On Apr 26, 2011, flyingchange Missoula, MT (Zone 4b) wrote:
I first placed my order with a requested ship date of the week of October 12, because I was going to be out of town the week before. My shrubs arrived at my door on October 8th. The shurb combo I ordered was listed as hardy to zone 4, which is where I live. One of the shrubs didn't make it through that first winter, and when I contacted them about an alternative, they refused to help because it had been more than a year. The shrub that died is only hardy to zone 5, even though they listed the combo as zone 4, and their web site STILL contains this incorrect info. Despite this error on THEIR part, they refuse to help. Must be nice to have enough customers that you can afford to lose one over an $8 plant.
On Apr 26, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Apr 27, 2011 9:37 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We guarantee that you will receive healthy, vigorous plants that transplant successfully and prosper. Within one year from shipment. If there is any questions or concerns we encourage our customers to contact us immediately.
I would be glad to get you a replacement for the one that didn't make it For your privacy Garden Watchdog does not forward your name or address information. Please contact me and I will personally make sure we select a shrub appropriate for your area.
On Apr 22, 2011, Hindernone Broadway, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I received my first ever order from HCG two days ago. Impressive! Ordering was a breeze online, tracking was very easy and with 2nd day air shipping, the plants arrived with perfect timing. All the plants were healthy and very nice sizes for the prices. (agastache, kniphofia, liatris, lonicera, and sedum) Will be planting today and tomorrow... hopefully I can keep them living east of the Mississippi.
On Apr 16, 2011, k2cedarcity Dayton, NV (Zone 5b) wrote:
My 1st order with HCG and I am extremely impressed with the entire ordering process at HCG. I was able to track my order, it arrived on time, all plant were well packed, great size, very healthy. I found the prices to be very, very, good. I live in high desert country (northern NV) and am delighted to find a company that fits my gardening needs. I will definitely be ordering from High Country Gardens again.
Over the weekend, ordered several composting materials to aid my clay "foundation" dirt. All were received in very good order on Thursday and Saturday!
Very pleased with High Country Gardens ordering and shipping process.
On Mar 21, 2011, moosewood Dewitt, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
The plants, etc. herein were lost in a divorce**, but as you will see, this expierience is still well worth the mention:
First: I live in a Zone 5 area. Winters are unkind "here", as is my Ex's** heart.
By 2002 or so, I had received a HGC catalog, and lusted after those beautiful and unique cacti and succulents. However, a lot of their palnts are marginal Zone 5 (might as well just say Zone 6!), or simply must must must be kept Winter-dry, to survive here.
My old house** had a wet basement. In 2002, I had a contractor come thru & waterproof it; one step of which was to trench down to the bottom of the foundation. The trench itself was 18" wide, and about 4 feet deep. The old drains were replaced, the trench backfilled with peastone.
As you likely know: Peastone = "perfect drainage".
Still hot for the cacti, and not wanting to waste the space (about 15 feet along a South-facing wall);
I decided to build a sort of Zone 6/alpine house over the trench.
I consructed a raised bed from landscape timbers, roughly 15 ft. long, 3 feet in width from house wall to bed-front, and 8" deep. I spiked the bed to the asphalt driveway.
I lined it with black gardening fabric, and filled it with a mix of ;
a good garden soil,
crushed (pea-sized) stone,
chick grit (aka. "Stoneymo Granite)
a granular material (the name's escaped me) used to areate and loosten clay soils. There was no clay in the soil mix, this stuff was another dry-drainage item, plus it was red-orange and added color to the mix.
For more color, I threw in some crushed (sledge-hammered) red and black lava.
The whole bed was built it in front of 2 basically under-insulated basement windows.
Next came a 'hoop" or "frame" of a good, stiff, springy fence wire, strong enough to support a snow load.
I hooked one edge of the fencing under the house siding, the other edge flexed behind the back edge of the bed.
I used 3 or four pieces of thick, clear plastic sheeting, (the flexible kind, not the one that cracks if bent!) overlapping them by a couple inches, again the plastic went over the fencing, under the siding, and in back of the timbers, then roughly "sealed" each end with pieces of styrofoam;
und dot vas dot!
Oh, boy it was pretty !
I ordered 15 or so Xerics from HGC, mostly the cactus, Rabias, Titanopsis, a small Agave, etc., etc, .
What they show you in their catalog, about how their items are packed, is exactly what you will get!
That package from HCG was a real WOW!!! moment.
The plants were beautiful, healthy, and none were damaged.
HGC's service was as good as anyone's...they are on an "Elite Nursery" list.
Please do order from HGC, you will not be disappointed.
As for the ultimate fate of the raised bed:
I planted HGC's items, making sure to place extra chick grit around their collars, to wick away moisture.
I was surprised to find that the damp basement air leaking thru the windows and into the little greenhouse provided all the water the Xeric plants needed.
Everything overwintered spectacularly, and was beautiful in Spring of 2003 and again in 2004.
Even a Hebe and an Ephedra I got from a local grower.
(2004** divorce final, ** kept the house), I haven't the heart to go back & see if Ol' Roundup Thumbs** has trashed that lovely bed or not.
HCG offers an excellent selection of rare plants and has a beautiful catalog. All plants arrived quickly and in excellent condition. Packaging was good and all plants were well-rooted and a nice size. The perennial pots were shipped with a tiny bag around each pot, loosely rubber-banded at the top to keep the soil in, and made the long trip to PA in nice shape. I will order from them again. Thanks!
I have bought several hundred dollars-worth of plants from HCG over the years. Some have done spectacularly well, others have been just as spectacular failures. I think the key to success with their plants is to understand that they are for western cultural conditions and some will not do well in soils that are, for instance, heavily augmented with compost. Gardeners here in central Wyoming have to practically re-invent our soils in order to get much of anything to grow, and yet some of the plants from HCG like our soil and will disappoint in kinder conditions. I am making a guess at this point to say that probably half of what I have bought from HCG has thrived and half have failed utterly. I blame three things--I am in a rural area with much harser conditions than in town, I am still a rank amateur after gardening all of my life, and because of that, I chose the wrong varieties for my location. I haven't shopped with HCG for a few years so I could allow some festuca to mature and give me a better idea what else to plant in a natives bed, but I did just place an order for some penstemon pinafolius and rhus aromatica--fairly foolproof plants. I anticipate success. If you order from them, ask questions about cultural requirements and research the varieties you want to try really well before spending the money. Their plants come in great packaging and they get up and running pretty quickly, that is if you've made the right choice. All-in-all they are a great resource for western gardeners.
On Mar 11, 2011, hummengberd San Bernardino, CA wrote:
I first heard about HCG from a Hummingbird group on Facebook. It received very high recommendations, so I decided to give them a try. I just received my first order last night and followed their directions for the plants' immediate care. I ordered 11 plants, and every single one was healthy and well packed. I was amazed really as I've never ordered plants online before. I have to say they're all out on the deck now, enjoying some morning sun; to me, they look like they're spreading their little leaves and enjoying their freedom from the packing box. Thank you, HCG. . . I'll definitely be ordering from you again (and soon).
I had never heard of this company before until I recieved their catalog in the mail.They had a good rating so I gave them a try. I was very satisfied with my order. The plants were very well packed and arrived healthy. I was happy with the size of the plants and they all had a healthy root system. Their customer service is also outstanding. I would definately order from them again.
On Mar 10, 2011, CurtisGans Lovettsville, VA wrote:
Order done easily, processed easily and delivered when HCG said it would be. Only problem is that the non-working hour phone support has no one knowledgeable about plants and their care. So had to call again and e-mail. But once I did do the second, response was quick and thoughtful;
On Mar 10, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Mar 10, 2011 3:18 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. We have a 24 hour order line that handles orders and catalog requests. Customer service is available M-F 9am-5pm MT. We strive to respond to all customer correspondence as promptly as possible. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
I have been a catalog & store customer for over 10 years, unfortunately my most recent experience was negative. It is not about the quality of their plants, but their lack of customer service. I needed to adjust my plant order, and I never got a call back from the customer line; always received a voice message & never a person; plus never received the follow-up e-mail that even gave me my order number. I finally e-mailed them and hope someone will respond or at least acknowledge the change to my order.
On Mar 9, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Mar 9, 2011 4:56 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I am sorry to hear you were having trouble contacting us. We have checked our call logs and could not locate any messages from you by phone. We did respond to your email within an hour of the time it was sent. You may want to check your spam folder for order emails which are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance now or in the future.
On Mar 8, 2011, ladypamelamary Philadelphia United States wrote:
I have the Hummingbird Garden at the Horticultural Center in Philadelphia, and I have ordered from High Country Gardens for the last four years. Their plant material has always arrived healthy, vibrant, and packed with care. I have found their customer service to be outstanding. Also, I have never lost a plant from them, and many of the plants have exceeded my expectations for growth in one season.
Love this nursery! I have ordered from them for years and have always been happy with the customer service, and the plants. I live in Northern California and have several xeric beds that look fantastic thanks to HCG.
On Feb 4, 2011, jpgreen Roswell, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
They seem a bit expensive but plants have always arrived in excellent health, done as good or better than advertised, and they have the best packing system i've seen yet
On Feb 4, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Feb 4, 2011 4:52 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thank you for complementing our plants and packaging. Here at High Country Gardens we grow the majority of our plants in our specially designed 5" deep premium pots. We focus on developing hardy, healthy plants that we care for till the right shipping time for your area. We appreciate you recognizing the extra care we take in developing and shipping our plants.
Last year, I ordered a number of plants, many in premium (5") pots, from High Country Gardens. While the plants appeared small, their root systems were very well developed, and they took off like a house afire. By mid-summer, they were a riot of color and texture, a lovely sight indeed. Many were planted in the front yard, and I got so many compliments from neighbors and passersby. I could not be more pleased and have just ordered some more for spring delivery, to be planted in the "inferno strip" between sidewalk and curb next to my store. Thank you, High country Gardens!
On Jan 31, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Feb 4, 2011 4:51 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We appreciate you for your feedback. High Country Gardens specially designed the 5" deep containers used in shipping the majority of the plants we grow. These premium pots are the depth of a #1 Gallon and with their well developed root systems are ready for planting in your garden upon arrival. If you are able to we would love to see pictures! You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on our Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/hcg4fans for all to enjoy!
On Jan 16, 2011, billyet Portland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
Very prompt service, they were cooperative and helpfully agreed to send part of my order right away and the rest in the spring; there was 1 mistake and they replaced the bulb immediately & let me keep the mis-sent one as well.
Posted on November 19, 2010, updated November 19, 2010
Posted on November 17, 2010, updated November 19, 2010
High Country Gardens sent an invoice with a statement that my items would ship the week of November 11 and arrive within 2-3 business days. Nothing has arrived and it is already November 17. Considering they're located in New Mexico, this shouldn't be a difficult transaction to accomplish. After viewing these other negative comments, I now dread opening the box should it ever arrive!
On November 19th, 2010, Jonus added the following:
I received the High Country Garden Scilla bulbs yesterday (11-18-2010) and carefully removed and inspected them, separating the bulbs according to their condition.
The Scilla bulbs were shipped in a new brown bag that had two rows of 3 holes on both sides of the paper bag, located 4 inches above the base of the paper bag. It looks like double row paper punch device was used. The bag was double folded at the top and secured with two staples. The bag was folded over inside of the box with pamphlets located on top of the brown bag. By the condition of the brown bag, it appears that an attendant collected the individual bulbs and placed them recently into that bag, just prior to shipment. The attendant either did not inspect or had limited selection left to provide to this customer.
Of the 50 bulbs shipped, 3 have visible disease (bluish green mold on two, the other botrytis), 16 are dried out with noticeable soft spots. Of the thirty-two remaining bulbs, 11 are marginal with dings in them. That leaves 21 healthy looking bulbs, 42% of the 50 ordered.
On November 19th, 2010, Jonus added the following:
You may attempt to negate this feedback, Victoria, or improve your standards to match other companies' high standards. This was the first time in all of my experiences with mail order garden companies, that I have written any comment on the internet. Other internet companies have set my expectations by providing detailed invoices, prompt service and quality items. You need to improve.On Nov 19, 2010, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Nov 17, 2010 12:00 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
This customer contacted HCG Customer Service with concern of the order only after posting a negative.
We received this in our system on Friday November 12th. We do not ship during the weekend nor does UPS pick up or deliver. This order shipped early this week with a delivery date of tomorrow November 18th. This order was placed with standard delivery and shipped within two business days of receipt.
On Nov 19, 2010 2:45 PM, High Country Gardens added:
We shipped within 2 business days, arrival was 48 hours later and we immediately responded to any concerns about this order. Our bulbs are in excellent shape when shipped and ready to plant. Due to customers concern another bag has been shipped. We are dedicated to our customers and stand behind our products.
I ordered three plants from High Country Gardens this fall. They arrived in OK shape. They looked somewhat healthy but they were dry and on the smaller side compared to plants I had ordered from other companies for around the same price. The package they arrived in wasn't the best. Dry dirt was all over the inside of the box and there was hardly any dirt left surrounding the plant. The plants are doing well in the ground, but the reason I chose neutral was because of the way that the plants were packaged. I will consider ordering from this company again because my plants are doing well since being planted, but they should consider a more efficient way of packaging them.
On Oct 29, 2010, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Oct 29, 2010 1:18 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. This is very helpful information for our shipping department. I have sent this information to our shipping supervisor for quality control on packing. Please contact me so we can further investigate what may have occurred. I am glad to hear the plants are thriving and hope you will continue to let us serve you.
On Oct 25, 2010, kacton Hasbrouck Heights, NJ wrote:
I love High Country Gardens. Their website is informative, I love that they show pictures of the plants that give perspective of how they will look planted. I do not live in the high country, I live in New Jersey but I order plants often from HCG and they are always alive and shipped safely. Overall a great website and solid plants.
On Oct 8, 2010, dorothy128 Visalia, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:
Excellent Customer Service! When I didn't receive the last part of my order, my e-mail inquiry was answered in less time it took me to write the inquiry. At first I was told the ordered had been delivered, which I assured them it had not. Further correspondence uncovered a problem with the drop shippers and the order would be shipped the following week. This was a problem for me since I am leaving on vacation. They agreed to delay shipment for a week, which will be absolutely perfect. Superior response time to my inquiries. All was resolved by e-mail in less than 45 minutes. I couldn't be happier with the resolution and the customer service.
Ordered 6 plants in the late spring to try out this company. I was surprised when they arrived that the plants were so small. The roots and stems were only about inch long on either end. All but 2 died. Called about a replacement and was told that shipping had stopped for the season and they would send out in September - so much for flowers this summer.Replaced 3 with something different as I hoped to have better luck and originals were no longer available. These were a nice size when they arrived - about 6 inches. If the original shipment had been the same size they might have survived I think. Was surprised that I only received 2 of the 3 replacements and was told they were a slightly different price so they only sent 2 plants. the 4th plant to be replaced would come the following week. Enquired about adding to that shipment to fill in the empty spot in my yard. Did not respond to email when asked about the small credit left on my account. Bottom line - replaced plants seem to be OK as they were bigger - not just 1 inch roots in a 5 inch pot.. Would I order from them again? Not if I can get the plants elsewhere.
On Sep 25, 2010, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Oct 1, 2010 8:44 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
I am sorry to hear your first shipment of plants was not the usual quality of High Country Gardens. I am glad the replacements were nice and healthy. We do not ship plants late in the heat of the summer (June-mid August) which may have been one reason we could not ship to you immediately.
Our customer service is dedicated to responding to emails within 4 hours. I apologize if you did not receive a response. I know some of our responses have ended up in the spam or junk files. To prevent this from happening you may want to add us as a friend or known email. I would be glad to assist you if you want to contact me. I hope to be of future service to you!
On Sep 24, 2010, gardenchik Robbinsville, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
I received my very first order from HCG today. The plants were packaged perfectly. All 17 plants (3 varieties) look healthy and are a good size. I will order from this company again come spring. I would order more now for fall planting, but I'm already beat-up from the hot summer. I'm ready to just take it easy and dream of next spring. Thanks HCG!
I moved to Las Vegas a few years ago. I had only lived in the southeast before so I had no idea how to garden in a hot desert. I bought several plants at local nurseries and they all failed miserably. None of them belonged in the desert. I found High Country Gardens and have been a huge fan ever since. Every plant I have ordered from them has been extremely healthy and has grown beautifully. Like I said, I am new to the desert and had no idea what to plant so I have emailed them questions and they always respond quickly and thoroughly. Their employees seem to know more about my local growing area than the people at my local nurseries. Of course they offer many other plants besides desert plants. Compared to the local nurseries their plant prices are a little more expensive but I will gladly pay the price because I know the plant will grow. I just can't say enough how much I love High Country Gardens!
On Aug 25, 2010, enviroplanter Ambler, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
Selection of shrubs is somewhat limited, but they do have things you can't find anywhere else (and not just for the Southwest). Their plants are well rooted and very healthy; they really settle in quickly and grow fast. Packing and shipping are excellent.
Posted on August 24, 2010, updated August 24, 2010
Excellent mail order resource for gardeners who need xeric plants for higher elevations, such as Colorado. Plants arrived the week I specified, in good condition.
On August 24th, 2010, mhpinson added the following:
Their catolog contains detailed information needed to choose perenials for my tough growing conditions (full sun to partial shade, 10" to 20" of rain per year, low humidity, zone 5, no supplemental watering after plant is established). Catelog also indicates plants that won't be eaten by bunnies & deer, or will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
On Aug 5, 2010, wakacjusz South Milwaukee, WI wrote:
I'm very happy with the plants I received from HCG. They are unique and beautiful. Shipping was fast and well packed. The plants grow like crazy, just after few months my catmint is over 2 feet wide. And it was a tiny one when I got it. For couple plants, that didn't make it, I received replacements from HCG and hopefully now they will have happy ending at my garden. I recommend HCG to each garden lover.
On Aug 3, 2010, WeeklyWeeder Polson, MT (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered several reblooming tall bearded irises which arrived healthy and nicely potted. The packing of these plants was very well thought out, as they were stable and arrived in good condition.
Very pleased with this company and their products.
Colleen in Polson, MT
On Aug 3, 2010, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Aug 3, 2010 3:34 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thank you Colleen for taking the time to share your satisfaction with High Country Gardens and our plants.
We are always delighted to hear from 'happy' customers.
HCG Customer Service Representative
I have ordered several times from High Country Gardens and have been very pleased each time. They send small, but high quality, healthy plants in a timely manner. On one occasion two of the plants I ordered were stressed when they arrived and did not survive after planting. I contacted the company and promptly received a refund with no hassle.
They have good healthy plants, packed nice and safe and they guarantee them for 6mo. and on occasion, even longer. I like them because they have plants that very, very few on line nurseries have.
On Jul 3, 2010, ripleydoodle Eckerman, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:
Posted on June 7, 2010, updated July 3, 2010
I requested a copy of HCG's catalog this spring, and afterwards received an email from them with a "ten dollars off a twenty five dollar order" coupon code, so I decided to try them out.
I bought three plants and a shrub. After shipping charges the total for the order was $31.95 (that's after the ten dollar coupon was taken off). So let's call them around $8 each.
Three were in premium pots, one was in a standard pot.
Premium is definitely the wrong name. The plants are small, bedraggled, and don't look healthy or thriving. I will try to nurse them along but I think it's going to be a few years before they get up to size. They are alive, and might survive and be decent sized in a few years, which is the only reason I'm giving a neutral and not a negative rating...though if they don't live I'll most likely change it.
I don't mind buying small things and growing them up, but for $8 each I could get some good sized plants at a local nursery.
I was definitely disappointed when I opened the box and saw the quality of the plants. I highly doubt I'll order from them again.
On July 3rd, 2010, ripleydoodle added the following:
In answer to the comment from Victoria...
I was not referring to "big box stores," I was referring to locally run nurseries.
You may send smaller plants on purpose, and think that that will make them thrive in the long run, but that should be reflected in your prices, don't you think?
Even so...the size was only part of it. The other part was that they looked about half dead, were spindly and browning with broken parts. On Jul 3, 2010, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 9, 2010 9:02 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We grow our native and xeric plants lean, tough and ready to take off. Plants with a strong root system and less top growth will do better in your garden. What you see as an impressive plant in most garden centers and big box stores is actually fed with heavy nitrogen fertilizers to push the green growth on top. Many times resulting in floppy weak plants. With perennials you want energy in the roots to take off fast in your garden. You will be amazed at how fast our plants take off and if not, we have a 100% perennial plant guarantee.
High Country Gardens
Customer Service Supervisor
On Jun 25, 2010, congminglaoshi Tuckahoe, NY wrote:
I just got some on sale plants, and they generally look pretty good. The ones that came in the smallest sized pot are small, some of them look like rooted cuttings that haven't been in production too long (ex Artemesia versicolor Seafoam and Scutellaria resinosa), but they are healthy. The items in larger and deeper pots seem to be considerably more developed, the most drastic visual difference being when I compared a diascia in a small pot with a color variant of same that was in the larger pot. None of the plants arrived dry in my case (the soil mix was actually wet) and all seem ready to grow after I get them planted. My order did come quickly, there was minimal soil spillage, and each plant had a soft foam covering on the soil secured by two rubber bands. Now, having ordered from Bluestone and Santa Rosa as well, I can't say that all of the HCG plants are like what you get from Bluestone or Santa Rosa, but they are alive, rooted, and several are a good size for their container. Plus a HCG grows a number of fussier, slower growing species than the other two companies grow, so I don't expect them all to be bursting out of their pots as is often the case with the usually quite vigorous species grown by the other two companies. I was really pleased with the Solidago sp Witchita Mtns, something I've been looking for for a while. The Phlox pilosa ssp sangamonensis, a rare variant, was also a very well developed plant. HCG also sent a 10 dollar coupon with the order for future use, a nice gesture. If I saw something else I wanted in the future, I would certainly order again without worry.