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Re: OT: CAT: Van Dyck's

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] OT: CAT: Van Dyck's
  • From: Bill Shear <wshear@hsc.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 09:51:20 -0400

On 9/26/01 10:21 PM, "pbrooks@whidbey.net" <pbrooks@whidbey.net> wrote:

> Awhile ago I asked if anyone had ordered from Van Dyck's and what
> their experience had been.
> Well, I just got my order of bulbs, tulips and daffodils, and can
> report that they're excellent, big spotless bulbs -- even those for
> Minnow narcissi, which are only 8" tall but give 3-5 flowers.  I can
> recommend the source unreservedly.

I have always been pleased with Van Dyck's, though they do not always have
the lowest prices. 

 I do "comparison shopping" for fall bulbs by going through the catalogs and
deciding what I want.  Then I search for that item in ALL catalogs, making a
chart with prices, shipping, etc.  I almost always go for the cheapest.
This works because the catalogs are from brokers, not growers.  The bulbs
themselves come from relatively few sources used by nearly all the major
brokers.  So, quality is not usually an issue, as it relates to catalog
source.  Of course there are some obvious clunkers like the late unlamented
Michigan Bulb Company, but those get sorted out and if you use all reputable
sources, it's hard to go wrong.  I also try to find out if the brokers have
direct connections in Holland--I have been disappointed from time to time
using strictly USA firms, and probably they have been disappointed too.  If
a broker has someone on the ground in Holland, there is better quality

I find the quality of bulbs depends more on WHEN you order rather than who
you order from.  Early orders get fresher, better-looking bulbs, while late
orders take the left-overs.

Anyhow, this morning I stopped by WalMart and spent a (small) bundle on
bulbs to force.  I don't like to use expensive bulbs for forcing because
usually this so depletes the bulb that recovery is slow or never.  If the
bulbs are cheapies, I don't feel so guilty about tossing them after forcing.

Bill Shear

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