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.
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.
DaveEgbert Cottonwood, CA (1 review) November 24, 2013
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.
Received my bulb order last week. Four of the 12 of the one variety were unplantable: desiccated, broken. Not only that, they were in a very hard to open plastic bag. I had to hunt down scissors to open it. No plant labels with any of them either. I contacted the company the same day. They were to send out new bulbs that day "or the next." That was a week ago and I find out that they haven't even shipped. Plus when they do ship, it's coming from Vermont--clear on the other side of the country, while I live in Colorado. I do know they company was sold, but New Mexico is a bordering state, so to have things shipping from Vermont is stupid, plus I'm looking at a two week wait now. The order was supposed to come FedX, but they went to the post office, so that was yet another delay Company representative comment on October 5, 2013: On Oct 5, 2013 1:23 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm sorry to hear that the bulbs did not meet your satisfaction. Just to clarify, High Country Gardens orders ship from our grower in Denver, so you should have had them immediately.
I will take a look into this today and reach out directly.
kip563 San Diego, CA (1 review) September 26, 2013
After reading the negative comments during the transition of the ownerships, I was wary about my order. But also had a glimpse of hope when I read the responses from the new business. I am happy to report that all 5 Salvia pachyphylla came in well packaged and in good health.
I never wrote comments on anything I bought online. I want to give High Country Gardens a fresh start. I am pleased with my order, High Country Gardens delivered with quality and met the scheduled as promised. Good job. Thank you.
chernandez STEPHENTOWN, NY (1 review) September 10, 2013
I ordered from High Country Gardens last week and my plants arrived today 09.09.13. I was so impressed with not only the quality and health of each of my new plants but the way they were packed and shipped was the best I've ever seen! This has been the best online plant order experience I've ever had. I just recently bought a new house and I will be purchasing all of my landscaping material from this company. Keep up the good work High County Gardens!!! and Thank You!!!Company representative comment on September 10, 2013: On Sep 10, 2013 7:10 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thank you for your kind words! Our team has been working very hard towards the fall season and it's great to hear that you were pleased with your order. Best Wishes, Ethan
I place a large order with this company sometime around March. I wanted time to get my plants in, and I needed to plant early. I was misled as to how soon they could or would ship my plants, and never quite given an exact answer as to when they would ship.
Later, I discover they don't even carry much of what is in their catalog, and so they just gave me credit (won't refund my money when it's entirely their fault they can't fill my order).
The plants, when they finally came, were no where close to the size or quality advertised. I tried all summer to find more of the same so I could at least use my credit, the plants did perk up with organic fertilizer.
They haven't had any hummingbird plants at all, all summer. I don't want to waste more time looking over item after item, page after page to find "item unavailable...".
This company needs to get its act together, update its catalog, and find some plants to sell.Company representative comment on July 25, 2013: On Jul 25, 2013 4:12 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Sorry for your negative experience this spring. As you can tell from the other posts we got over the last few months, it was a rough spring as High Country Gardens had closed in Nov and re-opened under our ownership in Feb. We had a host of system and inventory issues that lead to customer frustrations, like yours.
We are going to be putting our fall plant offerings live on the site next week. We needed time to fix the issues we experienced this spring and wanted to make sure that we would not be in a position to disappoint folks like you again.
I can assure you that American Meadows has an excellent reputation - we're frequently a Dave's Garden "Top 5" supplier and we are dedicated to fixing the kinds of issues you experienced.
I am a professional fine gardener who has been in business for 18 years with 10 employees. I've designed over 200 gardens and written a best-selling garden design book. I ordered 8 varieties of plants on May 2, 2013. I finally received half of the varieties on June 24, 2013, and most of the plants I did receive were dead. They had been frying in a hot box in transit for days without moisture, and they were crisp. I sent the company photos and suggestions about how better to pack the plants. They dithered (said the plants in the photos looked fine, for example) and justified their packaging system (no moist paper towels, no plastic bags, nothing substantial to even hold the soil in the pots, dry newsprint wadded around the plants in the box), and finally agreed to resend the worst ones. I received the new plants, which were also totally fried and packaged badly like the first ones. In addition, one of the plants had spider mites. I sent photos and they again justified their packaging system (they do not understand customer service, these people) and said they will refund part of what I paid. I will definitely never order from these people again. All that time I wasted taking and sending photos, plus they didn't even tell me they didn't have half the varieties I wanted until six weeks after I placed my order. Maybe the problem has to do with the company changing hands last February?Company representative comment on July 11, 2013: On Jul 11, 2013 9:50 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm sorry that you had such a frustrating experience ordering from us this spring. Your original order was delayed due to the issues we had with the inventory and order processing system that we inherited when we took over High Country Gardens in February.
We have done lots and lots of shipping trials over the years and have discovered that when the weather gets warm, shipping in plastic (even with wet towels) literally cooks the plants. We've found that although the plants dry out, if you water them upon receipt, they'll usually bounce right back.
In looking at the notes in your order, I see that per your request, we refunded you for the plants that you were not satisfied with. Again, I'm sorry for the negative experience and wish you the best.
American Meadows | High Country Gardens
debgar71 Granite Falls, NC (3 reviews) July 4, 2013
Just received our first order from High Country and it was complete as ordered and arrived on time. However, the packing definitely left something to be desired.
The plants were a little disappointing as to size and quality appearance. However, the root systems looked very good so therefore I wilI withhold final judgement until we see how they do.
On the same day we received our first order from another company and the packing and quality appearance of the plants was far superior (see Annie's Annuals rating). We will plant them on the same day and see how each do.
I placed a large (57 item order) online the evening of 06/21/13: all plants arrived on Saturday 06/29/13. I'd stumbled upon negative reviews on 06/23/13 on this site and emailed Ms. Victoria using the email provided in others' comments to inquire about my order since most of the recent reviews were very unflattering and received a response from her the next business day. She let me know of 18 varieties of plants I ordered only 1 was not available; I received credit for that set of items (confirmed pending via my credit card statement online) and was given a small credit toward future purchases as a goodwill gesture. Tracking information arrived via email as well as follow up from Ms. Victoria, at my request. Above and beyond this, I placed my order with $350 in gift certificates that had languished for several years and they were honored without any hesitation. Clearly if problems existed with the change in ownership they are smoothing them out - my recent order was virtually flawless: additional thanks to your great customer service representative! I am pleased to recommend HCG each time someone stops by to praise my landscaping and will continue to do so with confidence.Company representative comment on July 1, 2013: On Jul 1, 2013 5:17 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
BreeG, Thank you, thank you for your kind words! As you can tell from the other posts, it's been a long spring for us as we've worked to keep High Country afloat. The good news is, we survived and the better news is that we will be back on track for fall with the kind of service and support High Country has been known for. Victoria and her team worked 'round the clock this spring and your words of encouragement are much appreciated.
JulieBW Geneseo, NY (Zone 5b) (4 reviews) June 8, 2013
Posted on May 17, 2013, updated June 8, 2013
I placed my order in March, requesting April 15 delivery. Nothing arrived, no notification received by me by that date. I did receive a response to the email I sent, stating that my order would be delivered later due to unexpected weather conditions. I later received a mass email, stating I would receive my order by May 13. I have still received nothing, and no notification regarding the status of my order. I did receive a $10 credit recently, but there was no explanation. I have now just sent another email about my order. UNACCEPTABLE.On June 8th, 2013, JulieBW changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I have changed my rating from negative to neutral. I did finally receive my plants, and a refund for what was not available.Company representative comment on May 17, 2013: On May 17, 2013 3:55 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
So sorry for your negative experience. As I've told others below, we're doing our very best under difficult conditions. We're close to clearing our back-orders and crediting folks for any products that we can't deliver, but we're not quite there.
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.
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.
President | American Meadows
ROSES_R_RED Mount Bethel, PA (Zone 6a) (5 reviews) June 7, 2013
Posted on June 7, 2013, updated June 7, 2013
Ordered plants on 2/13/13. Shipping date was for 05.13/13. After many e mails, no answer and no plants. On June 7th, 2013, ROSES_R_RED added the following:
I had no responses or information about my order until I posted here at Dave's Garden and only then did I get any attention or information. You never contacted me to tell me that you had no inventory on this plant until I posted HERE!Company representative comment on June 7, 2013: On Jun 7, 2013 8:24 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We left you a message regarding the fact that the item you ordered is not available. I apologize as we've had issues this spring with our inventory system. We are happy to either ship the Ava in the fall, replace it with another item or credit your order.
Our customer service rep left his direct contact info.
I am truly sorry that it has taken this long to sort out your order. We've really struggled with the order processing and inventory systems we inherited when we took over High Country in Feb. We're working around the clock to both clean up our remaining spring issues and prepare our systems for a smoother route forward.
Thank you for your business & understanding.
American Meadows | High Country Gardens
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 6, 2013
I placed an order in February for delivery the week of April 15th. It is now June 4th and I have not received my order. I understand that there were weather issues, transitional issues, and stock issues, and I certainly empathize having previously worked in a call center/customer service role myself. I have been in contact with different representatives at least once a week since my order was initially delayed. I have heard almost every time that my order would be delivered by the end of the week. They have already refunded my shipping, which I appreciate, but my order is now 2 months late. My front yard has been dug up and bare for 2 months, and daily highs are now in the 90s. I would like the plants that I ordered, especially since local garden centers have almost no inventory at this point. I tried calling today, but was sent directly to a voicemail that is no longer set up. I noticed the online chat function has been disabled on the website, and this morning I emailed a representative I have been working with and have not yet received a response (when normally he has been very prompt.) I am now concerned at my inability to reach anyone to find the current status of my order. I have tried to be patient and understanding, but this is just growing ridiculous. This is my first experience with HCG, and after this fiasco, I don't plan to ever order from them again, and to discourage anyone else from doing so.On June 6th, 2013, megs419 added the following:
I really appreciate the effort you are making to reach out to the people on this review site, and I appreciate you taking a look into my issue.
Company representative comment on June 5, 2013: On Jun 5, 2013 10:31 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
megs419, There's no excuse for why your order has yet to ship. All I can tell you is that we've really struggled with the systems that we inherited when we took over High Country on Feb 1. I can see your order in the system, but I cannot explain why it doesn't print when we pull orders ready to ship.
In any event, we're working on it and I will reach out directly once I have a concrete answer.
I placed an order May 12th and still have not recv'd my plants. They took my money right away though! I emailed them and got the response of it will ship next week, well I still have not recv'd my plants and my emails go unanswered. Very frustrated with this company! Not happy at all!!!Company representative comment on June 5, 2013: On Jun 5, 2013 9:44 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
streeterpl, I'm sorry to see that your order was voided. After a very difficult transition this spring, we're going to be caught up on our order shipping by Tuesday. I hope that as we get High Country back up and running, we have a chance to re-earn your business in the future.
Posted on May 24, 2013, updated June 3, 2013
Placed an order and did not receive confirmation for two days. No tracking or other info was provided by seller.Weeks later my order still has not been received and no updates have been received from seller.
Emails to seller have gone unanswered. Phone calls to customer service are not answered. (My calls are placed in a queue and then roll into a voicemail box after about 15 minutes on hold.) Live chat is always dead.
Truly appalling customer service.
Seller should stop accepting orders it will not fill.
I am initiating a charge-back on my credit card.On June 3rd, 2013, nmcclain added the following:
In light of president's response, I was hopeful of receiving my order last week as promised. No such luck. Still waiting. Maybe this week?Company representative comment on May 24, 2013: On May 24, 2013 2:21 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Mr. McClain, sorry for your frustration. As you can see below, we're madly trying to stay on top of our orders, having taken over High Country on Feb 1. We're shipping hundreds of orders per day, but got behind partially due to the difficult weather you had in April and early May in Denver as well as issues with the inventory and order processing system we inherited.
Your order was placed on Saturday the 11th and is in the greenhouse for packing. It will deliver to you next week.
Again, or deepest apologies as we navigate this difficult transition.
Thanks for your understanding.
Posted on May 28, 2013, updated June 2, 2013
I placed an order in February and was instructed the lawn seed I ordered was unavailable. Customer service suggested that I wait until the seed was available and they would send it along with the plants I had ordered earlier. Many plants from that order have since been been sold out and I still haven't seen any part of the order.
I have left phone messages, sent several emails and have not heard back from anyone. I have bought plants from this company for years and had nothing but stellar customer service. The change of ownership is questioning my willingness to order again except I have a gift certificate I need to redeem. I noticed others are having the same experience. What is going on???On June 2nd, 2013, Garden_Blogger changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Ethan contacted me to express his concern regarding my order. He investigated the whereabouts of the order I had given over the phone to find it didn't exist.
Ethan has been very helpful in his attempt to remedy the situation and I appreciate his outreach. Given this, I will place my order again with High Country when the plants are once again available.
Thank you Ethan.Company representative comment on May 28, 2013: On May 28, 2013 9:13 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Our records show only one customer in Adin, CA and their orders have all shipped. I have sent you an email through Dave's Garden seeking more information.
I too am having problems with High Country Gardens. I placed an order (my first) in early May and still have not received it. I have sent 3 emails and left 2 voice mails. The first email was
responded to saying they were hoping to send my order for
receipt the following week, but that is the last correspondence I have had and obviously did not receive anything. I am very disappointed in the customer service, or rather the lack thereof, and am still waiting on a refund or response. I will contact the Garden Association and BBB next.Company representative comment on May 30, 2013: On May 30, 2013 6:32 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Please contact me and I will gladly assist you. We have been receiving a high volume of calls and emails and apologize it has been difficult reaching us.
Since 2006 I've purchased from HCG 1-3 times a year. I've always been delighted in all respects. Plant quality, plant variety, service. A few years ago I was in Santa Fe and visited in person and was also impressed.
This spring I placed two orders, one in February and one in April. (Both orders were paid for when placed). Both are correctly visible on my account on their website (May 30th is today). The April order came as expected. The February one did not. I've twice called and been unable to speak to a person. I've emailed with no response. In short they took my money and gave me nothing.
Clearly based on the feedback on this site (super positive till this year, now very negative) and my own experience one must conclude the wheels have come off and this is no longer a reputable company. Taking someone's money and not giving them the product they bought is pretty inexcusable. Too bad - this was really a favorite of mine.
Company representative comment on May 30, 2013: On May 30, 2013 6:25 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I do apologize you have not been able to reach us. We have been working to fill orders as quickly as possible but have run into some inventory issues along the way. As you know this is not the norm for HCG and we are working around the clock to get caught up. I would be more than glad to assist you with your order. Please do email me and I will resolve this for you.
Tried contacting them about an issue with an order. They refused to answer several e-mails. Customer service never answers the phone. They used to be a good company but I will never buy from them again.Company representative comment on May 29, 2013: On May 29, 2013 3:22 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Katoom, I just sent you a d-mail seeking further information.
Posted on May 22, 2013, updated May 27, 2013
Posted on May 22, 2013, updated May 22, 2013
I've bought from HCG for several years and always been very happy with plants and service. Didn't get a catalog this year, odd,(didn't know about the changes afoot) but I went online and ordered 6 plants in February (2013), ship date end of April. Called, then e-mailed when plants didn't arrive, delay due to weather problems understandable but they could have sent out a mass e-mail informing customers. Received order mid-May, only 3 plants in box, 2 decent small grass plants, one dried up little stem with 4 leaves supposed to be an Agastache, and a note on the invoice "subbed 3" for 3 other Agastaches I'd ordered that were now unavailable, but they apparently wrote that down and then forgot to pack the plants! So, I paid for 6 plants, have received 2 viable ones (both grasses), paid 15.00 to have the privilege of receiving those 2 little grasses floating around in a box with virtually no packaging inside so the soil was mostly out of the pots. Have sent three courteous e-mails, no response for 4 days now, no refund showing on my credit card, can't get anyone by phone, this is just a shameful way of doing business. Thought if I posted here, maybe I'd get a response from the company this way!On May 22nd, 2013, growgirl53 added the following:
I'm a "positive" person, so I'd love to be able to change my rating for your company. Your response is appreciated, I will wait to hear from a customer service rep regarding resolution of the issues with my order, and I will be sure to update here with, I hope, the positive outcome.On May 27th, 2013, growgirl53 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I received replies from two HCG representatives immediately after I posted here and through personal e-mail, very cordial and helpful and the issues have now been resolved satisfactorily. I received a full refund posted to my credit card for the ordered plants I did not receive, as well as the Agastache in such poor condition, and I was pleased that the shipping was also refunded which I did not request but I find a very fair measure on HCG's part. I believe they are working very hard to "get on the right track" here, and will keep them on my list to watch with the hope I will be able to order from them with confidence sometime in the future. They carry plants I cannot find here in PA and have been a great source for my "xeric" efforts in my gardens.Company representative comment on May 22, 2013: On May 22, 2013 1:57 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We're working through our emails and voicemails as quickly as possible in the order that they came in. We will reach out ASAP.
What a shame. I was going to place an order with this company but after reading the negative responses have changed my mind. I hope High Country gets their act together soon as plants and selection look fabulous.
Posted on February 28, 2013, updated May 25, 2013
I've been buying perennial plants from High Country Garden for years. The plants are always well packed, have deep roots and just gorgeous upon arrival. I have killed quite a few of them (not the vendor's fault - it's my gardening inexperience) but HCG has the best plants and the best selection! I read that they have just been acquired by the American Meadow Company - I have just placed another order for this spring, let's hope they are still the same, great company. On May 25th, 2013, rugbycrumpet changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Obviously, I am seeing a trend here. This company is experience some serious issues with their fulfillment and shipping logistics as a result of the recent sale to American Meadows.
I purchased $200 worth of plants back in February with an expected shipment date of late-April. I did not receive anything by mid-May even though I received a shipping confirmation from their at end of April. Customer service took a week to respond to their emails. Online chat does not work.
I finally cancelled the order.
I am extremely disappointed with this transaction as High Country Gardens was one of, if not my favorite online nurseries in the past.
Company representative comment on May 25, 2013: On May 25, 2013 12:46 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm sorry that we let you down. As you indicated in your original post, High Country has unique plant offerings that were too good to let die. We have (and continue to) do everything we possibly can to get orders out the door. It's obviously been a challenge, but I can assure you that the frustrations that some customers have experienced over the last several weeks will be a thing of the past as soon as we have the time to properly integrate our two organizations.
I sincerely hope that we have the chance to earn your business again in the future.
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. Company representative comment on May 17, 2013: 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
I placed my order with High Country Gardens in March. The plants didn't arrive when they were scheduled to. Then I received messages saying the order was held up by some plants. Then I got a couple of small refunds.
The bottom line is I still don't have my plants and I get no replies to my emails asking where they are. No one answers the phone. The chat line doesn't work.
I feel furious. They have my money and I have no plants. This is shabby work. I used to buy a lot from High Country. What on earth has happened to them?
I would like a company rep to either send my plants immediately or refund all my money plus compensation for the energy wasted and disappointment.Company representative comment on May 23, 2013: On May 23, 2013 8:05 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I do apologize for the delay with your order. Per my voice message this evening I have canceled your order per request and refunded you. Please feel free to contact me.
hardyinokc Oklahoma City, OK (25 reviews) May 22, 2013
Posted on October 25, 2012, updated May 22, 2013
Posted on July 20, 2012, updated October 25, 2012
Posted on June 14, 2012, updated July 20, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 14, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Posted on May 29, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Posted on July 23, 2010, updated May 29, 2012
Posted on July 23, 2010, updated July 23, 2010
Posted on July 12, 2010, updated July 23, 2010
Posted on July 2, 2010, updated July 12, 2010
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated July 2, 2010
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
Posted on April 9, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
Posted on March 9, 2005, updated April 9, 2010
A few years ago, I ordered 6 different ornamental grasses from this company. 6 plants arrived in fine condition; however, a year later, it became apparent that one of the grasses was not a grass I had ordered. They had sent me two of the same grasses, but I was not able to determine this til the grass bloomed. When I attempted to get a replacement grass for the duplicate they sent, I received absolutely NO help from their customer service. Since all 6 plants were labeled according to what my order had been, I had no way of knowing that one of them was labeled incorrectly til the year later when it finally bloomed. I have no problem with their quality of plants, but I have a BIG problem with their poor customer service and attitude.On April 19th, 2005, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Customer service supervisor contacted me and offered to sent replacement plant. Was very friendly. Am looking forward to receiving the replacement grass. Customer service appears to have improved dramatically. Would definitely order from High Country Gardens again in the future.On April 29th, 2005, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
My replacement plant arrived yesterday. It was a very healthy specimen and was well packed. The only problem is it was STILL not the correct plant; which is why I've changed my rating from "positive" to "neutral". I do appreciate their effort, but it would have been nice to receive the plant I was expecting. On June 2nd, 2006, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Well, I decided to try placing an order with HCG again. Big mistake. They sent my order in mid-April, but failed to send the plant I most wanted (ipomea leptophylla). Have spent the last 1 1/2 months attempting to find out when I might possibly recieve this plant, but to no avail. No one can tell me if it has or has not shipped, or when it might ship. I am very disappointed in HCG's lack of communication, and their customer service seems to have deteriorated. I do not understand why all of the communication has been up to me. They should be willing to let their paid customers know what is happening with their orders. Although their customer service reps have stated they would return my calls, I have yet to receive a single call from them. On June 2nd, 2006, hardyinokc added the following:
Well, I decided to try placing an order with HCG again. Big mistake. They sent my order in mid-April, but failed to send the plant I most wanted (ipomea leptophylla). Have spent the last 1 1/2 months attempting to find out when I might possibly recieve this plant, but to no avail. No one can tell me if it has or has not shipped, or when it might ship. I am very disappointed in HCG's lack of communication, and their customer service seems to have deteriorated. I do not understand why all of the communication has been up to me. They should be willing to let their paid customers know what is happening with their orders. Although their customer service reps have stated they would return my calls, I have yet to receive a single call from them. On June 29th, 2006, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I admit I have had some problems with HCG, but after receiving my most recent plant order (their end of spring shipping sale), I just HAD to change my rating. They may have some problems, but the quality of the plants just cannot be questioned in my opinion. The plants I received were well-packed for shipping, extremely healthy and definitely ready to be planted. Good Job HCG!!!!On April 29th, 2008, hardyinokc added the following:
I ordered from HCG again this spring. My order arrived as scheduled, and all of the plants were in great shape. There was a small problem tho: 1 of the agaves I ordered had a ID tag with it that stated hardy to zone 8; on the HCG web-site when I placed the order, the web-site description stated this agave was hardy to zone 5. I called HCG to check which zone was correct for this plant. They apologized about the mess-up (the on-line description gave the wrong zone) & sent out a replacement plant almost immediately. I really appreciated their prompt attention to the situation. THANX & GOOD JOB!!!!On April 2nd, 2009, hardyinokc added the following:
I placed an order early 2009. The order shipped/arrived as expected. All plants were well packed. In the HCG catalog, they frequently comment (and show pictures) about how well-rooted their plants are, but I think that only applies to the plants in the large 5" pots (they show pictures of well-developed root systems in the 5" pots ONLY). I had ordered a Yucca Radiosa; it arrived in the smaller 3" pot and had very little root system (it seemed to be a very small seedling with only three little leaves). I contacted HCG about the poorly rooted yucca; they responded, and sent me a replacement yucca. I have left the new yucca in the 3" pot because I'm afraid of what I'll find if I check out the roots. I am keeping the "Positive" rating because they did respond and send a replacement plant, but I must admit, I'm very hesitant to order anything from HCG that does not come in the 5" pots, as the smaller pots may or may not have well-developed root systems. I do appreciate the prompt response, good communication, and replacement plant. On April 9th, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
On 12-4-09, I placed an order for the Agave neomexicana "sunspot"; I ordered this extra early with the hopes that I would receive a nice-sized specimen. This was the only item I ordered because the catalog indicated that it came in the 5" deep pot. I received this plant yesterday (4-8-10); it did arrive on the correct week & it is alive, but I am greatly disappointed in the size of the plant (less than 2" across). I thought that the 5" pots would have well developed root systems. WRONG! Even though the agave did arrive in a 5" pot, it appeared that the plant had actually been grown in the small cactus pot & was transferred to the 5" pot just before being shipped. All of the root system was in the top inch of soil (why have the other 4 inches of soil in the pot if there are no roots in it?), and the root-ball was still shaped into the small square shape of the small cactus pot. I spent the extra money on this plant because it was supposed to have the well-developed root system that they claim all of the 5" pots have. NOT TRUE. Just because they state the plant comes in a 5" deep pot, do NOT expect the roots to be any better developed than if they were in the small cactus pots. I would really like to place another order with HCG because they do have some plants that I cannot find elsewhere, but this recent experience causes me to hesitate in placing further orders. On April 12th, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:
I have emailed HCG customer service.....no response yet. On April 12th, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:
3:26pm....2nd e-mail sent to customer serviceOn April 12th, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Spoke with Victoria at HCG customer service. She offered to file a claim for a refund. Since the plant is actually still alive, I did not feel right expecting a refund. I just hope HCG improves their quality control to ensure that their plants are adequately rooted prior to being shipped out (ESPECIALLY their 5" Premium pots since they like to stress how well rooted the plants in Premium pots are supposed to be). On July 2nd, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:
well, I've done it again.....I placed another order with HCG .... Hope I don't end up regretting it...I really hope the plants arrive well-rooted and in good shape.... will up-date after the plants arriveOn July 12th, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Well I received my latest plant order on Friday, July 9th. Plants arrived well-packed and were healthy with nice root systems.On July 23rd, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Well, I was afraid this was going to happen. On 4-9-10, I had left a comment about the tiny agave neomexicana "sunspot" I had recieved from HCG (the one with the practically non-existent root system in the so-called "premium" pot). After struggling for the past 3 months, the poor little thing died this week (exactly what I was expecting because of the lack of root system it had when it arrived). It cost me $15 plus shipping for this extremely tiny agave, & now it's dead. What a waste of money.On July 23rd, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Just got off the phone with HCG customer service. On 4-12-10, Victoria offered a refund, but I had declined the refund at that time because the plant was actually alive. Today, HCG informs me that a refund had been issued for that plant on 4-26-10. Last I knew, I had declined the refund offered on 4-12-10, but I guess they issued a refund anyway. It would have been nice if HCG could have notified me that a refund had been issued back in April; now I feel like a FOOL for calling today about a refund on a plant that they say has already been refunded. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS PLEASE. On May 29th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:
Well, done it again...just placed another order with HCG. Guess we'll see what shape the plants arrive in...hoping they are better rooted that my previous orders. On June 11th, 2012, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
well, when my most recent order arrived on 5-31-12, one plant had a pot full of roots & was very healthy; however, the other plant arrived droopy and completely wilted; upon removal from the "Premium" 5inch pot, the roots were all in the top inch of soil. I filled out the "Plant Claim" form on on the HCG site on 6-1-12 & received an answer back that same day that my replacement plant would ship on 6-4-12. Today, 6-11-12, I have not received my replacement plant (I really hope it hasn't spent a week in some post office or something...that certainly won't help the plant do well), & I have heard nothing more from HCG. On June 11th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:
Well, I just received an email from HCG which gives the tracking info for my initial order (which was delivered on 5-31-12) and indicates that 5-31-12 was the delivery date of the Replacement plant. How could 5-31-12 be the delivery date for the replacement plant when I did not submit the Claim Form for replacement until 6-1-12?. So, I guess my replacement plant STILL has not shipped (a week after HCG said it would ship).On June 11th, 2012, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Just received another email from HCG that states they are now shipping out the replacement plant. Hoping for the best!On June 14th, 2012, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
My replacement arrived looking great! Just wish the initial plant had been this good so I would not have had to request a replacement. On July 20th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:
just received an order from HCG yesterday. 2 of the 3 plants were well-packaged and seemed healthy. the little cactus I received in this order had good color but did seem rather small & had lost most of the dirt around the very small root system.On October 25th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:
Received plant order yesterday...plant seemed to be healthy, but it appeared that FedEx had been very rough with the box during shipping; most of the dirt was out of the pot and the box was about half-smashed. Perhaps HCG should consider changing to UPS or something as FedEx seems to care less and less about how their packages arrive.On May 22nd, 2013, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
remember when HCG was one of the top 30 companies? most of the feedbacks left since American Meadows took over have been negative...certainly makes me hesitant to order from HCG OR American Meadows...Company representative comment on April 12, 2010: On Apr 9, 2010 12:46 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Have you contacted Customer Service? We would like to help resolve this issue. Customer Service is available Monday through Friday 9am-5pm MST. You can contact us toll free 1-800-925-9387 or email email@example.com.
I have been a long time customer of High Country Gardens and in the past received excellent service. This expereince has been the worst I have ever had with any company. I placed an order of numerous plants to be shipped the week of 4/22/2013. When it did not arrive I called the next week and received word that 1 plant was holding the order up but it would ship within the week. I have been trying numerous times since then by calling and sending emails and have yet to get hold of anyone or gotten a response to my emails. I feel that my money has been stolen and I will never see the plants I so wanted. I would not recommend anyone use this companyCompany representative comment on May 22, 2013: On May 22, 2013 1:09 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I am sorry to hear of your frustration. I would be glad to look into this for you. Please contact me and I will assist you with your order! I apologize for any inconvenience.
In past years I have ordered from HCG and always been thrilled by the speed of shipping and quality of plants. Here is how it went down this year:
4/25/13 I ordered 9 Hymenoxys scaposa, for a 4/29 shipment.
Plants do not arrive.
5/6/13 I call customer service, am put on hold for 13 MINUTES before being kicked over to voicemail where I leave a message.
No one returns my call.
5/9/13 Repeat of the above.
5/15/13 Repeat of the above, except that I cannot leave a message because the voice mailbox is full
5/15/13 Tuesday Live chat is helpful and says that my plants are scheduled to ship that very week and are probably on their way
5/16/13 FedEx tracking says plants picked up by FedEx. This is THURSDAY, which means my plants will sit in shipping over the weekend
5/21/13 plants finally arrive. I ordered 9 plants, I receive 8 plants plus one empty pot (!!). Based on the customer service I have experienced so far, I am not optimistic about being refunded.
I am disappointed that the HCG that I once knew and loved over the years has changed so much for the worse. Sorry to say that I don't think I will be returning.Company representative comment on May 22, 2013: On May 22, 2013 10:48 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
So sorry to hear about your frustrating experience. As you can see from our recent comments, you're not alone. We are working around the clock to catch-up and stay on top of the spring demands. With High Country having been out of business from November - January, it's been extremely difficult getting everything back up to speed for the spring season.
I will be sure to have customer service reach out for a resolution on your order.
Posted on May 10, 2013, updated May 18, 2013
Posted on April 15, 2011, updated May 10, 2013
Receiving my plants from HCG is always an exciting moment. This year I finally got to order their Salvia Pachyphylla as it's not recommended for fall planting in my zone. When I opened the box there was a warning about the Agastache but mine was beautiful and healthy. But my long awaited salvias were dry and wilted - so I watered them. They did not pick up over night so I e-mailed HCG for their advice. In less than an hour I had a reply from Maureen McCarthey, a customer service rep. She offered to mail me new plants next week. I'm really happy with the prompt reply, the offer to send me new plants and the fact that HCG stands behind it's products and it's word. Thank you! On May 10th, 2013, joimack6953 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Well now it's May 2013. I ordered my plants early so the things I wanted would be available - about 80 plants. My shipment was supposed to arrive in April but due to the weather in Denver shipments were postponed. I was very happy about that. But now I am wondering if the plants I ordered and paid for are ever going to arrive. I was promised my plants would ship last week and when they didn't arrive was promised again they would definitely be here today. No, not today either. I've chatted live, left messages, received apologies through e-mail, waited on hold for customer service only to be transferred to a voice mail after 15 minutes and as a matter of fact I'm on a live chat right now with Locky and have not received any response from him for a good ten minutes. I was very sorry to hear HCG went bankrupt and joyful when I heard they had been acquired by American Meadows and would continue to offer plants that thrive in Colorado. But now I wonder if I will ever receive my plants and am very frustrated with the lack of customer service I am receiving.On May 18th, 2013, joimack6953 added the following:
May 18, 2013 and still haven't received any of my plants. The entire front area of my home which was supposed to be transformed from grass to a prairie/native type garden is brown - full of the grass we allowed to die back to plant our new water wise garden. My neighbors are not amused nor am I. My order status on the HCG website is "in shipping", the president of the American Meadows replied my plants were at the Denver greenhouse preparing to be shipped. Maybe next week....Company representative comment on May 10, 2013: On May 10, 2013 4:38 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I sincerely apologize for your understandable frustrations. Having taken over High Country on February 1st on top of running our existing business has put a significant strain on our people and systems.
I can assure you that we are working around the clock to get all of our orders out. You order was held up by the system due to one plant not being available in the size that you ordered. Unfortunately, we're struggling with the system we inherited to put that level of detailed information in front of our overwhelmed customer service team.
The issue with your order was rectified several days ago and it has been sent to the greenhouse for preparation (it takes several days to properly stage the plants for shipping). You will see it next week.
Again, I'm sorry and thank you for your understanding, business and patience.
President | American Meadows & High Country Gardens
Posted on May 16, 2013, updated May 17, 2013
Residing in North Carolina, I was excited when I first learned that High Country Gardens had drought resistant plants. In October 2012, I ordered two Agastache Ava plants. I was pleased with the ordering process and received the plants in approximately ten days. When I opened the box, however, I was dismayed to see that one of the plants looked extremely healthy and one looked extremely sick. The written insert included with the plants said that even if a plant looked sickly it should be planted and it would sprout green leaves in a very short time. I did just that but, sadly, the sickly looking plant died so I emailed High Country to request a replacement plant. They were very apologetic and said they would indeed send me a replacement Agastache, but it would not ship until mid-April 2013. On April 17, 2013, I emailed them to see if the plant had shipped and if not, when it would be shipped. They responded by saying that Denver, where their shipping facility is located, had received a major snowstorm and the plant would be shipped on April 22nd. On April 24th, I emailed the company again to inquire as to whether or not the plant had shipped. I received an email from them which was exactly the same message I received on April 17th that shipping would resume on April 22nd (?) I emailed again on April 30th, and was told the plant was in the process of being shipped and I would be receiving a shipment notification “shortly”. On May 11th, having received neither the plant nor a shipping notification, I emailed them again. This time I was notified by High Country that, alas, the plant was out of stock. Needless to say, I am very upset with this situation and I feel that a plant ordered six months earlier should have been one of the first ones shipped out in April. I will not be ordering from High Country Gardens in the future and will certainly inform all my gardener friends to stay away from this deceptive company.On May 17th, 2013, magnolia92 added the following:
TO: Ethan Platt, President, American Meadows / High Country Gardens
Thank you for your response to my complaint regarding High Country Gardens. I was indeed aware that American Meadows purchased High Country Gardens and I am empathetic to the problems your company is having with the inventory and ordering systems. However, as a customer, these issues mean relatively little to me and when I order from a company I expect to be treated honestly, fairly and not be placated with excuses. As for your Customer Service Reps doing the best they can, I am a CSR as well and CSR’s do not tell customers that they will do something and then not do it. It comes across as being unscrupulous and produces very unhappy customers.
Again, thank you for your response. I have emailed High Country that I will accept your offer to receive the replacement Agastache Ava this fall, although I have little hope that the plant will arrive and be in good health. Company representative comment on May 16, 2013: On May 16, 2013 8:43 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I'm very sorry for your frustrations with your replacement order. As you may or may not be aware, High Country Gardens closed in November 2012, but reopened in February of this year under new ownership. It has been an extremely hectic spring as we have worked around the clock to get High Country back up and running. One of the biggest frustrations we've experienced has been inheriting their inventory and order processing system. Although the vast majority of our orders have shipped as promised, we have had some (like yours) that continue to give us trouble.
I can assure you that we have had no intent to deceive. Our customer service reps are doing the absolute best they can with the conflicting information our systems are providing. We will happily honor our guarantee and either credit you for your fall purchase or send you more Ava in the fall (Yeah, I know you've heard that before!). Please understand that it's been a crazy-hectic few months and we're doing all we can to stay on top of things.
Again, I apologize for your negative experience.
American Meadows | High Country Gardens