In 2013, High Country Gardens is celebrating its 20th anniversary under new ownership. High Country is now owned by American Meadows, similar to High Country Gardens, a leader in direct-to-consumer gardening products. David Salman, High Country's founder, will continue as Chief Horticulturist and be focused on developing the innovative, eco-friendly and waterwise perennials that the brand is known for. Thank you for all of your loyalty and support.
no_regrets San Diego, CA (6 reviews) January 7, 2017
I don't order live plants online very often, as we have so many wonderful nurseries in this area and it is not too difficult to find even rarer plants if you have the patience to hunt them down. However, High Country Gardens was running a great sale and they had a few types that really caught my attention, so I gave it a try. I ordered 6 different varieties, a few bags of bulbs, and a couple wildflower seed mixes.
The plants are mostly in extra-deep pots that allow for more room for roots, but a few aren't, so definitely check the product pages. They seem to ship them heavily pruned. They also tend to come rather dead-looking with a "I'm asleep!" tag, but so far they've all grown new leaves after planting. The bulbs gave me mixed results, but I certainly can't hold the company accountable for the late-season heat/drought waves that baked our ground into brick when it was supposed to be autumn. Lastly, I spread the wildflower seed mixes as directed, but then those cursed Santa Anas blew through, evaporating irrigation before it even had the chance to moisten the parched soil. I saw 0 germination. The company was actually kind enough to ship replacements even though it wasn't their fault. I waited until right before a winter rainstorm to spread the seeds again, and they seem to be popping up now... still very small but enough to know the seeds are good! I might sow the last of it in some pots to see how it goes.
Overall, my lessons learned were:
1. Great service. Their willingness to ship replacements even when things aren't their fault puts them head and shoulders above many others. They answer any questions you have quickly, too.
2. Order their plants with confidence, but perhaps only if you can't find them locally. Something in the shipping process requires them to cut them back to almost nothing above ground, so you won't get the immediate gratification you would with a nice big plant from the store.
3. Bulbs are a big question mark. I have had amazing bulbs from other sources, so probably won't need to order them from here again, but wouldn't be afraid to try.
I ordered some allium bulbs, a couple of perennials (Agastache) and a Caryopteris shrub from High Country Gardens this fall. I've ordered from High Country Gardens in the past, having always found their prices to be very good compared to others, and their selection of different or unique items to be excellent.
As with my past orders, everything arrived promptly and when promised, and in very good condition. I would not hesitate to recommend them.
I was very excited to have found High Country Gardens and ordered Dog Tuff grass plugs from them on Oct 6 for planting in zone 6. I was impressed by the website and its statement that they ship when it's appropriate for the zone being shipped to. The transaction posted in my account on 10/7. High Country Gardens called me to verify my shipping address within three days after placing my order. I called today (10/12) to check on the status of shipping and because one portion of their website stated the plugs could be planted in the fall while another states planting in the spring. I was told today that the plugs would be shipped to me next week ( 2 weeks after the order was placed and my account was charged). I asked about the fall/spring planting question and was told that they apologized and it was too late for planting this year. It was only because I phoned and raised the question about planting times that the shipment was stopped despite the website's statement that they ship when appropriate for the order. I've recently paid to have my existing lawn cleared in preparation for planting this fall, money I will now have to eat. My only experience with this company has been negative. Company representative comment on October 12, 2016: On Oct 12, 2016 4:16 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm sorry about the confusion over your order. Due to the size of our typical grass plug orders and the prep work that needs to go into shipping them, we send them to our greenhouse on Thursdays for preparation for Monday shipment. (We only ship grass plugs on Mondays) You placed your order on the 6th (a Thursday) and our address verification software kicked it back as an undeliverable address. By the time we confirmed the address with you, we'd missed that week's shipping cutoff. Your order was ready to ship on the 17th. With Lyon, CO being right in the foothills, you're on the edge regarding planting at this time of year. In situations like this, it's hard for us to have rules on our website down to the zip code level. Therefore, we have manual checks in place before we ship an order such as yours. Rest assured that your order was being evaluated from our end when you called and we discussed a spring planting with you. I apologize if you got any confusing information at any step. From your post, it appears as though we could have communicated better.
Ethan Platt | President
DaveEgbert Carpenter, SD (Zone 5a) (3 reviews) July 10, 2016
Posted on July 10, 2016, updated July 10, 2016
Posted on November 24, 2013, updated July 10, 2016
Long time fan of the catalog, placed my second order for 2013 in late October.
Plants were Penstemon punifolious, Salvia daghastanica, Phlox nana, Chrysothamnus nauseous.
Plants were very strong, green and well rooted. The penstemon were in small 3 inch liners. The others in 6 inch large liners. All were rooted very well at the bottom and garden ready. They came packed in a special box with pots wrapped in plastic bags to hold in soil and moisture.
Only drawback of the whole experience was that the customer agent on the phone was not very familiar with the stock and was reluctant to look for alternate sizes of the plants I wanted initially and urged me to shop online instead. It was at the end of the season so I had thought calling would ensure a better guarantee of getting what I wanted.
Over all great experience.On July 10th, 2016, DaveEgbert added the following:
Received two orders this Spring. One had Penstemon, marrumbium, Geum, oenothera, Yucca, and Tanacetum. Plants overall were in good shape except for Penstemon and Tanacetum. Both were in bad shape but I thought the Tanacetum would come back. Contacted customer service and received a prompt reply with both some advice and later, an offer to provide a refund. Although the Geum and Tanacetum also passed I am still pleased overall with the selections, service and support. On July 10th, 2016, DaveEgbert added the following:
Received two orders this Spring. One had Penstemon, marrumbium, Geum, oenothera, Yucca, and Tanacetum. Plants overall were in good shape except for Penstemon and Tanacetum. Both were in bad shape but I thought the Tanacetum would come back. Contacted customer service and received a prompt reply with both some advice and later, an offer to provide a refund. Although the Geum and Tanacetum also passed I am still pleased overall with the selections, service and support.
I was looking for a grass that didnt need much water as I live in Northern California and we are in a severe drought. I talked to a person at High Country Garden and because we have 3 dogs he recommended Dog Tuff Grass. I ordered the grass in May but they wouldn't be able to ship till middle of June. While I was getting my ground ready, which was very easy, I called them up many times. Each person who I talked to was very knowledgeable and service friendly. I got 5 trays of Dog Tuff Grass and the process to put in ground was very easy. The grass has been in a little over a week and its spreading a lot faster than I thought it would. Looks GREAT and so happy! I would recommend this company to my friends. FIVE *****+
Adrienneny Staten Island, NY (Zone 6b) (5 reviews) May 24, 2016
I dislike writing a negative review but my experience with High Country Gardens was negative in multiple ways. I’m disheartened to read how they respond to some of the negative reviews here too.
* They sent an email about some plants ordered not being in stock AFTER they shipped the order.
* They substituted the plants which were not in stock for plants I was not permitted to decide upon.
* When I politely inquired about this, I received zero replies in five days.
* Two of the plants were missing plant tag names.
* Every plant was tiny and harshly pruned even to the base on many of them. This is unnecessary and does not benefit the customer. Other plant sellers ship the same species of plants without doing that.
It is a shame when a business cuts corners like this. Excuses and bidding farewell to longtime customers isn’t the answer. Busy? Hire more employees. Employees not doing an adequate job? Increase the wage/training and hire better ones. Other plant sellers manage to run their business very well therefore it’s disingenuous to claim they can’t.
I’m glad there are other plant sellers out there providing better service and an equal or greater variety of plants. Company representative comment on May 25, 2016: On May 25, 2016 8:25 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm sorry that you were not happy with your experience with you. In looking at our communication history with you, I see that we did in fact send you an email after the order shipped. That was a technical mistake.
As for your other concerns, we work hard to set customer expectations and send plants with healthy root systems, ready to thrive in your garden. Often we cut back the top growth before shipping to ensure the plant transplants well.
Once again, sorry that we failed to live up to your expectations. We strive every day to get better - that's the only way small companies like ours can survive these days!
Posted on May 24, 2013, updated May 24, 2016
Posted on May 17, 2013, updated May 24, 2013
Well I have ordered for years from High Country Gardens, I had good success with their plants and customer service, until recently. I had a replacement plant order that was going to be shipped to me in April. I waited for my plants to arrive as promised, they did not show up. I have basically had the same experience as Magnolia92. When the plants didn\'t arrive I e-mailed and callled them (tried to call them) as they never answer their telephone. I finally got a response from my e-mail saying that due to cold weather in Denver the plants haven\'t grown like they should and that I would receive my shipment two weeks later. Well it is now almost three weeks later and of course still no plants. As in the first case no one called/e-mailed me to let me know that my plants would not be shipped to me. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, if I can\'t make my promised dates of shipping I let my customers know. I don\'t rely on my customers to keep calling me and e-mailing me asking me where my order is. I communicate with them. Terrible service nothing but excuses as to why I am not receiving my plants. On May 24th, 2013, utahxericman added the following:
Well more time has passed, finally received an e-mail stating that a plant was missing and that they would ship soon (whatever that means) have waited again this week, still no plants, still no phone call or e-mail saying I would get my plants this week, still no idea when I will get my plants. I am thinking about asking for my money back, I initially asked to get High country gardens credit for the plants they didn\'t have and then plant replacements on the ones they did, but I think I am wasting my time, and that I may have to eat the 100 dollars worth of plants. Nothing seems to be going right for them and the customer service after all these complaints hasn\'t improved a bit. On May 24th, 2016, utahxericman added the following:
It has been a while since I ordered from High Country Gardens, last time I ordered they were going through a change of ownership. So I decided to give them some time to work through the process. I had some store credit with them so I placed a small order 4 plants (2 of the plants I ordered I can't find locally, one of the plants is an HCG exclusive plant) the other two plants that I ordered I can find locally, I just wanted to use up my credit with them. I received an e-mail saying the HCG exclusive plant wasn't ready to ship and wouldn't be ready this year to ship, so they replaced it with another Agastache --bummer, I didn't want the other Agastache, that is why I ordered the other one..I can find the Agastache they sent me locally for 5.50-6.50 in a much bigger pot and plant. The gayfeather I ordered in a 2.5 inch pot again I could have found a much bigger plant for $5.50 locally, it really is a tiny plant about as much leaf growth on it as a .50 cent piece I would be embarrassed to send something out like that to my customers. The other two plants I received were small, but it is to be expected of the type and size of plants HCG sends out, maybe they sent me their crap plants because I used my store credit, who knows, it is too bad, this company has some neat xeric plants, but I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. Company representative comment on May 25, 2016: On May 17, 2013 11:38 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
You\'re correct in saying that there\'s no excuse for not providing better communication about order statuses. I can assure you that at American Meadows, we have both the people and systems to do just that. Unfortunately the systems we inherited from High Country have proven challenging. We have tried to send email updates where applicable and make out-bound calls as well. We have not been able to stay on top of everyone.
I apologize for the poor communication and can assure you that we are working around the clock to improve the situation.
American Meadows & High Country Gardens
On May 25, 2016 8:34 AM, High Country Gardens added:
I'm sorry that we were not able to deliver your preferred plant. Many of our varieties are tricky to grow, which is why they're not available at big box stores. Sometimes, despite all of our efforts, the plants don't reach a quality that we're pleased with. In those cases, we have found that most customers prefer that we choose a replacement. Otherwise, we need to contact those customers and the resulting back-and-forth delays the shipment. It's a no-win situation.
In looking at your history, it appears as though you ordered from us last year as well. I hope those plants are doing well and we encourage you to plant the varieties that you received. If you would still like exclusive agastache, just let us know and we will set up a replacement for the next season that it's available.
The plants that I received were small and not worth the price that I paid for them. I contacted the company and mentioned that one of the items received was pretty small and probably would not survive if planted and requested a bigger replacement and/or refund. Two days later I still have not received an email response to my inquiry. It appears that their customer service is not very prompt when it comes to answering emails.Company representative comment on May 14, 2016: On May 14, 2016 9:06 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Dear Don, I'm sorry that you were not pleased with the size of your plants. We work very hard to set customer expectations through our product details, "how your plants will ship" photos and our videos. As always, everything we sell comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and we always want to see our customers happy.
We strive to reply to all emails in 48 hours but the reality of this time of year is that we don't always maintain that level of desired turnaround. I see that your email came in late on Thursday night. Our customer service department is here Mon-Sat and works through the emails oldest first. We will be in touch early this week to talk about a resolution.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and best of luck in the garden.
These guys have amazing products. All of their perennials are neonicotinoid-free and our bee hives certainly appreciate that. That is a HUGE reason to shop here. HUGE. Further, their customer support is amazing, as they are always willing to work with you from any advice to any possible issues with an order. This is our new go-to place for perennials.
I was having the hardest time finding the herb Anise Hyssop (Agastache Blue Fortune) anywhere...and especially at a reasonable price! Not only was I able to purchase it from HCG, but they also expedited it when they didn't have to. I just received it yesterday...and the herb is dark green and filled with life! I planted it the moment I got it. Can't wait to see all the Humming birds, bees and butterflies, buzzing around my garden...and that delicious licorice taste of the leaves as well!
A+ rating from me!
Lamorgan Castle Rock, CO (1 review) April 25, 2016
Without a doubt, High Country Gardens is my favorite place to order plants. I have been ordering plants from HCG every year for over 20 years. First of all, their online ordering is so easy. No problems ever ordering what I needed. Second, their customer service representatives are wonderful. I've only had to call them a few times, but when I did it was always a pleasant experience. If there was an issue with a plant, they sent me a new one right away. This year several of the plants I ordered went on sale a few days later. I called their customer service representative and was so pleased that they gave me an adjustment to my credit card.
I called last week to add a few plants to my pending order. As always I had a very pleasant experience, and now have 10 new plants coming next week.
I just want to let everyone know that I received the most beautiful plant from your company. I ordered a penstemon and when I opened the box I found a very health, nicely potted, lush plant. In addition, the planting and care instructions that were included were very helpful. Last year I ordered some perennials from a different company. When I received them they were less than an inch tall and in the smallest "pots" I had ever seen. Needless to say, they did not survive. I was hesitant to order plants again but after having the excellent customer service, the email shipping notification, and the arrival of this beautiful plant I will not hesitate to order from your company again!
I have ordered from High Country Gardens several times now and had great experiences every time. Pluses: The plants thrive in my Tucson 9b garden and have healthy root systems. They ship quickly. They have THE BEST customer service. At one point I thought a Penstemon I had ordered from them died in transit. I called after about a week of trying to revive it and not only did they replace my plant, they gave me a whole different plant per my request. Then, sitting in my compost bin, the Penstemon began to grow leaves again. They have a great plant selection, also. The only minus is the plants do arrive small, but like I said, they're tough and healthy. If you ever have a problem, seriously, just call them and they will fix it.Company representative comment on April 5, 2016: On Apr 5, 2016 1:23 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thanks, idreamofcactus (as do we!) for the kind words! Our team always appreciate the props, especially during this crazy time of year.
For the past few years I've often bought plants and bulbs and seeds from highcountrygardens.com.
Even though the web site shopping and placing an order was interrupted by two or three popups asking for email at the start and asking about a Google service when near the end of placing the order, I still like the web site. It has good pictures and descriptions of the plants. There is accurate information such as the plant's height, width, water needs, amount of sunlight, climate zone, flower time, flower color, etc. You can search by plant type such as fall-planting bulbs or xeriscaping. Also there is reviews for each plant that are helpful information about people's experiences with the plants.
The packages we received are in perfect condition almost every time. Even one time when the package was apparently dropped, the plants did ok. The plants are packed in a way to avoid damage in shipment. Each plant has a label tag so they won't get mixed up. With proper care the plants almost always do well. I've never had any complaints.
aimeej Albuquerque, NM (10 reviews) November 9, 2015
This year I took advantage of the Fall sale with High Country Gardens. I was a little hesitant at first because I live in New Mexico and High Country Gardens was started in Santa Fe and I had ordered from them with good results, but when American Meadows bought them I noticed that their availability and number of varieties decreased. However, this year they had everything I was looking for at nice prices and very reasonable shipping. The plants that arrived were very large, very healthy, well rooted and wonderfully packed. I will definitely order from them again and I recommend them highly.
Agavegirl1 Casa Grande, AZ (2 reviews) July 25, 2015
Today, July 25th, 2015 I wanted to place an order. Although I read the reviews I decided the good outweighed the bad. I was also pleased that the company responded quickly and addressed any negative comments, questions and concerns. Obviously they cared.
My problem, however, came when everything I wanted to order came up "not available", "not yet available" or "out of stock". Seriously? We're talking basic plants like succulents, Agaves, Aloes. We're not talking exotics. I thought they had a green house? Things grow in a green house.
I switched to looking at what I call "generic flowers". Mums, lilies, etc. Same thing. So what exactly do they have and what is it they sell?
I would be very leery and overly concerned about browsing their website more, contacting them, signing up for emails or giving out more of my personal contact information than necessary. Since they have been taken over by another company I don't know what type of data they are collecting or what type of consumer base they are trying to build.
I'm sure they are a legitimate company. I'm just very confused why every plant they showed was either unavailable or out of stock. Company representative comment on July 27, 2015: On Jul 27, 2015 8:06 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thanks for your note. We have two main shipping seasons: Feb - June and Sept - Nov. Although we do grow in greenhouses, plants just don't like to be shipped or transplanted in the extreme temps of summer and winter. Ever sat in a FedEx truck for a few days in July in Arizona!!??
The way we (and most, if not all mail-order nurseries) work is that we accept advanced orders during the off-season and we will ship at the right time for planting in your zone. You mentioned agave: We're offering 4 for fall delivery http://www.highcountrygardens.com/perennial-plants/agave Note that we generally have a broader selection of plants in the spring when demand is higher. Also note that our plant selection is constantly evolving. We keep discontinued plants on our site under the 'unavailable' section so the people who bought them in the past can still come and find planting or care information.
Hope that answers your questions/concerns. If not, call us from 7 AM - 5 PM MT, Monday - Friday. 800-925-9387
I have done thousands of dollars worth of business from HCG over the past 10 years & their greenhouses are not 5 miles from my house (yet I cannot go there & select the plants - they ship them to you at significant cost). I bought 5 plants from them in 2014 & was appalled by the tiny size. I called them & the rep said "if they are alive, that's all we promise". HCG was bought out last year by an outfit from New England I will not do business with them ever again.Company representative comment on July 13, 2015: On Jul 13, 2015 9:36 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Dear tomato2, I'm sorry that you were not happy with your plants. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee is just that - if you're not satisfied, we make it right. "If they are alive, that's all we promise" simply is not our philosophy - we wouldn't stay in business long with that attitude! We looked in our records and can't find a record of anyone from Placitas calling to talk about quality or request a resolution. Feel free to call and ask for me directly if you don't feel that this is accurate.
As for your point about the greenhouse in Santa Fe, David Salman maintains that as a plant development facility and propagates a limited amount of our unique, exclusive and hard-to-grow plants. Our full line is grown and shipped from Denver.
I'm sorry to lose your business. Best of luck and contact me if I can be of any assistance.
Ordered big. Over $200 in plants. Some came that were so tiny, I doubted the survival. Two months later, all good. The soil and potting treatment the plants come with are all fine. For me, the smaller size made for much easier planting on a slope that is difficult to work. Now I'm thinking it's more up to me, God, and the environment than for the nursery. You might be able to find similar cultivars for less, but HCG does make it easier.
I was happy with the plants I got from them, neat varieties I didn't see elsewhere and an excellent selection of xeric plants. They arrived in good shape and stood up well to transplanting. I would order from them again.
The plants are expensive for the tiny size. The local nurseries have same plants only much bigger and not an high shipping charge. I have ordered every year and seem to get much smaller plants every year. The shipping is very slow. The last order was two weeks delayed because of internal computer problems, this order of seed I have not even got a tracking number yet. I have emailed them but they do not respond. I have decided to not use them anymore for the size of plants, price, and service it just is not worth it in my opinion. Company representative comment on May 27, 2015: On May 27, 2015 3:44 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Dear Chris, We're sorry you were not happy with your order - you've been a great customer for multiple years and we'd hate to lose you.
Just to clarify a few of your concerns, you placed your order on Friday, May 8th. As it's later in the season, we contacted you to let you know that we didn't have an item you ordered. You chose a replacement and your order shipped on Friday, May 15th.
As for your seed order, it was placed on May 25th and shipped today, two days later. You will get a confirmation email tonight when our email batch process runs. From our records, it appears as though all of your inquiries have been responded to within 48 hours. If that's not the case, please let me know.
Again, sorry for your frustration. In our business, we have a crazy busy season that lasts less than 8 weeks. It's a challenge for a small business to staff up for such a short rush, but we do our best to reply promptly to all questions and both your orders shipped within the 5 business days we indicate at checkout.
I am an experienced gardener with an extensive mail order history. This is my first negative review. I ordered from High Country Gardens for the 2014 season. One of the plants they sent was the wrong cultivar, one that will not grow in my region. They were not able to replace it with the correct plant. I requested a refund. Instead I got a credit. The remainder of the plants went into the garden. Only one has established well. All the others are slow, more so than anything else I planted that season. One of them I also ordered from another company by mistake. The other company's plant put on twice the growth and came through the winter better. This spring I decided to use my credit and be done forever with this company. The plant arrived last week, snapped off about two inches above the base, probably because the plant had been grown in uneven light and was shaped like an S, and then packed poorly. I request a refund, NOT a credit. Guess who got a credit instead? I so want to be done with this company!Company representative comment on May 26, 2015: On May 26, 2015 11:10 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm sorry that you didn't have the kind of excellent experience that we strive for with all of our customers.
We looked at your account and noted that according to our records, you were given the option of a refund or a credit last spring when you reported that your onethera didn't survive, and you chose a credit. When you were not happy with the eupatorium that you purchased with that credit, the representative that you talked to simply re-activated your credit. She did not realize that you wanted a refund back to the card that you used for your order last year. I have asked our CS team to void that credit and issue a refund instead.
I'm sorry for the confusion, but we always give our unhappy customers the choice of a replacement (if available), a credit or a refund.
This is the first time I ordered from High Country Gardens. I placed 2 different orders. The 1st one was scheduled to be delivered the week of April 6. On April 2 I received an email informing me that the order was going to be delayed because one of the plants needed a little more time for the root system to develope. I was given the option of picking a substitute, but I chose to wait. The order arrived the following week, and the plants were all healthy with very well developed roots. The 2nd order was shipped the following week, and those plants were also in excellent condition. I was very pleased that they did not want to send me a plant that was not fully developed. It shows that they care about the quality of their plants. I will definitely order from them again.
High Country Gardens is a marvelous source of xeriscape plants. High altitude gardening in Telluride is always a challenge, and their plants have performed beautifully. I've had marvelous success with their Eriogonum and Helianthemum. These are not easy to find plants in my experience. Customer service is outstanding: super friendly and super knowledgable. Thanks High Country!
I am an experienced, avid (ok, addicted ) gardener who has ordered from at least 9 different online plant nurseries (though I still source the majority of my plants locally; I rarely currently propagate) over the past 15 + years. This would include roughly 500 plants now from HCG, 2nd only to Annie’s Annuals & Perennials, where I have ordered maybe 1500 plants over the same time period (but also have the ability to source from nearly year round). So I have experienced HCG through the ups & downs and believe I have “some” background with other nurseries for comparison purposes. I now wholeheartedly feel that HCG is on the way back up—perhaps eclipsing where they were before.
Since I routinely source online websites for new information (and HCG’s catalogs—both written & online—have always been among the best), I just happened upon the initial closure of HCG the day it was posted, now over 2 plus yrs ago. I shared this with several bookwriters & other nurseryfolk I occasionally converse with, and they were as taken aback by this as I was--though there was quite a bit evidence of this unraveling over the previous yr. Up until sometime in early ’11 perhaps, I had noticed that HCG plant & order quality—though I never had any major prior problems—seemed to be gradually improving. Plant size & breadth were increasing, as was shipping quality & responsiveness. But that-along with numerous technical difficulties—seemed to all but disappear over the next yr. Thought I never got the read that HCG was previously an extremely high customer oriented company, they did appear to try to address the problems that I had experienced. Then the shutdown announcement posted on their website. A notable new Mexico businessman & plantsman I have befriended helped to put this in perspective—it seemed that HCG had been hit by the quadruple whammy: 1) a downtown in the national as well as the local New Mexico economy, already a relatively poor state that relies heavily on government contractural income 2) several seasons of increased drought, resulting in some areas of more watering or planting restrictions 3) Increased competition from the local big box suppliers 4) perhaps some overextension on the retail store/trade side, at the same time these other factors were occurring let to HCG’s downfall. I had the sense the Salmon’s—who had an overall ~ 29 yr history here—likely did all they could to resolve this situation on the hope and belief they could at least salvage some of this.
I share this because I believe it is important to know that—though was a period the previous owners (and thereby customers) had experienced numerous difficulties--the entity that took over any remaining assets & runs all this now is a COMPLETELY different established, successful company (though I believe they were wise to retain David as a consultant--his many accomplishments are well known in industry circles).
I learned how different early on when I went to place my first order. I was quickly called on the phone by a service representative of the company who simply wanted to let me know I had ordered some zone 8 plants for my low desert zone 9 clime. I quickly explained that the order was intentional, I either had extensive prior successful experience with the genus or a related plant and/or had set up appropriate microclimes to increase success. He then said he just wanted to be sure, as they offered a full year, full return quarantee. I politely told him that I considerend the loss of any plant I had in the ground more than a couple days to be completely on me. I rec’d the same call by a rep on a 2nd order. Above & beyond, IMO. Interestingly, in addition, as I was writing the company, the President (as it pertains to this division I believe) himself, Ethan Platt, responded directly. We had a couple nice exchanges. What impressed me the most about him—was not only that he took his valuable time to write a customer (and at that time, they likely did not know my lengthy multi-annual order history, as nearly all their customer files had to be restored, including mine subsequent to this) but that he was very CANDID in letting me know they they had implemented many of the necessary changes and were hoping to even exceed where they were before, but that there may still be some growing pains, He politely asked for my understanding & patience, indicating most would likely be solved by the next Spring. Though I typically complete most of my planting by early Fall to increase my chances of success, I decided to place a couple more small orders. And sure enough, with each successive order, I saw an improvement in quality.
HCG is a nurseryman’s nursery. As one example, I would visit noted plantsman, nurseryman & successful bookwriter Gregg Starr in Tucson and found he was enamored with HCG plants & selection. They were the only plants he would display or provide outside of his own extensive SW native succulent stock. In his own plantings, he would attractively intermingle HCG plants. I highly believe that the more drought tolerant, more native larval & “pollinator extraordinare” style plants that HCG propagates/supplies are the gradual wave of the future. One day there may be more selective enforcement of these types of plants.
Though I hope it is the rare natural beauty these plants provide that ultimately necessitates that switch instead; once you have patience & discover the breadth of offerings and beauty these beneficial plants provide, I believe you will be hooked. I am certainly not suggesting you give HCG a shot for these reasons alone; this is a suggestion that you strongly consider (or reconsider) HCG as it is an entirely new entity that appears to be working very hard, as evidenced by their many repeated efforts with me, to once again become a top notch service company providing an array of beautiful plants that are hard to find in this quantity elsewhere.
This is an unsolicited endorsement that unfortunately has taken me way too long to free up and to write.
Company representative comment on December 31, 2014: On Dec 31, 2014 9:46 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Topgunja - Happy New Year! Thank you so much for taking the time to convey your experiences with us. We really appreciate your business and love to be able to provide people like you with unique plants you won't find anywhere else.
Here's to great gardening success (and maybe a bit more rain?) in 2015!
Ordered daffodils. Bulbs arrived in a timely manner and are the biggest, prettiest bulbs I've ever seen!
Liked my experience with High Country Gardens so much that I have now ordered blue grape hyacinth bulbs from them. Can't wait for Spring to see these yellow daffodils bordered with the grape hyacinths, under my white flowering dogwood trees! Should be gorgeous!
Also, got a very cordial email response from their Customer Service Representative, Leigh. So, my experiences with this company have been very positive and I would certainly do business with them again.
lopesgw Rio Rancho, NM (1 review) September 26, 2014
I had a couple of plants I'd purchased which failed to thrive; not only did wonderful Customer Service rep Leigh get in touch with David Salman to ask questions, but she also replaced the items after it was determined that was the right course to take! Leigh was consistently cordial, dealt exceptionally competently with the intricacies of my situation, and was prompt and efficient! I can't say enough about the customer service at High Country Gardens! A few years ago, when the company was sold and Ethan Platt took charge, there were some tough moments as much change and new processes were worked out. HCG is even better than before, and their highly responsive and thorough customer service is the main reason I am a loyal customer! The plants are wonderful, but the people who stand behind them are even more so! Thanks HCG, and especially Leigh, for making me feel I am a valued customer, one whom you all encourage as I stumble my way through xeric gardening!
Posted on June 7, 2013, updated September 8, 2014
Posted on June 6, 2013, updated June 7, 2013
Posted on June 5, 2013, updated June 6, 2013
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 5, 2013
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 4, 2013
Posted on May 15, 2010, updated May 20, 2010
So far, I am very pleased with what I\'ve gotten from High Country Gardens. The Alyssum they sent me is nice and large and green, very healthy!
When I intially placed my phone order for the Turkish Speedwell and Pink Chintz Thyme, I had requested a shipping date of May 24th, based on past experience of cold Springs and frost even after Mothers Day. However, it has really warmed up these last several days, and the weather forecast says it will continue to be nice. Night-time temperatures are in the 40s, or at our elevation, maybe the very high 30s, but it no longer freezes. So High Country Gardens has now offered to change the shipping date so I will receive my plants next week. This will be great, as the sooner they can be in the ground, the better headstart they will have.
Great experience, so far. I have ordered from them in the past and shall continue to do so. On May 20th, 2010, flowermaiden2 added the following:
The rest of my order arrived today, and it\'s amazing how well packed the little groundcovers were! Not a leaf out of place! I really am looking forward to the lovely pink chintz thyme when it begins blooming, which I realize won\'t be for awhile yet as it establishes its root system. Ditto for the creeping Veronica Oltensis speedwell. Yet, even as I was inspecting them, I noticed a couple tiny blooms, a lovely azure blue. I am delighted with all I\'ve gotten from High Country gardens this year, and will continue adding to my flowerbed in future seasons, via their catalog.
updateOn June 4th, 2013, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
As of today, June 4, 2013, I have to rate this company negatively. They aren\'t the same company, anymore, and their behavior toward me, and apparently others here, has been atrocious.
When I tried to initially place my order, I was put on hold so long that I had to hang up and try again later. When I finally got a represenative on the phone, there was a strange echo in the phone system (either my end or theirs), which made it very difficult to hear the rep and understand what he was saying. I asked him to speak a little louder and more clearly as I was having trouble hearing him. HE HUNG UP ON ME!
I then sent an e-mail explaining what had happened and (I\'ll admit, strongly) suggested they train their order takers to NOT hang up on customers simply because they\'re asked to speak a little louder!
I tried again to place my order, and this time we were able to get it done, though the echo persisted and I still had trouble understanding the rep. He gave me an order number, which I wrote down. I repeated it back to him and confirmed it was correct.
I had ordered three Agastache rupestris, which I was told would be shipped from Denver around May 26th, via FedEx.
It is now June 4th, and I haven\'t received any shipping confirmation, and my order hasn\'t arrived. I have tried calling them three times about it, and nobody answers the phone. The one time it rolled over to voice mail, I left my name, order number, complete phone number with area code and asked them when I could expect to receive my order. I also asked them to please return my call PROMPTLY.
I never heard from them.
I have also e-mailed them three times, and haven\'t received a single reply, despite confirmation that my e-mails went through.
They have charged my credit card with plants they have thus far failed to deliver. They refuse to communicate with me, and I don\'t know if they ever will. I am on the verge of reporting them to the Better Business Bureau and/or filing a formal complaint with their state\'s attorney general. It is illegal to charge someone\'s credit card and fail to deliver the goods, and it\'s also illegal to stonewall when contacted about it.
I understand that the weather in Denver has caused some glitches in their inventory, but there\'s absolutely NO excuse to dodge my inquires, especially after taking my money. I have a right to expect this to be resolved in a fair and ethical manner.
At the moment, I am in limbo and don\'t know what to do next, except dispute the charge on my credit card. I\'m hoping the company rep will respond here and give me some means of communicating with them. I would still rather receive my plants, as our growing season is short and I need to get them into the ground ASAP. I was really looking forward to beautiful Agastache blooms!
On June 5th, 2013, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Now that I finally know that my order will be shipped within the next two days, I shall wait for FedEx to deliver it.
I\'m glad , Mr. Platt, that you have taken the time to respond. I\'m a little puzzled as to why this has only now come to your attention, since I sent several previous e-mails and had left one voice mail message. Perhaps the difference is that I had previously e-mailed HCG from the \"contact us\" tab on the website instead of using the \"e-mail them\" option from this watchdog page.
Evidently, all those contacts got hung up in the system, too.
I wish to be fair about this. I will await my order and give it reasonable time in which to arrive. I really am looking forward to planting my Agastaches.
Thank you, Ethan, for assuring me this will be taken care of.
On June 6th, 2013, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Today, I got a full shipping confirmation with correct and complete information. Looks like my Agastaches are going to arrive, afterall! Hope they\'re in reasonably good condition. I have spots picked out and set aside for them in my garden.
I think by now it\'s fair to say the folks at HCG are overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with everything. They may not have realized what they were getting into when they took over the company.
I now have hope that eventually they\'ll again be the top notch mail-order nursery they once were. It looks like Ethan is making a real effort at this. On June 7th, 2013, flowermaiden2 added the following:
My Agastaches arrived today, and they look good. When it cools off this evening, they\'re going into the ground.
I think we can all be hopeful that things will get straightened out and will run smoothly again.
Ethan has delivered according to his word, and now I feel confident about ordering again in the future.
On September 8th, 2014, flowermaiden2 added the following:
This year, I am very pleased to announce that I have received my order promptly for Fall, and all my plants are nice and green and healthy. They moved up the shipping date for me to allow more time for roots to become established before it begins snowing, which is unpredictable around here. Everything I've ordered is in the ground and doing well. It's obvious they have fixed last year's problems and are now up and going again, with great service. Company representative comment on June 5, 2013: On Jun 5, 2013 10:13 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
flowermaiden2: I'm so sorry for your frustrating experience. When we took over High Country on Feb 1, we inherited their existing phone, inventory and order management systems. It turns out, there were extreme flaws in these systems and we've been doing all that we can to manage the consequences.
Your order is an example of what we've had to deal with: You entered it on May 10, the plants you ordered are available, yet the order is just "hanging" in our system. Now that you've brought it to our attention, we're manually forcing it out of the system and it will ship within the next 2 days.
I'm very sorry for the negative experience you have my personal promise that we won't rest until we get all these issues ironed out.
Hello to our favorite Gardening Place that we spend our money to have a beautiful yard!!!
I've have had many wonderful experiences with your staff, Adrianne and Matthew in particular this season. They are all so well trained and are always wanting to help. Since I've been dealing with your fabulous company, I've had the pleasure working with two of your employees, Adrianne and Matthew.
Both Adrianne and Matthew are very dedicated employees. Their follow-up for the customer, ME, has been proven to go beyond the extra mile with Customer Service.
I had a little problem with the shipment of over 30 plants. What are the odds that one plant didn't make it during the shipping process. I say that was pretty darn good! Adrianne replaced my plant and gave personal attention by calling the shipment area so the replacement would come as I would have expected. Plus I purchased additional plants. The replacement did come perfect and it is thriving along with my other plants! Adrianne is extremely pleasant and patient. I appreciate her resolving a little problem to which PROVED to me that your company is WONDERFUL!
Just recently, Matthew helped me tremendously with my future shipment because I'm not going to be home when the schedule shipment is scheduled for that specific week. I was also able to order additional items during that phone call and then the next day I changed my order and added other items. I don't mean to be a pain with my orders and I promise to do better each time!
Matthew is truly SINCERE when he speaks to me (I'm sure he is with all of your customers), absolutely professional and knows how to pronounce the names of all items - he doesn't even laugh at me when I try and he should - but I'm probably one of your customers who might be a bit different and can definitely make fun of myself. He has a terrific personality, you can hear his Smile within his voice when he is taking care of a customer.
He even remembered me from months ago, very impressive!!! Now that is an extremely important attribute only some people can embrace.
I look forward to continue doing business with this fantastic company which includes your sister company American Meadows! I've had success with all of our planting and love everything we purchase over the years!
Thank you to Matthew and Adrianne for making my telephone experiences a pleasure to spend money!!!
Just wanted to thank you for your superior plants and customer service. I like the fact that you stand by your products. I had received 4 plants that were part of the BOGO promotion last month. They weren't as perky as your plants usually are. When I called customer service to asked whether I should give them more time in the ground, Ted immediately replaced the order with healthy plants. These plants arrived green and healthy, despite the summer heat. I used to have several online nurseries that I did business with, now I have just one- yours! Thanks again!
My experience with High Country Gardens has been similar to others noted here in that I had been a customer for a number of years with mostly good experiences, but in spring 2013 I encountered a number of problems with poor customer service, order problems, poor packaging, and plants that didn't survive long after arriving. It became clear that the change in ownership was a part of the challenge the company was obviously facing.
In late summer 2013 the new company president, Ethan Platt, sent out a general letter to customers about some of the changes and I responded with a detailed description of the problems I had encountered and my frustration. I was very surprised to get a personal phone call from Mr. Platt, who in fact made a point to follow up when I was originally unavailable and has continued to follow up with me.
Mr. Platt was forthcoming about the problems they had encountered, what they had done to change things, and what still needed to be addressed. Figuring everyone deserves a second chance, I did place some orders when spring 2014 came around and I remain impressed with the changes at HCG. Plants were much better packaged and arrived in good health and properly mature for going into the ground. While there were still some glitches, the customer service I received to get things resolved was excellent. I especially liked that the customer service reps were proactive about checking to make sure the issues really had been resolved.
The plants I ordered this spring are all doing well and I will continue to be a customer of HCG and recommend it to other gardeners I know.
Love the unique selection of plants. Have ordered a few times, with some successes. I attribute the failures to my love of trying plants on the edge for my zone, just to see if I could pull something off that no one else around can. Doesn't always work out, but not because the plants arrived in poor shape, because they have always been well packaged and thriving at arrival. By far my two big successes are the monarda fistulosa 'Wichita Mtn form' and the 'Marcus' salvia. It took two years for them to get going with less care than they deserved those first years, but now, they have come Iinto their own and everyone is dying to get them for our local pollinators.
Communications have always been right there, packing top notch, and plant quality superb. No hesitation to go for it again.
Now, if I could just get one place that the wild Four O' Clock will grow....
I've ordered plants from HCG for a number of years. They often carry unique plants that I can't find via local sources, I like their emphasis on native and water-thrifty plants, and the combination of ship time and arrival condition was never an issue when I lived on the Colorado Front Range. That latter situation changed when I moved to Minnesota, however, and since moving here 5 years ago, ship times were significantly longer, and plant mortality approached 50% for some orders. I like to use native, water-thrifty plants, but was ready to abandon HCG as a source because of that mortality rate. I decided to try one more time – a final test, so to speak – since the nearest source for Callirhoe Involucrata that I've been able to find in Minnesota is a 6-hour round-trip drive.
My previous order for Callirhoe Involucrata ("Poppy Mallows" in the HCG catalog, but commonly called "Winecups" here in Minnesota) a couple years ago was a disaster. The plants arrived with very little root structure, and two of them had only two wilted, yellowish-green leaves apiece. Those two plants died within 48 hours, and others died within a week.
But that was then. I can't say that it's all due to the change in ownership, but my latest order for Callirhoe Involucrata arrived in excellent condition. At my door a day earlier than I expected, The plants were all obviously alive and healthy when I opened the box, and all had well-developed root structures and numerous green leaves when I put them in the ground. A week later, they have survived the transplant, and are growing. I have high hopes that they will flourish.
My faith in HCG has largely been renewed by the excellent condition of the latest plant order when it arrived.Company representative comment on June 11, 2014: On Jun 11, 2014 2:02 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thanks so much for your positive comments. We enjoyed hearing from you earlier - our team really appreciates when folks call to relay those experiences. Glad to have you back!
I've used HCG for a year now. It started off as overpriced but decent. It has steadily declined to overpriced with low quality plants, nonexistent customer service, and slow shipping.
The plants themselves are hit or miss. Some are fine, others are totally dead with dry dirt spilled all over the box. They package the plants in boxes that are HUGE, so the plants are just bouncing around the box. They rubber band plastic bags over the base of the plant stems to keep the dirt in the pot, so oftentimes the stems are damaged or completely broken off. The plants themselves are pretty small. I can get a plant 5 times the size for half the price at a local nursery. Their prices are nothing to brag about, and I'm not even talking about the horrendous shipping.
My plant survival rate is about 50% from them. Often they are not salvagable after arriving bone dry and totally brown in the mail. They claim to offer a replacement, but from what I've experienced with their customer service, I don't want to even bother. Many that I bought and planted last spring did not survive the winter. They arrive so small and sickly that they can't get big enough and healthy enough by the time winter hits.
The last 4 times I've ordered I have not received a confirmation email. The last 3 times I have not received any shipping information whatsoever. I have NO Idea when to expect my stuff. If you email them, don't expect any kind of response. You can call but not on weekends or evenings. The order before last they took over a month to mail my Zeba root dip. No explanation or apologies or even a notification. I had to plant my grass plugs without it because the grass plugs had arrived dried out, and I couldn't sit around for weeks or months waiting around on them. I emailed but got ignored.
I stupidly ordered from them again because nobody local carries the grass I wanted. As of this writing, it has been 11 days since placing my order, and I've heard nothing. No confirmation email, no shipping info, no explanation as to where my $120 order is. I literally have no idea at all when my grass is coming in. It should have arrived days ago.
I won't be ordering from these guys again. I've never ordered from a business and not received a confirmation email and shipping info. The length of shipping time is also insane. Sometimes it's days later but other times it's months or weeks later. There's no rhyme or reason and they'll never communicate anything with you. My advice is to stick with your local nurseries. The prices and quality are LOTS better. Company representative comment on June 3, 2014: On Jun 3, 2014 10:04 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm sorry that you've had a frustrating experience with us. In looking at your order history, you've been a valued customer. I'll reach out via a direct email to address your concerns, but I did want to point out that during the spring busy season, are phones are staffed from 9 AM - 9 PM EST and Saturday's from 9-5. We trim those hours back in slower times. We also make every attempt to answer customer emails in 24 hours, but that can be delayed during the peak of the season. Finally, all of our orders generate an automatic order confirmation and shipping confirmation email. Unfortunately, often times those emails get hung up on spam filters, depending upon who your email provider is.
Thank you for your business and I look forward to connecting directly with you.
Sincerely, Ethan Platt, President | High Country Gardens
Posted on November 29, 2013, updated May 17, 2014
Posted on May 9, 2013, updated November 29, 2013
Posted on May 6, 2012, updated May 9, 2013
Posted on November 6, 2011, updated May 6, 2012
Posted on May 3, 2011, updated November 6, 2011
I ordered 4 Agastache, 1 goldenrod & 1 Penstemon. They were all healthy with very good root systems and packaged with great care.On November 6th, 2011, bryana added the following:
ordered 6 different bags of bulbs all on sale.
Good sized bulbs well packaged. On May 6th, 2012, bryana changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I had a small order of two butterfly weeds and one kniphofia.
The butterfly roots have been planted for a while with no growth and the kniphofia was quite small.On May 9th, 2013, bryana changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I ordered some spring bulbs at the end of the year clearance - all grew well despite very sandy soil,cold winter & dry spring.
I ordered several agastache - all arrived in good condition and very well packaged.On November 29th, 2013, bryana added the following:
I ordered from the 50% off end of season bulb sale.
The bulb sizes were very impresive for the most part.
Trumpet Daffodil Bulbs Primeur very big and firm (2 dozen), the Butterfly Daffodil Bulbs Centannees (1 dozen) big and firm,
the 50 Early Spring Bulbs Deer Won't Eat were small early season bulbs in one large bag with each group of bulbs separated but NOT labeled. (the only disappointment)
The Tulipa praestans Bulbs Shogun were average size for an early season tulip. Good value and well packaged.On May 17th, 2014, bryana added the following:
I ordered the Gaillardia Sampler, two Kniphofia, two Lavandula and one Echinacea purpurea Rubinstern.
All arrived well packaged, deep pots, damp potting soil and healthy plants. The Echinacea is a little spindly but all the others are thriving.
Posted on May 29, 2013, updated May 10, 2014
Posted on May 28, 2013, updated May 29, 2013
Posted on May 23, 2013, updated May 28, 2013
Posted on May 17, 2013, updated May 23, 2013
Ordered my plants 5/5/13, to be shipped the week of 5/6/13. Did not receive shipping notice or shipment. Contacted customer service by phone on 5/10, after being disconnected, then on hold, and ultimately reaching a representative- who said he would "follow my order" and that I should receive a tracking number no later than 5/16/13. Didn't receive any tracking number. Still no plants. Checked my credit card account and saw that I had already been charged for the order. Called several times 5/16/13, was on perpetual hold, then automatically transferred to voicemail at 5pm. I left voicemail and email with no response. On 5/17/13 I tried calling again, for over an hour was on hold, and decided to try "live chat" to which I Finally got a response. Since the plants had Still not shipped, I requested a refund, as it is now getting too hot to plant here. Was told my refund would be processed within 2-10 days, and if I in fact, I do receive my refund, will update my rating to "neutral. I am Extremely disappointed, having been a customer of High Country Gardens for many years, with nothing but positive feedback and praise for their plant selection for Southwestern gardening. I was so thrilled to still be able to receive their awesome plants by mail order, but it does appear customer service was sacrificed when the company changed hands. On May 23rd, 2013, cd1229 added the following:
A week later and no refund has been issued. I have checked with my card company, no credit has been submitted to them by High Country Gardens. I suppose I'll have no choice but to dispute the charges thru my credit card company... first time in my 55 years it has come to this! Ugh! On May 28th, 2013, cd1229 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Since my posting here, Ethan Platt, President of American Meadows and High Country Gardens, has personally addressed the issues with my order, and I've received a full refund. I've decided, based on Ethan's response, the outstanding track record of HCG over the years, and the unique plants available thru HCG for my region, to give them another chance. As Ethan has stated here, they are not up and running properly as they'd hoped, the company having changed ownership just weeks prior to Spring shipping. As a long time, die-hard customer, I will go ahead and give them some time. In August when the temperatures begin to cool down here, I will order again... Rest assured, I will be posting my experience at that time.On May 29th, 2013, cd1229 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
On May 10th, 2014, cd1229 added the following:
I just received my order, and am totally impressed with the large, well-rooted plants, and careful packaging. I have been ordering from this company for well over a decade, and it is still my go-to place, for their huge selection of plants that thrive, as opposed to merely "survive" in this harsh southwestern climate. I will definitely order again. Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to see the Salvia Burgundy Seduction blooming, in all its glory... based on the size and root system of the plants I received, I expect it will happen this season, and the color is simply to die for! Company representative comment on May 23, 2013: On May 19, 2013 3:01 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Sorry for your experience. As you can tell from the other recent reviews, we've really had a hard time getting some of our orders out this spring. But you also touched on another critical thing - the plants. High Country has always been about unique plants you can't get anywhere else. American Meadows has always had a reputation for excellent (and prompt) customer service. I promise you that once we get through the initial hurdles this spring, the High Country that you've always loved will be back! Don't forget that HCG was out of business from November through Feb 1 this year - we've had to do a tremendous amount to get back up and running. We're shipping almost 400 orders per day (and have been for the last 6 weeks). We just have some orders (obviously like yours) that have given us issues due to inventory and system problems.
If you've requested a refund, that will be processed immediately. We have no control over how quickly your bank posts that back to your account, but we are processing any refunds within 48 hours.
Again, I'm sorry.
American Meadows & High Country Gardens
On May 23, 2013 8:56 PM, High Country Gardens added:
cd1229, I just emailed you directly to get more info on your refund to make sure that it's gone through properly.
I just ordered a shipment of plants costing over $200.00. High Country Gardens used to get good reviews on Dave's Garden Website, so I made the mistake ( hopefully not ) of ordering without checking out recent reviews. There are so many negatives I would never have taken a chance if I read them first.
My fingers are crossed. They have a great selection of plants and the ones I chose will look wonderful in my yard if they are healthy when I receive them and if they will live!!
Posted on October 22, 2013, updated April 29, 2014
Posted on June 8, 2013, updated October 22, 2013
Posted on June 7, 2013, updated June 8, 2013
I placed my order and when I checked up on it a week and a half later they told me it would ship that coming Monday. When I didn't receive my order I checked up on it and they said the same thing. This basically repeated itself for a few weeks and by that time it was getting late in the season for me to be planting fresh little plants in an established garden and at this point I didn't trust a word they said. I canceled my order and I would strongly advise against ordering from this company. Their sister company, American Meadows, is great. I don't even see how they could be affiliated with the difference in experiences.On June 8th, 2013, Sequoiadendron4 added the following:
Thank you for responding. Perhaps, after an increase in positive ratings on here, I may try ordering from HCG again. I do appreciate your response and wish you the best of luck in turning things around.On October 22nd, 2013, Sequoiadendron4 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I have changed my rating to positive after a recent order was received in a timely manner and the plants were in very good condition upon receipt. Email communication was great and it took much less time than I thought to get my order. They shipped the plants over the weekend, which was a concern, but when they arrived, I only had to water one of them. It was probably the best packing I've seen yet getting plants in the mail. I will note that I avoided anything that said it was on back order and it was nice that they said whether the item was in stock or not on the website. Hopefully they've turned things around :)On April 29th, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 added the following:
I have received another order from HCG and everything was perfect. The plants were in good condition and the packaging was adequate. Definitely a good source for some interesting plants!Company representative comment on April 29, 2014: On Jun 7, 2013 4:07 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Sequoiadendron4, Thanks for your positive feedback on American Meadows! Yes, we've struggled with High Country this spring - they were closed from Nov until we took over in Feb and their systems have really given us a lot of headaches. Their inventory, order management and phone systems have been very hard to manage this spring.
Rest assured that we're still here, working like crazy to get the company back on track as at the end of the day almost everyone I've talked to has been very excited that High Country's plant offerings will live on.
As you know from being an American Meadows customer, this spring does not reflect how we run our business and I can assure you that it won't reflect how High Country is operated.
On Oct 23, 2013 11:01 AM, High Country Gardens added:
Thanks for giving us another shot and for the kind words! Much appreciated.
On Apr 29, 2014 7:53 AM, High Country Gardens added:
Thanks, Sequoiadenron4. Glad we were able to re-earn your trust. We're working double shifts, 6 days a week in the greenhouse trying to keep up with the spring rush.
xuling Windsor, CA (Zone 9b) (2 reviews) April 26, 2014
Posted on October 24, 2012, updated April 26, 2014
Posted on April 28, 2007, updated October 24, 2012
I have placed about 10 orders from HCG in the past 24 months, and have had nothing but specacular service and healthy plants. The packaging is without fault and they always arrive when requested. HCG get an "A" from me.On October 24th, 2012, xuling changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
The mailing service has gone down hill. Three plants were ok but very small and the dirt was flying all over the box. The two cactus were a joke they were so small. I didn't even know one was in its containter because it was so small and the dirt was so loose that it covered the plant up. I replanted them immediately and cleaned them up. I am not ordering from HCG anymore. XulingOn April 26th, 2014, xuling added the following:
Of the plants that I ordered in the above, ALL have died but the two cactus. The cactus actually are a little larger than my thumb now. They are going to live but are so small that I will never see them bloom. If it were possible I would give the company a Double Negative. Company representative comment on April 26, 2014: On Oct 25, 2012 9:24 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I am sorry to hear of your recent order. Please contact customer Service to process a claim. We do have a 100% guarantee and would like to rectify this for you.
On Apr 26, 2014 9:00 PM, High Country Gardens added:
Sorry to hear that the plants you bought in 2012 did not meet your expectations. As you have a long history with High Country, you know that we take great pride in supplying only the healthiest plants that are ready to thrive.
Please contact us and we'll certainly try and work out a resolution.
Posted on December 20, 2007, updated April 22, 2014
I ordered three sets of paperwhites which were advertised as $19.99 + SH on their website. The items (#A0050 & A0066) were clearly marked as paperwhites in a hurricane vase. Two of the orders went through as planned but on the third one they charged me $65+. The next day I called customer service. What I had orderd was not listed on the acknowledgment so it took the rep a good five minutes to look it up. He then informed me that the $65 item was actually the item that included the vase and the $20 items were actually just bare bulbs and that it was my mistake. I rechecked the website and found the $20 items definately listed as coming with a vase. I'm not sure if the customer service here just doesn't know what they're talking about or if this is bait and switch. There was not clear pictures of the actual items on the website that I could find. Either way, I don't think I would order from this company again.On April 22nd, 2014, corirusson added the following:
I ordered one of the pre-planned gardens. One of the plants was missing and also the map for planting.
I called customer service and they offered to email me the plan. Great ...but they only sent me the first page; still no planting instructions.
I called again and another rep told me they would email the second page right away.
Still no planting instructions. Still waiting and plants have been sitting for a week, waiting to be planted.Company representative comment on April 23, 2014: We apologize for any miscommunication. We immediately contacted with corirusson and processed a refund for the 2 additional vases including shipping and handling.
HCG Customer Service StaffOn Apr 23, 2014 11:21 AM, High Country Gardens added:
Corirusson, Sorry for the issues with your order. The 2nd page of the map was sent to you this morning - the rep didn't realize that it was 2 separated files. The replacement for your missing plant has been entered and will ship within the next few days.
This really is an extraordinarily good company. The selection of products is vast and the information provided about each plant is very complete.
In addition they take great pains to be sure orders are shipped at the right time and in the way you want them shipped.
A while back I placed an order and then a couple of weeks later another. At the time I placed the second order I asked that the two orders be combined. Almost immediately I received an email informing me that would be done.
Today I placed a third order and again, no problem combining all three orders together for shipment on the appropriate date.
This company is extremely well organized and dedicated to doing things right. As we all know, that is something that is all too rare in on-line vendors.