. On May 7th my order hasn't arrived so I check the order status on their website once again. It now estimates delivery between May 14th and May 14th. I immediately send an email asking for a status on the order and to understand WHY the delay has happened.
3. Today, May 8th, I conclude that I must have sent the email into a black hole (which is why no one is replying) so I call the 1-800 customer service phone number. The customer service representative:
a. Cannot tell me definitively WHY the order has been delayed but speculates that it could be because one of the items is on back order or because it’s the “busy” season
b. Informs me that the order “should definitely probably” ship in the next 2-3 business days and that it “should take 5-7 business days” (as you can see – there is not a permutation, assuming that these numbers are legitimate, that ends with delivery on May 14th)
c. Informs me, when asked, that K. Van Bourgondien & Sons do not send out email updates when an order is delayed (only when it has shipped). In the meantime I have received numerous emails from K. Van Bourgondien & Sons trying to stimulate me to buy more items from them
4. I read the reviews here and see that most of the negative ones relate to the quality of what was delivered (I didn't manage to make it that far yet) which doesn't bode well for what is coming next

If you do order from K. Van Bourgondien & Sons here is what you should know:
• Don’t assume that they are operating at the same level as other reputable online vendors (like Amazon for example)
• Take the delivery “estimate” with a huge pinch of salt (it’s more like a guess and one made by a blindfolded 2 year old) it doesn't mean the same as other vendors delivery estimates
• You will need to follow the status of your order carefully. Do not expect to be kept informed of any changes in order status or in delivery estimate or of items on back order
• If you email customer service - don’t expect to receive replies from them (phone them instead)
• If you phone customer service – don’t expect them to have many facts, but do expect them to speculate or theorize and generally be non-committal
• Do expect them to start peppering you with marketing emails
Positive Sequoiadendron4
Lititz, PA (Zone 6b)
(26 reviews)
April 29, 2014
I purchased a ton of bulbs from the wholesale side of this business. The prices were too good not to purchase! All of the bulbs arrived last fall in good condition and I planted them shortly after. One of my selections was unavailable and it was no trouble getting a refund from them. This spring all of the bulbs have come up and are quite beautiful and I am pleased with my experience so far. It's too bad they have such a large amount of negative feedback but I will definitely look to be placing another order this fall. I'll stick with the wholesale side though, perhaps it's run by different people.
Negative kbangs
McKinney, TX
(1 review)
April 23, 2014
Usually order from another company but got an email from this group and after perusing their site decided to give them a try...ordered a selection of bulbs packed as a combination at a price I felt was reasonable for the number of bulbs...order arrived and I knew I had made a mistake...dried and shriveled up...planted them anyway hoping for the best...not one, nay not one, came up...emailed the company and guess response...knew better...from now on I will follow this well worn advice - dance with the one who brung you...

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