Experiences With McClure & Zimmerman?

I just received a catalog from this company and they seem to have quite a few interesting items but I've never heard of them before. Does anyone have experience, good or bad or indifferent, with them?
While I'm asking, how about Pinetree Garden Seeds?
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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Pinetree is awesome. McClure and Zimmerman has some neat and unusual bulbs. I like them. Not had any bad experiences with them. all excellent experiences with Pinetree..... madgardener

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bulbs.
Is there a web address anyone can provide?
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Joe wrote:

http://www.mzbulb.com http://www.superseeds.com
I haven't looked at either of these sites yet but they are the ones that the two companies lay claim to.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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sooooo, John, yer in Knoxvegas..........I lives in Dandridge, just east of ya...........<g> we're almost backdoor neighbors! I'm with Paggers on the Sheepers though. I haven't had too much go wrong with M&Z, but Sheepers seems to have a wonderful selection as well. . Pinetree's people are absolutely the best. The kinda nursery I'd like to work at, but since it's in Maine, no thank ya...<g> I've even sent seeds of my own to a customer rep and she sent me some in return! (they were her's not the company's) I am still intent on growng some Dragon plants for Squire............trouble now is where? the raised beds I have are chock full, and until I clear out more area, I have to quit with seed sowing----<g> try Sheepers too. Paggers knows her stuff about these places. and for yer info, Pinetree sends just the right amount of seeds for a gardener to deal with! madgardener up on the ridge, back in a coooold Fairy Holler overlooking English Mountain, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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Hey! ;->
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Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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On 12/24/04 7:52 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

Some people! LOL!
Cheryl
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On 12/23/04 12:51 PM, in article pzDyd.350$ snipped-for-privacy@bignews6.bellsouth.net,

McClure is great - just about the best prices and unusual stuff, not just the "fashion statement" bulbs.
Pinetree is a great source for seed and books!
Cheryl
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There are reports at davesgarden.com that M&Z that are very mixed, with a 74% positive ratings (of a dozen reporting) which is a surprisingly poor showing. This compares to my favorites John Scheepers with a 99% positive rating (of 42 people reporting), bulbmeister.com with 100% positive rating (10 people reporting) & oddyseybulbs.com at 100% postives (though a scant 4 reporting for this small but most interesting company). Also highly rated but not a place I order from is Brents (96% positive).
Checking why M&Z gets the most complaints & among the worst ratings, some say their orders are filled with large first-rate bulbs, others say they get smaller than average bulbs for a higher price than elsewhere. Shipping bulbs other than what was actually ordered seems to be quite common with them, a recurring complaint, & when forced to give refunds they do so, but never with a smile or an apology so people come away with a feeling that they did make it right, but did so grudgingly. While one HAPPY customer said he was miss-shipped bulbs that sold for more money than the ones he'd ordered & paid for, a much less happy customer said she gave what were supposed to be peony tulips a prominant place in the garden & what grew were plain pink tulips. Even people who give them generally positive ratings mention the sloppiness in filling orders with the wrong bulbs, though in most cases they liked what they didn't order well enough to not gripe to the company. One VERY unhappy customer ordered three kinds of bulbs of which one variety never grew at all, a second was different from what she ordered, & the third produced well & remained hardy thereafter.
The company's inability to apologize for even their biggest screw-ups was remarked upon by a fourth disgruntled customer who waited three months to FINALLY be told the bulbs she ordered were out of stock, throughout which time her phone calls & e-mails got her reassurances that the bulbs would be shipped within a week. Because they waited until December to inform her they would not be shipped after all, it was too late to order autumn bulbs elsewhere. I've never heard of any other bulb company pulling such a stunt.
Taking the complainers with the grain of salt, when I make my spring orders, I always assume there will be a couple of things that will never grow, because I have a tendency to at least TRY odd fritillaries or rare corydalises that are either delicate or marginal for my climate, & I don't blame the company if something fails unless the bulbs were rotten when they arrived (as happened only once from some long-forgotten company). I have also gotten the wrong bulbs shipped from time to time, but all I ever demanded was that the company inform me what it was I got instead, yet they replace orders without being asked & apologize for the mistake without my even needing an apology. M&Z should instruct whoever answers the phone to be readier with apologies, & I suspect fewer people would be unforgiving of the occasional miss-shipment.
Once oddyseybulbs.com realized the Dutch source had sent him a yellow crocus that wasn't the one he listed, & when he found out he wrote to his customers correcting the error, then sent the other yellow bulbs without charge the following autumn. I doubt many would've known the difference if not informed. John Scheepers has never yet sent me the wrong bulbs, & both Scheepers & Odyssey have very quickly informed me when a bulb was either out of stock or (in Scheeper's case) when something they had expected to be selling was not going to be in stock that year after all. I don't make big spring purchases, my big orders are always for autumn, so can't judge whose best for asiatic lilies or dahlias & the like.
Many people do praise M&Z's selection, but I'm less impressed. I order from a number of places for autumn bulbs, but the places I return to year after year are odysseybulbs.com for unusual species bulbs some of which I've never seen offered anywhere else; johnscheepers.com for the widest possible selection of the best cultivars affordably priced; vanengelen.com when I need to buy in bulk for a big planting job not in my own garden; & bulbmeister.com if I can afford one more big order in a flush year, they have a very wide selection of unusual species bulbs & tubers. I would not be inclined to order from M&Z's regular catalog even if their customer rating got above 74% positives someday, but if there was a big sale who knows, maybe I would.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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I've done business with both and they were both fine.
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Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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I find Pinetree's web site a bit tricky to get used to, but their seeds have performed quite well and I've patronized them for at least five years.
John McGaw wrote:

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I had good results dealing with MZ Bulb . I won't deal with Dutch Gardens ever again however.
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snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com wrote:

I have no experience with Dutch Gardens, but the 82% positive rating (with 58 reports) does indicate quite a few people end up disgruntled. Reading through the 58 reviewes, it appears that people who get autumn bulbs are not nearly as dissatisfied as people saddened or angered by what they received from spring orders. Many things apparently are shipped moldy, rotten, split, or unimpressively small. If the positive assessments from people who ordered autumn bulbs are removed from the equation, very few were entirely satisfied with what they got in spring.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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{Many things apparently are shipped moldy, rotten, split, or unimpressively small. If the positive assessments from people who ordered autumn bulbs are removed from the equation, very few were entirely satisfied with what they got in spring.}
Regarding Dutch Gardens That was my experience, and the fact that they do not stock what they sell it is another 4 weeks or so before replacements come from Holland. Also I got zero response to my e mails to them. (Gloriosa tubers) that appeared to have started growing in storage and then had the growing points rot off. Screw them , they are in a business where quality and communication matter.
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