I ordered a number of xeric, part shade plants from them in the Spring. A significant number of these came nearly DOA in the midst of a early Spring heat wave and given the Westerrn location of the firm, the plants experienced the maximum shipping time to the Northeast. On reporting the problem they could not replace all exactly, but offered some substitutes in the same color range and environmental compatibility. At the end of the Summer season, I found that six of the replacements/substitutes had died (Penstemon and Linum), while three other substitutes had flourished in the same bed. The company's position was that since the dead ones had been "replaced" once they could not now replace or refund .Another three plants which had not been replaced, but died were refunded.
My position is that the original shipment of DOA plants is not a crop failure, but the result of circumstance which I could not control. Lengthy time enroute and abnormally hot period in the late Spring in the Northeast. Hence the real "crop failure" of the Linum and Penstemon over the Summer season should be refunded. in addition since the Linum wer substitutes not exact rrplacements, it is not as if they failed twice As to why they failed, perhaps these plants are really not suitable for the Northeast, despite thei company's claims that they are.
On Sep 5, 2008, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Sep 5, 2008 1:05 PM, High Country Gardens added:
I would like to review your order and claim. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. High Country Gardens guarantees to ship healthy and vigorous plants. If there is ever a problem with a shipment it is important to contact us immediately.
On Aug 24, 2008, katiebug11 Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered three times from this company with great success. The plants were carefully packed, quickly shipped, and have flourished in my garden, even under my inexperienced care. HCG is the only mail-order company I will buy from.
I have ordered three times now from High Country Gardens. The quality of the plant material has always been excellent - very healthy and vigorous. The packing and shipping ensure that the plants arrive in good shape. Order processing is quick.
On Aug 14, 2008, windrhythms Columbia, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered plant materials from High Country Gardens at least twice in the last three years and have just entered another order with them. My plants always arrive in excellent condition; and even when I have deliberately ordered something that is only suited to a 'micro-environment' in my yard, they have always performed as expected. I really like the wide variety of plants that they carry, and I have found that their website is always available when I need it.
I have ordered from several plant companies over the last thirty years but now I only order from High Country. My plants have always arrived in the best quality, and they grow just as they are advertised. Thanks for producing such good quality plants. These are the best for Utah! :)
I've been a High Country Gardens customer for about 7 years. I adore them actually. I must admit that I have had a plant or two die I'd chalk it up to my own inexperience and my husbands enthusiasm with the weed wacker over anything they did. All the plants I've ordered from them have come in very good condition. I enjoy all the information they have on their site. They have been one of my primary resources for pretty AND xeric options for my garden.
On Jul 21, 2008, 19082 Upper Darby, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I ordered from this company for the first time this spring. I was happy with the plants, and their service. My order arrived on the day I requested, and the plants were healthy. The packaging was secure and kept the plants in good condition, not a small feat, considering they were traveling about 3,000 miles. I also ordered for a client who I landscape for. Her plants also arrived on time, and in excellent condition. One of her plants died within a month, and was promptly replaced by High Country. I would give High Country an excellent rating.
On Jul 17, 2008, ladybirdsong Klamath Falls, OR wrote:
HCG is a wonderful company with courteous, informed staff and quality plants that arrive in such wonderful condition. I've been a mail-order customer of theirs for over 6 years now and I keep coming back for more. They are the best!
On Jul 16, 2008, mwperry Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
This company knows what it is doing. The quality of their plants is subperb. The plants I have ordered from them have never failed me. Their packing and shipping procedure are excellent. What more can I say!
I live on the edge of the Mojave Desert in north Los Angeles County and need a source for drought resistant, xeriscape plants: I ordered several preplanned gardens (August Afternoons) to fill a large planter in the back of my yard. They arrived as promised, healthy and ready to grow. My miroclimate didn't support a couple of the plants but the majority of them are florishing this, the second, summer. I've just ordered grass and wild flower seed for the small patch of lawn in my redone backyard. The nursery that is redoing my back yard (GreenBee in Palmdale) was supportive of the plants and seeds High Country Gardens sells. The customer service was very responsive when I emailed questions as well. The internet catalogue is a well laid out, fun to peruse, site.
On Jul 7, 2008, ElizabethAnneM Birmingham, AL wrote:
This is silly, but last fall, I had an order of Bee Balm and Phlox arrive. I had also ordered a lot of bulbs from other companies. I mistook the box of live plants from this company for the bulbs and threw them in the closet without thought. A full month later, I realized my mistake! I opened up the box to find the sad little plants...still moist and alive. I planted them, not expecting much (due to my own giant error). Believe it or not, they are all now flowering! That tells you how healthy and strong and well packaged they were! Crazy! They may come small, but they are MIGHTY!
I purchased a couple of Gaillardia plants. They arrived in beautiful condition and are both beginning to flower. I'd buy from them again. Unlike many mail order plants, they had a nice strong root system.
People who live east of the Mississippi, as I do, need to read the info on their web site. Not all of their plants will do well in rainy areas.
My garden club friends highly recommended High Country Gardens to me and I've been receiving their catalogs for a few months now. I placed my first order in mid-May. I received my nine standard pot plants (3 each of 3 different plants) when expected and in lovely shape and packaging. Very ingenious I thought. I immediately put the 9 containers outdoors in a shallow baking pan full of water as I couldn't get to planting for two full days after receipt. It's been a month now and 8 of the 9 plants are flourishing. The one that is completely dead used to be a Thymus serpyllum. All 3 are planted together and in the same manner. Why 1 would die and 2 flourish is a mystery to me unless it wasn't healthy to begin with. I'd like to know if others have had this problem.
On Jun 19, 2008, MissKitty5700 Honeyville, UT wrote:
My experience with High Country Gardens has been great. I bought one of their pre-planned gardens. The plants arrived in great shape, for fall planting. They seemed to be maybe on the small side, but were very healthy. Smaller plants are probably easier to transplant and experience less shock, plus I'm sure they're easier to ship! One plant didn't make it overwinter, and they replaced it with no questions asked. It is now the second growing season, and the section of the yard where I put the pre-planned garden is the best looking spot in our yard! The plants have filled in beautifully, and they probably aren't even full-size quite yet. One plant has since died, but I have been so thrilled with everything in the grouping that I'm not upset about that at all, I mean, plants die, right? It may have been something I did.
What I love about this company is their great selection of xeriscaping plants, things you just don't find other places. I live in Utah, and it has been very difficult to find plants that can survive both the cold winters and the hot dry summers. High Country Gardens has been great for that reason. We also have a problem with deer and rabbits here, they keep eating my spring bulbs before they get a chance to bloom. But where I had the HCG plants (I specifically got deer and rabbit resistant varieties,) the critters didn't bother my bulbs.
I'm definitely going to keep adding more HCG plants into our landscape!
I have purchased plants from HCG twice now - once last season (late April) and once this season (June). This review covers an entire, and primarily successful, growing season with their plants. I am very happy with this company and will purchase again and again. Their literature is helpful, colorful and educational. It is some of my favorite reading in February.
First Season Performance
Last year, when the xerix plants arrived, they appeared small (per other reviewer comments) but with big root systems. Two or three of the 30+ plants were slightly damaged; I trimmed these up. All were alive and looked pretty good. These plants were planted in 'reclaimed driveway' soil that had been very compacted in the past (heavy, alkaline clay typical to Northern NM), but loosened and amended with compost and thick bark mulch. The first season (after planting in April 2007) the plants actually grew pretty well, but not 'filled out' (to be expected). Two or three of the 30+ plants purchased did not survive through the first winter. Two or three others struggled but seem to be recovering now that it is early summer. The great balance of the plants, however, have virtually exploded this year and are *hugh* and very healthy. I could not be more thrilled -they are outperforming many of the nursery-bought versions that came in much larger pots. These plants were irrigated via drip irrigation 3x per week during their first growing season. Now they receive water 1x per week and perhaps up to 2-3 x per week once the real heat sets in. very water-wise, and they live up to the pictures published by HCG. Aside from the few I lost (about 10%), I'm very happy with their performance.
On Jun 13, 2008, Sue_Plezia Green Valley, AZ wrote:
I've ordered repeatedly from High Country Gardens. I just got an email notification of a great sale, placed an order, and they are unwilling to mail the plants to me now (no instant gratification!) I'm in the desert, it's 105F outside, and shipping plants now would surely kill them. I'm disappointed that I can't get the plants right away, but I feel that HCG is taking good care of me.
On Jun 10, 2008, Idahoan Boise, ID (Zone 6a) wrote:
High Country just happens to be one of my favorite companies. The plants are consistent in size, they grow readily without pampering and the selection is outstanding! I truly wish we lived closer to their greenhouse. My bank account would not be happy! My daughter and I have decided that we both want one of everything for our yards.
I usually place 2 - 3 orders a year from HCG. I have NEVER been disappointed with the service or quality of the plants I ordered!
I received 2 orders from HCG this past week. Both arrived in great shape!
We have ordered from HCG several times since last fall, all plants were shipped on time in excellent condition.
They are growing beautifully, in spite of some being quite small when we received them, most of them have started blooming already, after being in the ground only 2 months.
HCG in my opinion is an excellent company to do business with.
On Jun 3, 2008, joosbird Glenwood Springs, CO wrote:
Wonderful folks! I got a pre-planned garden for my workplace
The little planties were fine when they got here and detailed
explanations from these folks as to why the plant looked not
so good. all is well and I'm very happy. Their customer
service is GREAT too! Don't forget to order the root stimulator they offer! Good stuff- no transplant shock :D
these folks CARE about their plants and your successful
I purchased Camassia bulbs from High Country last fall, which came up beautifully this spring. This spring I cancelled an order after my plans changed, and High Country was very accomdative. A first-rate company--I will go to them again and again.
I've ordered online from 5 nurseries this year. The fastest shipment I received and the plants I received in the best condition were from High Country Gardens. I have ordered from them in past years and just placed another order with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone who was interested,. Karyn
On Jun 2, 2008, onegoodman1955 Normal, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
Finally - plants in the ground (one month) and doing great !
This spring was my first experience with HCG. I ordered $225 + of perennials; shipped to me (zone 5) April 1 as requested. Due to cold and sometimes frigid spring, the plants didn't see the garden until end of April. All of the plants are thriving, several are beginning to bloom.
I wasn't thrilled with the size of the plants upon receipt, but if they continue to grow at the current rate and survive the midwest winter, I will definitely order from HCG in 2009.
On August 15th, 2008, onegoodman1955 added the following:
Now August 14 and all plants have thrived to an extreme. The 6 Hummingbird Mints are looming over my 2nd year Butterfly Bushes and have drawn many many Hummingbirds.
On May 31, 2008, georgia_flowers Blakely, GA wrote:
So glad I accidentally came upon this company and ordered. Absolutely 100% satisfied. The shipping and prices are reasonable and fast. They have such good advice and information on drought tolerant and xeric plants, some that are kind of hard to find elsewhere. Plants were healthy and thrived immediately. Couldn't help myself, had to go back and order some more!!!!!!!! Beware, you'll get addicted.......
I am rating High Country Gardens with a positive but with a reservation.
Most importantly, the plants arrived in wonderful health. Second, the packing was outstanding. Only one plant, Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Longwood Blue', had minor breakage. Third, some of the plants I ordered are only available at HCG and I am thrilled to have them. I will be ordering again in the fall.
My main reservation is with one plant I received, Pelargonium Endlicherianum - Turkish Pelargonium. They are advertised in the catalog and on the web site as being "two year old blooming plants." While all the other plants I ordered had, wonderful roots that I had to 'rough up' before planting the roots on the Pelargonium Endlicherianum are almost non-existent. There are a very few very white, new looking roots and no older looking roots at all. The plants are also extremely small. I received this order 5/23/08 and sent an email to HCG 5/24/08. I didn’t expect an answer right away because of it being a holiday and a weekend though I did receive an almost immediate response; in part, it said: “I am sorry to hear that the Pelargonium Endlicherianum were so small and that the root systems were not well developed. I will need to investigate to see if the plants you were sent were from a group that were not ready rather than the group that should have been shipped.
I, or someone else from Customer Service will get back to you either Monday or Tuesday.”
It is now Wednesday and I have yet to hear back. I’m guessing HCG is still catching up from the holiday. If I hear from them, I will update my comments.
On May 28th, 2008, angele added the following:
I've heard back from HCG. I emailed a picture of the roots to them and they think they look fine but have put a note in my file regarding my concerns. I'm satisfied with their response. I am going to add some photos of the plants I received to my DG Journal or Diary so if you are interested you can see. I do expect these plants to survive but am not planting them in the ground. I'm putting them into larger pots and hope to plant them in the fall.On September 19th, 2008, angele changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I'm changing my rating from positive to neutral is because I have received an order from ANOTHER company. This second order is FAR superior especially in the developement of the plant roots. Out of the entire HCG order only 1 plant has performed outstandingly - Agastache Ava. Several plants have done okay but more importantly several have done absolutely nothing. They are smaller than when I planted them in the Spring. It is my strong opinion that the Pelargonium Endlicherianum were not two year old plants as advertised. This really bothers me the most. I lost one and the other two are barely hanging on. The packing from HCG was outstanding but the plants, in my opinion, did not live up to the advertising.
The order I received from the different company has taken off like gangbusters. The roots were amazing. The plants showed almost no transplant shock and started growing within days. Several are already blooming. I am taking into consideration that I planted the order from HCG in mid-spring and this second order in late-summer. Both orders were of perennials.
If you were to ask me in person I would tell you that I probably will not order from them again. The Pelargonium Endlicherianum really left me with a bad feeling about HCG.
On May 27, 2008, outdoorlover Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
Over the last 10 years, I have ordered from numerous mail order nurseries mainly because we do not have much plant selection within a 2 hour drive. High Country Gardens is the company I have found which repeatedly sends out healthy, vigorous, and easy to grow plants. If I'm searching for a plant, I check High Country Gardens first because of the success I have had with them.
On May 21, 2008, formisfunction Bethesda, MD wrote:
Great, healthy plants that are all happy and wanting to grow.
Even better, these guys seem to get how to do mail order business. Crisp, effective and prompt communication as to order status. Quick shipping. Good packaging. Excellent customer service when there is a problem (1 little plant came in severely hurting, and they immediately just sent out a replacement, one that arrived nice and healthy).
I have placed several orders with HCG over the past few years and never had a problem. This time one of the plants was damaged and died within a few days of receipt. I called customer service and all lines were busy. Instead of being asked to hold, I was able to leave a message with the details of the problem and request a replacement. I received a call back later that day to tell me that the plant would be replaced and when I could expect it to arrive. Very easy and excellent service.
I ordered from this company for the first time this year and am very disappointed...I ordered 2 of the echinacea: Big Sky "Sunrise," and the plants arrived VERY SMALL. I planted them immediately and have been faithfully tending to them, but the leaves are turning brown and crispy and they are not thriving at all. Being that they are still somewhat alive, I have not contacted the company yet. The plants will probably die right after the deadline for receiving a refund/credit! I'll keep you all posted.
On May 22nd, 2008, salandry54 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I emailed the company rep. after seeing her reply on Davesgarden.com. She gave me several options: replacements plants, company credit to use later, or refund. I chose refund due to the fact that the heat index for my zone is now 97 degrees, and new plants would suffer. She was prompt and cordial and easy to communicate with. So, I have changed my rating to Positive. On May 20, 2008, High Country Gardens responded with:
On May 20, 2008 2:20 PM, High Country Gardens added:
High Country Gardens leads the way in providing top notch Customer Service. We have 120 day guarantee from date of receipt. I encourage you to contact me and I would be glad to process a claim for the plants. You can email me at email@example.com Attn: Victoria.
Customer Service Supervisor
High Country Gardens
1-800-925-9387 ext. 3023
I received 6 Hidcote Superior lavender plants 5/9/08 and they were totally gray & dead-looking. I promply planted them hoping that signs of life would appear; it's 5/20/08 and still NO signs of life. I requested a refund which they granted, but did not get $9.99 in shipping back. I feel the shipping should be refunded as well after receiving dead plants, but customer service refused. I'm VERY unhappy & will definitely NOT order from them again.
Placed my first order with them this spring and am very satisifed. Plants arrived the week I requested and were not dried out despite my East Coast location. Except one, everything arrived in good size and healthy. One Salvia that they shipped was packed with too much water, and sustained significant root damage, so they are reshipping it. I'm not sure how well some of these Western plants will grow here, but if they fail, it won't be the fault of HCG.
On June 2nd, 2008, mwieder changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
The replacement they sent showed up worse off then the original; upon inspecition it looks like they just took a cutting from another plant, put it in soil and shipped it over. They made the same mistake they did last time, waterlogging the soil, which is very bad for a salvia and kills the roots. I told them explicitly this was the problem the first time and they repeated it again. You'd think for a company that expresses expertise in xeric plants, they would know not to ship them in water logged soil.
I moved to Denver 6 years ago and bought a house with a lawn and a few meager plants that were mostly dead. Over the past 6 years I have ordered anywhere from 5 to 20 plants a year from High Country Gardens and my yard is now beautiful! The plants arrive in good condition and with thorough information on planting and maintenance. I love this company!
On May 17, 2008, dmj1218 west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
This is the first year I've ordered perennials from HGC--on 4/9/2008 I put in my first order (10 plants). The order arrived within 10 calender days, expertly packed. I was so pleased with them I put in an additional order on 4/22/2008 for 11 additional plants; they included a 10% discount on a future order with the first order, and that was greatly appreciated. Same professional service and timely arrival; and their shipping charges are extremely reasonable, all the more so considering the high level of professionalism evidenced by their packing/shipping methods.
All their plants transitioned splendidly into my garden and all have shown significant growth since their arrival. I can only honestly say the same for one other internet, mail-order company.
I am so pleased with them that they will definitely be getting a large portion of my perennial plant business in the future.
This was the first year I ordered from HCG. The plants were shipped very promptly, were packed well, and they were in great shape and bigger than most other companies ship. I am very happy with them, and will purchase from HCG again.
On May 15, 2008, Melissa_D Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I've ordered from HCG three times in the past year, and all three orders have been completely hassle-free. Their selection is well-varied, though I will advise people who live in Mid-Atlantic like me to be careful about the water preferences of the plants. I planted an anacyclus depressus (Mt. Atlas daisy), and between a wet year and the critters in my yard, the poor thing didn't stand a chance.