Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Shout-Out to Easy To Grow Bulbs Company

I do many product reviews on this site. I do them for a couple of reasons:

  • I currently own a garden product that I like and I want to share that information with my readers.
  • I've been given a garden item to trial and review, which is a good way for me to try new things and offer readers my "get down and dirty" gardener's opinion - good or bad.
  • I've done business with a company and I've had a great experience, or one not so great.

After several orders with Easy To Grow Bulbs, I just have to share my extreme satisfaction with this company. They have not contacted me in any way relating to my blogging about their company, nor have I told them that I was going to do it. This is just me - a pleased customer - wanting to give a great company their due.

I first did business with Easy To Grow Bulbs in January 2007, when I ordered some amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs.  I was pleased with the quality of the bulbs and got some gorgeous blooms from them that year, and later years too, because I keep my bulbs from year to year, planting them outside in summer.

Hippeastrum 'Grandeur' in 2009, purchased in 2007 from Easy To Grow Bulbs

Subsequent orders to the company were made, with once again, great results. A variety of bulb types have been in those orders and this year, I ended up placing two separate fall orders. The first arrived in good time and with the highest quality of bulbs.

Their bulbs come in nice mesh bags that I keep and use for storing summer bulbs over the winter. Attached to the top of the bags are the name of the bulb, with planting instructions. Only one thing could be done that would make the packing complete, and that would be to include a plastic plant marker that could be planted with the bulbs for easy identification. (Brent and Becky's Bulbs and High Country Gardens - also great companies that I do business with - do this.) But a grease pencil on popsicle sticks works well, too. After the bulbs flower in the spring, they get a more permanent marker.

Besides the great quality bulbs, which are some of the largest I've ever seen, what has me raving about Easy To Grow Bulbs right now comes under the label of customer service. I've always had great customer service from Kathleen and her bunch, and perhaps this isn't out of the norm, but I'm pleased all the same and wanted to say so.

First of all, Easy To Grow Bulbs has their fall-planted bulbs "on sale" earlier than most companies. Their prices are good anyway, but who doesn't love a sale? I think this is smart on their part, especially with so much competition out there. Personally, this allows me to buy them early, when the weather is still good for planting, yet not too warm to plant. Once that weather turns chilly, I'm out of the mood, and I'm less likely to buy bulbs, period. (Translation: Warm weather + Bulb sale = Larger order)

Second, if your order is over a certain amount - a reasonable $50 - you get a bonus pack of bulbs. Since I placed two orders this fall, I got two different bonus packs. They call them "Adventure Packs" and many of them are from The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. They're the only online distributor of bulbs from there, along with a handful of gardening catalogs and select garden centers there in California.

And third, they say they have speedy shipping, and it's true. I placed my last order on Tuesday and the bulbs were here by Friday. All the way from California to Ohio. We had Indian Summer all week and knew that it was to end abruptly on Saturday, so that quick service was important. This time of year, we could just as easily be shoveling snow. I was really, really happy when the mailman delivered those bulbs on Friday.

By the way, my Adventure Packs contained good stuff! In the first order, they included a 10-count package of Tulipa dasystemon 'Tarda', a species tulip. I LOVE species tulips, and have many, but not this one. I do now! In the second order, I nearly jumped up and down, because my Adventure Pack contained five of something I very nearly ordered - Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant', often called "summer snowflake," since they are a late-blooming spring bulb.

Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant'

Tulipa dasystemon 'Tarda'

Easy To Grow Bulbs markets themselves as sellers of "Bigger, better bulbs for warm weather gardens." Don't let that "warm weather" part keep you away, if you're a northern gardener like I am. The bulbs I've received from them are first quality and grow just fine in my zone 5 garden.

They are also in the Dave's Garden "Watchdog 30" list of the highest-rated companies in their entire database of 1,172 mail order garden companies. That's saying something. You know who rates them? Customers like me.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a fantastic review of this little bulb company. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to publish this. From my personal experience, I find your review spot on!

Thanks again and keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree heartily. In my experience, this company provides zero customer satisfaction.

I always buy my wife and amaryllis bulb for Christmas, and have been doing so for almost 25 years. This year I ordered from ETGB. Weeks later I was still seeing no sign of life. I emailed the company and asked for a replacement. I got a letter back hinting that I was watering it improperly, or that I had not planet in timely manner, or that I was just being impatient. One month later the bulb is either dormant or dead, and further requests for a replacement were met with the equivalent of, “Sorry, tough luck.”

My wife is an experience gardener and has never had a failed amaryllis bulb before. Only order from them if you don’t expect them to make good.

Kylee Baumle said...

Anonymous #2, I'm sorry you had an unsatisfactory experience with them. I've found their customer service to be excellent in my several experiences ordering from them. I've dealt with Kathleen personally, and she took great care to check the weather in my area last year when shipping a Clivia, so that it wouldn't freeze.

There are exceptions to everything, of course. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I want to believe that your experience was the exception.

Southen California Gardening said...

Great post! I appreciate you reviewing smaller stores like this, because thats where we get the best service from. Love the blog, keep up the great work!

Elizabeth said...

Wow, thank you so much for this excellent review of our company! We pride ourselves on offering some of the biggest and healthiest bulbs in the industry and are thrilled that your amaryllis came up so well! It always warms our hearts to see our bulbs and flowers popping up on the internet, especially when a customer is happy with the results. I will pass the plastic plant marker feedback along, we always want to know what we could improve upon. We are also thrilled that our customer service and shipping were so speedy; we are passionate about our plants! We look forward to reading more blog posts from you :)

Thank you again for your kind words,
Easy to Grow Bulbs

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