Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Breck's Duds

After my recent post gushing about the GORGEOUS Myrtle's Folly dahlia from Breck's and the sad fact that neither of two Santa Claus dahlias came up, many of you commented that I should contact Breck's.  You are all correct. I need to do that.  I had a dud order last year from Breck's, which I told you about and this year only 50% of the dahlias I ordered came up.  That is really not acceptable, so I decided to take precious hours of my free time to search last year's orders and posts to see what the Duds were so I could contact Breck's to let them know of my dissatisfaction.

In the past, they have been wonderful about replacement orders. I can't fault them for that. With no questions asked, they have replaced or credited any plant that did not perform as they said it would.  My big peeve is that I don't want to have to take the time to write and complain--I am getting older--my time on this earth is limited and I really don't want to waste a minute of it complaining to Breck's. I want their products to perform as stated. But you are all correct in saying that I really should write to them and let them know that I have not been happy.  So I have spent the better part of two days of my after-work-hours searching my blog to find out what I ordered and what died.

In 2010, I was thrilled to get this Pineapple Lily bloom, even though it was nothing like the catalog picture. The second pineapple lily barely came up, but I had high hopes for this year.

Fast forward to 2011- I have been waiting so long for the Pineapple Lilies to come back, that the pots have gotten moldy from watering.  It is now almost mid-August and nothing has appeared.
I hate to admit that I have wasted my hard-earned money yet AGAIN on Breck's products!

In 2010 I also ordered this Rembrandt dahlia collection.

and only 3 of the six I received even came up. I was not surprised as they sent some pretty small shriveled up tubers and all but one of the survivors was the uninspring  purple/white dahlias that I had plenty of from the order I received  of the same collection I placed in 2009.

In 2010 I also ordered a collection of six Elephant Ears - I really only ordered the collection because I wanted a huge black EE and I got a tiny little thing that I could barely see in the planter (If you want to see the mini Elephant Ears, you can click here to read this post from last year.) .  Again I thought it would perform better in 2011.  WRONG --It did not even come back this year. 

 I have only two common green Elephant Ears that survived from the collection of six.
They are nice, but I already have tons of plain old green Elephant Ears that I got a Walmart--see pic below.

So the Breck's Elephant Ear collection was another total waste of money.

From my order this spring of 2 dahlias from 3 varieties, :

2 Santa Claus dahlia tubers and 1 Trebbiano dahlia tuber did not even come up. So I had the same 50% success rate, that I had with last year's order of dahlias.  NOT acceptable.
Here are the two urns with Trebbianos. As you can see the one on the right has no dahlia.
So my plan to have matching urns flanking the garage did not happen.

Last year the Rembrandt dahlia collection I ordered produced this gorgeous red/white specimen:
I have been waiting anxiously all this year for this dahlia to reappear.  Today my last dahlia bloomed and it is not this one.  Another dud.

The 50% first year success rate for Breck's dahlias ends up being just 25% after two years.  I am so disappointed that I have not ordered anything from this company for fall delivery.

So I am planning to send an email to Breck's this weekend with a link to this post. I will let you know what happens.


  1. Oh-I am so sorry to hear that you have had such bad luck. I have had wonderful luck with my things from Brecks in the past...although I will admit I have not ordered anything in the past 3 years...but their stuff has always produced superior results for me so it is disappointing to hear this news.

    I hope you can get some suitable replacements after all your work figuring out what you "lost". Hugs- Diana

  2. I never had much luck with them either, and I did the same thing, didn't let them know because I felt the same way; my time is limited and I just wanted good quality plants not shriveled up mis-labeled duds. If I put my best effort into taking the time to buy and plant something and tend it with reasonable care (and in your case, I'm sure the care was exceptional!) then there should be no reason why a plant won't grow. I think you are doing the best thing possible by contacting them and sending the link to your blog. I never ordered from them again. I like to look at their catalogs but that's as far as it goes. Anxious to see what results you receive.

  3. Good for you! I'm glad you took the time to write them. I know it's a big pain, but really, companies need to know when people aren't happy. If customers don't say anything, but don't return, they don't change their ways. I'm anxious to see what happens. Best of luck!

  4. I am a repeat customer of Bluestone Perenials. You will get little tiny plants - but they must have super roots - they always grow/bloom/come back and thoroughly delight me. Not spam- real testimony. Bulbs, tubers -plants all have been good.
    Kathleen NE Mich

  5. I think you did the right thing. You really aren't wasting your time, but learning too! There's another company that Martha Stewart uses...I have to go through and toss catalogs, but I'm thinking it's like David's. I didn't order flowers, but garden supplies. Will get back to you.
    I'm hoping Breck's gets back to you quickly!

  6. This does hurt a gardener's heart....sorry about the lack of success with the plants. Perhaps you should try another company...I believe it's worth your time to let the company know how their plants did or did not perform.

  7. it is agraviting to order or purchase things that don't work out..then to have to put in the time to get it corrected...that is why most people just drop it and they loose customers...


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