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Comments regarding High Country Gardens

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485 positives
45 neutrals
69 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Positive topgunja
(1 review)
On Dec 30, 2014, topgunja Tempe, AZ wrote:

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.


On Dec 30, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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!

Best, Ethan"


Positive Charwhitten
(1 review)
On Oct 8, 2014, Charwhitten Apopka, FL wrote:

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.

Positive lopesgw
(1 review)
On Sep 26, 2014, lopesgw Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

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!

Positive flowermaiden2
(7 reviews)
On Sep 8, 2014, flowermaiden2 Saint Maries, ID wrote:

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.
update
On 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.

On Sep 8, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Best,
Ethan Platt
President | American Meadows "


Positive SunshineSher
(1 review)
On Aug 21, 2014, SunshineSher Dammeron Valley, UT wrote:

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!!!

I'm a loyal customer to High Country Gardens!

Positive nhawthorne
(1 review)
On Jul 19, 2014, nhawthorne Deming, NM wrote:

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!

Positive NevadaGarden
(1 review)
On Jul 15, 2014, NevadaGarden Gardnerville, NV wrote:

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.

Positive WTCHHoDog
(4 reviews)
On Jul 15, 2014, WTCHHoDog Monroe, OR wrote:

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....

Positive thephotoguy
(1 review)
On Jun 11, 2014, thephotoguy Minneapolis, MN wrote:

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.


On Jun 11, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 11, 2014 2:02 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear thephotoguy:

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!

Best, Ethan"


Negative cmartell
(1 review)
On Jun 2, 2014, cmartell Spokane, WA wrote:

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.


On Jun 2, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 3, 2014 10:04 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

cmartell,

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"


Positive bryana
(67 reviews)
On May 17, 2014, bryana Albany, NY wrote:

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.
Positive cd1229
(1 review)
On May 10, 2014, cd1229 Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

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!
On May 10, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 19, 2013 3:01 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

cd1229,

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.

Ethan Platt
President
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.

Ethan"


Neutral jane_stevens9
(14 reviews)
On May 6, 2014, jane_stevens9 Wichita, KS wrote:

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!!

Positive Sequoiadendron4
(13 reviews)
On Apr 29, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

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!
On Apr 29, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Best,
Ethan Platt
President


On Oct 23, 2013 11:01 AM, High Country Gardens added:

Thanks for giving us another shot and for the kind words! Much appreciated.

Ethan


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.

Happy Spring,
Ethan"


Negative xuling
(2 reviews)
On Apr 26, 2014, xuling Windsor, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

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. Xuling
On 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.
On Apr 26, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta
Customer Service Supervisor
High Country Gardens
vperalta@highcountrygardens.com
1-800-925-9387 ext. 3023


On Apr 26, 2014 9:00 PM, High Country Gardens added:

Xuling,

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.

Sincerely,
Ethan Platt
President"


Negative corirusson
(2 reviews)
On Apr 22, 2014, corirusson Alpine, UT wrote:

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.
On Apr 22, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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 Staff


On 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.

Thanks for your business.

Ethan
"


Positive James_Cramer
(1 review)
On Mar 21, 2014, James_Cramer Wye, MT wrote:

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.

Positive DaveEgbert
(2 reviews)
On Nov 24, 2013, DaveEgbert Carpenter, SD (Zone 5a) wrote:

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.

Negative muckles13
(1 review)
On Oct 5, 2013, muckles13 Ault, CO wrote:

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


On Oct 5, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Oct 5, 2013 1:23 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear muckles13,

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.

My apologies.

Sincerely,
Ethan Platt
President"


Positive kip563
(1 review)
On Sep 26, 2013, kip563 San Diego, CA wrote:

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.

Positive chernandez
(1 review)
On Sep 10, 2013, chernandez STEPHENTOWN, NY wrote:

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!!!


On Sep 10, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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"


Negative Hypatiacat
(1 review)
On Jul 25, 2013, Hypatiacat Bisbee, AZ wrote:

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.


On Jul 25, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jul 25, 2013 4:12 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Hypatiacat,

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.

Again, my apologies.

Ethan Platt
President | American Meadows"


Negative Ever_Blooming
(4 reviews)
On Jul 9, 2013, Ever_Blooming Camden, ME wrote:

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?


On Jul 9, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jul 11, 2013 9:50 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Ever_Blooming,

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.

Ethan Platt
President
American Meadows | High Country Gardens "


Neutral debgar71
(3 reviews)
On Jul 4, 2013, debgar71 Granite Falls, NC wrote:

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.

Positive BreeG
(1 review)
On Jun 29, 2013, BreeG Campion, CO wrote:

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.


On Jun 29, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Best, Ethan"


Neutral JulieBW
(4 reviews)
On Jun 8, 2013, JulieBW Geneseo, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

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.
On Jun 8, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 17, 2013 3:55 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

JulieBW,

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.

Again, so sorry for the negative experience.

Sincerely,
Ethan"


Negative ROSES_R_RED
(5 reviews)
On Jun 7, 2013, ROSES_R_RED Mount Bethel, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

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!
On Jun 7, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 7, 2013 8:24 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Roses_R_Red,

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.

Sincerely,
Ethan Platt
President
American Meadows | High Country Gardens"


Negative megs419
(1 review)
On Jun 6, 2013, megs419 Buda, TX wrote:

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:

Ethan,
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.


On Jun 6, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

My Apologies,
Ethan"


Negative streeterpl
(1 review)
On Jun 4, 2013, streeterpl Washington, IL wrote:

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!!!


On Jun 4, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Best Wishes,
Ethan Platt
President"


Negative nmcclain
(1 review)
On Jun 3, 2013, nmcclain Denver, CO wrote:

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?
On Jun 3, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.
Ethan Platt
President "


Positive Garden_Blogger
(1 review)
On Jun 2, 2013, Garden_Blogger ADIN, CA wrote:

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.
On Jun 2, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 28, 2013 9:13 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Garden_Blogger,

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.

Thank you,
Ethan"


Negative cbroas1
(1 review)
On May 30, 2013, cbroas1 Highfill, AR wrote:

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.


On May 30, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta
vperalta@highcountrygardens.com

"


Negative Doanechilcoat
(1 review)
On May 30, 2013, Doanechilcoat Clive, IA wrote:

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.


On May 30, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta
vperalta@highcountrygardens.com"


Negative katoom
(1 review)
On May 29, 2013, katoom Aurora, CO wrote:

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.


On May 29, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 29, 2013 3:22 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Katoom, I just sent you a d-mail seeking further information.

Thanks, Ethan"


Neutral growgirl53
(1 review)
On May 27, 2013, growgirl53 Carlisle, PA wrote:

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.
On May 27, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 22, 2013 1:57 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

growgirl53,

We're working through our emails and voicemails as quickly as possible in the order that they came in. We will reach out ASAP.

Thanks for you patience & understanding.

Ethan"


Neutral kbrehm
(5 reviews)
On May 26, 2013, kbrehm Red Bluff, CA wrote:

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.

Negative rugbycrumpet
(7 reviews)
On May 25, 2013, rugbycrumpet Sharon, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

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.


On May 25, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 25, 2013 12:46 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

rugbycrumpet,

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.

Sincerely,
Ethan Platt
President"


Negative utahxericman
(1 review)
On May 24, 2013, utahxericman Provo, UT wrote:

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 24, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 17, 2013 11:38 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

utahxericman,

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.

Sincerely,
Ethan Platt
President
American Meadows & High Country Gardens"


Negative ElsbethL
(1 review)
On May 23, 2013, ElsbethL wrote:

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.


On May 23, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"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.

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta
vperalta@highcountrygardens.com"


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