I live in New Mexico, so it has been a long time since I have used their mail order service--usually I go to their store. I used to make the trek to Santa Fe, but recently they opened stores closer to me. I've been repeatedly disappointed in their Albuquerque storefronts selection and service, so I finally gave up and ordered from their catalog. I was really impressed. The last time I ordered from them was years ago, but the quality this time was incredibly improved! My plants were in fantastic shape, very healthy and clearly carefully chosen. They were also very artfully packed for shipment and all of them arrived in perfect shape, exactly when I requested them. Plants are a little more expensive when ordered this way, but given the high quality, certainty of getting what you want, and ease of having them delivered to your door, I may just save myself the gas and order this way all the time! Their web site is also very nice--not just for the good descriptions and pictures, but they have a lot of excellent information on xeriscaping and native southwestern plants. For those too far away to have the choice of going to their stores or ordering mail-order, I would definitely recommend this company's mail order service!
On April 19th, 2009, mudpiegirl added the following:
Another year, another order, another box of perfectly packed plants in excellent condition!
Received my 1st order from High Country Gardens on 4/25. As advertised, all plants were delivered promptly in great shape, no damaged leaves and roots were very healthy. I look forward to my next order(s), and many years of enjoyment these plants should bring to my garden(s).
I ordered 4 Agastache & 1 Silene Regia earlier this month. They were shipped almost immediately in LARGE pots. They were well packed and padded protecting them from being disturbed by "inconsiderate" mail/shipping handlers and machinery..The plants I received were larger than most mail order companies and healthy looking. They were a smidge bit distressed from being tightly packed and padded in a dark box in shall we say "WARM" temps but that was expected. As SOON as they arrived, they were carefully unpacked, watered and placed in a sheltered location to get them aclimated...They perked up almost immediately and look VERY happy to be at their new home.
On Apr 25, 2008, treeguy_NY West Seneca, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have ordered cold hardy cacti, agaves, and yuccas from this company on more than one occasion. This spring I ordered two yucca species. I have never been disapointed with the product I received. They are an excellent source for (somewhat) inexpensive cold hardy cacti, agaves, and yuccas for those of us attempting to push our zone.
On Apr 12, 2008, bobbi_s Richland, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:
After hearing many wonderful reviews from the garden club I belong to, I decided to place an order. The plants arrived in perfect shape, and were really nice looking. The plants seem to be cold hardy, and drought resistant, thus not needing much water. I was very pleased with the plants that I received, and will be ordering from them again!
I live in a warm, dry climate in California and so High Country Gardens has been a great place for me to find a nice variety of waterwise plants. I have ordered from them several times and have been completely satisfied. Easy and useful website.
On Apr 4, 2008, davescollision1 Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ wrote:
Had the best experience with High Country gardens. The packing and condition of plants were the best i had from any mail order company. Plants had great root systems and were very healthy.It was just a pleasure dealing with them. Rich In New Jersey
These guys are awesome!. I've placed several orders with them and all the plants have arrived in good shape. My last order I had an issue -- where I wanted to plant had about 12 to 14 inches of pure caliche. I called them and they where able to hold my order no questions asked so I could go get a sledge hammer and break up the problem soil.
Their selection and service are the best I've found.
It's weird how the right combination of drought-tolerant plants can be arranged for so many different looks in a landscape. Throw together some veronicas, yarrows, santolinas, evening primrose and tansy and you'd be surprised at the English Cottage look you can get, for instance. Xeriscaping is not just cacti and sagebrush anymore.
For the past 5 years High Country Gardens has supplied me with excellent xeriscape perennials for my back yard So. Cal. garden. I have bought various coneflowers, lavendars, salvias, yarrows, tanecetum, nepetas, thymes and agastaches from HCG; I have always followed their included planting instructions and they have all prospered in the semi-arid microclimates they have been placed in.
Now that my xeric garden is well-established, I won't be needing many new perennials for quite a while -- a built in flaw from a business point of view I'm sure, but to the customer, its a great advantage to not have to be constantly replacing plants due to failure! Much credit goes to HCG for their healthy, top notch plant stock and careful packing and shipping methods. The catalog is also great at educating the customer so that you make better informed choices because, after all, xeriscape gardening won't be suitable for just anywhere. But if it's right for your area and you have suitable conditions, I believe HCG has the best selection for you and some wonderful suggestions and pre-planned garden designs. They're not cheap, but in my opinion perennials are worth a little extra investment if it means better plants. Happy digging!
I've ordered from HCG for several years when I lived in Denver. Always very satisfied with plants, selection, and packaging.
Have moved to Arkansas, and now received my first order. Ordered plants on Sunday, and received them on Thursday. I'm very happy with service and condition of plants! I did not order Xeric plants, as we get about 50" of rain a year.
On Mar 26, 2008, Farmermaggie Tewksbury, MA wrote:
I have ordered from HCG every year for the past three. Have always been very satisfied. Plants have always arrived in good condition. Their shipping method is good, and I wish some of the other mail-order nurseries used their packing techniques instead of packing with styrofoam peanuts.
I also appreciate the HCG site/catalog with good growing tips and companion planting suggestions. I have had mostly good results with their plants, but a few have not done well. I believe this is because I tried to grow plants intended for hot dry areas in a climate that is too humid for them. I expected that, though, and don't believe the problems were the result of unhealthy plants. The summer weather in my region (Eastern Massachusetts -- Zone 6) is unpredictable. Some years are humid, some are dry and sunny (like last year). So installing plants suited to dry heat is a risk here.
FIVE BIG, HUGE, GREEN GARDEN STARS for High Country Gardens! My plants arrived via UPS, intact, absolutely gorgeous foliage, outstanding big healthy plants, excellent roots systems, etc. I couldn't ask for more! I want to move to New Mexico just so I can be near this nursery!!I'm a coneflower fanatic and they had a great selection to choose from, so I ordered a few. They charge the same for shipping as other nurseries; however, rather than shipping via USPS, High Country ships UPS which is MUCH more worth the money. Then, their prices are fantastic because I've ordered from some places that have the gall to charge twice the price for sub-par plants.
My old mail-order companies have now lost a customer forever because I will no longer waste my money and my Heart on others when I can get THE BEST from High Country.
Excellent! Bravo! Magnificant!
Do it!....Order from them!...You will not be disappointed! Spend ALL of your garden allowance at High Country. I say, let's help these people become rich because they deserve it! ;-)
On Mar 24, 2008, DavidAmorde Lake Forest, CA wrote:
Just placed another order tonight. I'm afraid this is becoming an addiction! I spend far more $$ with HCG than any other mail order firm, because I know that I will always be satisfied. Yes, occasionally the shipping company has tossed around a box more than they should, or left a box out in the sun when they shouldn't. Regardless of fault, HCG has always taken care of me. Their packaging is the best in the business; to pack them any better would make it impossible to unpack them without damage.
Ordering through ANY mail order firm is an educational experience the first time, and I have ordered from dozens over the years - roses, orchids, begonias, etc. The plants from HGC can be on the small side at times - usually at the end of the sales season, and I have no one to blame but myself for procrastinating. If I have to choose between a smaller plant or waiting until next season, I'll take my plant, thankyouverymuch!
If you aren't willing to put up with some amount of risk - and shipping ANYTHING live through the mail always has some risk - then stick with whatever is available at your local garden center. Similarly, if the exact same variety is available locally in a one gallon can, you'd be crazy to spend the extra $$$ on a hand-picked order from HCG.
I shop at HCG because of the species they offer; often they are named varieties unique to HGC, and even when not, their specimens are far better than what you would get from your typical specialty nursery.
It is inevitable that things will go wrong when buying plants via mail-order; there are too many variables involved. The measure of a company isn't whether or not something goes wrong with your order, it's their willingness and expedience in correcting the problem that counts. In that regard, and by all other measures important to me, HGH get an absolute A++
High Country Gardens stands behind their plants. When I've had plants that haven't "taken off" in their new homes, they have replaced them hassle free. They arrive quite small, however, they are actually suited to the climate unlike the ones you buy locally that just look nice and often don't work with a high altitude/low water climate. After a year the High Country Garden plants are hands down bigger and better. A great company that is easy to work with, and provides a good product. :)
I have been a customer of Hi-Country Gardens for a few years and everytime I have a problem area I turn to them. They have always helped me out and suggested outstanding selections that always fit in my garden...Thanks!.
On Mar 13, 2008, gwoods5987 Missouri City, TX wrote:
I ordered 20 plants from High Country Gardens, almost $200 with shipping and anxiously awaited my planting time. I was a little surprised that only one box was used to pack and ship so many plants, but they are professionals, I assumed they must know what they were doing. Unfortunately, over half of my plants were damaged due to the 3 layers of stacked plants in my box. I was very dissatisfied, and I certainly didn't receive "premium pots, hand picked, and vigorous growth". What I received were half or more of my plants that had 30% to as much as 70% breakage, basically stubs and what essentially amounts to rootstock.
To their credit they have offered to replace them, a waste of a lot of my time and money. I was concerned when I considered purchasing plants mail order. In what shape would they arrive in? Answer: POOR! A box crammed full of plants is not going to fare well with most shipping methods or packing efforts, again, I assumed they would know how to do this properly and at the least minimize damage. Instead they packed so many plants in one box in layers that shipping didn't damage them, the packing method crushed them. If I choose to do so I can wait longer and possibly eventually get plants that live up to the price and the hype. Lesson learned, plants don't ship well, or maybe I should only have ordered 4 plants?
On March 26th, 2008, gwoods5987 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I want to be fair to the fine folks at HGC, they have gone out of their way to make good on replacing the damaged plants I received in my order, 6 of 24 didn't survive transplanting and replacements were sent out to me immediately upon notification. I appreciate their resposiveness. The failed plants may or may not have been due to the packaging / shipping damage, who know for sure? All of the remaining plants are showing new growth.
I am still convinced that the packing of the plants could have been done better, and should be done better. Frankly, after spending over $2,000 on my 8x8 ft. hummingbird garden, including the $185 in plants I ordered from HGC (and quite a bit more I hope my wife doesn't find out about!) an extra few bucks for breaking the plants up into multiple boxes would not have bothered me a bit.
Overall I am very pleased with HGC, the plant selection, the gardening, soil, and plant care tips are very valuable for a beginner flower gardener such as myself. I am satisfied and appreciative of the response from Garnett in HGC Customer Service, they made good on their replacement guarantee and customer satisfaction claims without any hassle or hesitation. There will always be problems, how they are handled (and how many there are) is what separates the good suppliers from the poor.On Mar 13, 2008, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Mar 19, 2008 10:05 AM, High Country Gardens added:
High Country Gardens strives to provide the highest quality of plants, products, shipping and service available. Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention. We are investigating with our shipping department what can be improved to prevent this from happening. Per your discussion with customer service, we understand you would like to plant your order. Once planted they should begin to put off new growth within a few weeks. Please keep us informed on their progress and know we stand behind our plants with our guarantee of a replacement, credit or a refund."
I have been extremely satisfied with the items I've ordered from High Country Garden. I have also been pleased whenever I've needed to call their Customer Service department with questions. All in all, I highly recommend this company.
Last November, I ordered a gift card for my daughter and her husband in Denver for Christmas. I was surprised when my daughter called and said she was putting the box I sent under the tree. (Gee, did I send something I forgot about?) After Christmas, she told me it was beautiful packaging and a surprise to get the gift certificate.
I just ordered plants for spring in Zone 6. I LOVE that I can pick the dates for shipping; so many places send them when they think best, and it's never the right time for me.
And the High Country Gardens newsletter is just a delight. I really look forward to getting it, except that I then feel compelled to order things. . .
On Feb 25, 2008, beauxbeaux Harper Woods, MI wrote:
High Country Gardens is great. Everything I have ordered from them arrived in impeccable shape. Their shipping containers work like a champ. The selection of plants is different from most due to the focus on xeric gardening.
I live in (supposedly) zone 5 eastern Michigan. My future brother-in-law did displays for Jeep at the Detroit Auto Show and gave me a couple of the "rock walls" from the set. This was my cue to create a xeric area in my garden. I have seven different species of cactus and native Colorado plants growing in my yard, all of them purchased from HCG. You know what? All alive. I find that most of HCG's ratings are high by one zone. My "Horse Crippler" is doing great. Admittedly, I do put greenhouse material over the area as our Winter/Spring can be pretty soggy. Totally worth it. Wow factor, 100%.
The past few years, I have gone to Colorado in May and am inspired by the plants I see in the mountains. Oddly enough, I am able to find most of them in the HCG catalog.
I just want to say "thanks" and implore you to return the red ipomopsis to the catalog before I bring one home from Colorado in my fishing waders.
On Feb 24, 2008, starkravingbad Scottsdale, AZ wrote:
You rock! First mail order co. that has delivered in the time-frame necessary for Phoenix. Even then, at the end of Oct., we still experienced many days over 100 degrees and I pampered my plantings (over $200 worth) and within weeks were covering to prevent frost. I've only lost 2 plants and several of the small plants have already bloomed; some I can literally watch them grow!
Love the variety, bought a gift cert. for someone at Christmas and getting ready to place a small order at this time. Now all I need is my dream home and the space to purchase the pre-designed plant choices with "layering and spacing."
Giving HCG a trial, my husband and I ordered 12 agastaches. Three different color blends. The large selection of these plants was exciting. The ones selected were beautiful color blends, not found on other online nursery websites. Upon receiving, within 2wks or less, the plants were in 5 inch deep pots, all approximately 10-12inches tall and full of leaves. Three of the plants had buds sprouting all over them. The packing was done in such a way as no leaf was damaged and all were straight and tall. We can hardly wait to get them in the ground this weekend and watch them take off. Thanks to HCG for such a large variety of plants to choose from and the mature quality of this plant product. We look forward to future purchases.
On Feb 7, 2008, kathy_ann Judsonia, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:
I've ordered from this company several times . Plants are small but seem to do just fine. They offer a large selection of Hard to kill tough perennials that I need for full sun areas. Shipping and packing is ok as well. Dispite my several attempts to grow their silver tipped horehound, it has died all times that I have ordered it, perhaps if it wasn't such a teeny tiny thing when it arrives it might make it longer than it does. Dispite this, I'll still come back .
On Feb 7, 2008, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Feb 7, 2008 2:18 PM, High Country Gardens added:
Thank you for bringing up an important horticultural topic. Marrubium rotundifolium (Silver Edged Horehound) is a fuzzy soft leaved ground cover native to high, dry areas of Turkey. So, it is very sensitive to growing in areas with high humidity. The fuzzy leaves hold the humidity on the surface and they just melt in hot and humid summers. Marrubium is a beautiful groundcover but it needs to be planted in dry climates. Other plants you should not plant in high humidity areas like Arkansas are Stachys byzantina 'Helen von Stein' (Large Leafed Lambs Ear) and Artemisia versicolor 'Seafoam' (Curlicue Sage).
On Feb 2, 2008, txboy65 Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Have ordered on several occasions and have always been amazed at the care taken when the plants are packed in their individual holders in the boxes. There is very little - if any - loose dirt in the box itself. I have used other companies where plants have fallen out of pots and are just rolling about inside the box. So far my items have done wonderfully after planting. Trying the grasses this time. Can't wait until Spring!! Keep up the exceptional work!
On Jan 25, 2008, chefJudi Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
I am a long time customer and have always been extremely happy with both the product and the service. In the winter of 2006 I purchased a large order (over $200) as a gift for my oldest son who lives in Tahoe as a birthday present. He wanted to establish a "wow" garden in his front yard. All the plant arrived in great shape in the fall according to the shipping suggestion for his zone (5 or 6) and we planted all of them according to directions. This garden is under a blanket of snow all winter but last summer almost none of the plants grew. It was very disappointing. Now I plan to try growing things I can plant in the spring and just placed a small order in that regard. This was an expensive NOT WOW experience and it was after any guarantee. It did not turn me off to the company, but I have a hard time figureing out how to use them when gifting someone in a different growing zone than my own.
On Jan 25, 2008, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Jan 25, 2008 2:22 PM, High Country Gardens added:
We are happy to hear that the plants arrived healthy and distressed to hear that they did not thrive the following year. We are committed to helping you and your gift recipients create xeric garden style in your landscape. High Country Gardens has knowledgeable customer service staff standing by to help create a WOW Garden. In addition we have a tool on our website called the Plant Finder which will allow anyone to search for plants by zone, region and more.
We would have appreciated the opportunity to have helped you and your son with any questions and guarantee issues last summer when this problem arose. We have a liberal guarantee policy and are always available to assist you. Please feel to contact us now to discuss any issues or comments.
On Jan 10, 2008, tggfisk Garner, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I have ordered several times from HCG and have had nothing but wonderful experiences. Orders have arrived in good time with perfect packaging and terrific plants. I ordered agastache, salvia, and penstemons. The plants were of a good size with good root systems. They thrived in my gardens despite our high temps and serious drought.
I will be ordering from them again in the near future.
I have ordered several times and each time the plants arrived on time and in excellent condition. They do a great job with the packing and I can't say that about all the companies I've ordered from. The web site and catalog have a great deal of helpful information. If I can get a plant from several sources, I prefer to order from High Country Gardens.
I have had great experiences with this company. They have amazing plants, good prices and wonderful cust. service. I have ordered well over a hundred plants from them. The orders are complete and on time. Only once did they have a delay in the shipping of a plant, which they informed me of promptly and when I did get it shortly after they had doubled the order quantity.
I have lost a few plants,but I am fairly certain that is because I am always attemping to grow plants advertized as desert southwest only-here in Maine. Amazingly though, many of these plants have survived anyway. I never though I would be amending my soil with gravel! I have joked to friends that I am going to replace all my rich loam areas with sand so I have more room for High Country plants.
On January 1st, 2008, plantslayer added the following:
I just wanted to add that I do not recommend buying plants that are not suitable for your area. I like to push the limits some, but I also take full responsibility when my experiments fail. I would never complain to the company or ask for a refund or replacement.
I only ordered some flower snips & gift certificates, but I couldn't believe how fast they came in! The gift certificates were boxed so beautifully, with a nice card & catalog included. What a nice presentation to give to someone! I appreciate the speed of delivery!
On Dec 10, 2007, annasgesgama 64138 United States wrote:
I give this company a very positive GREAT! With all the plants I have ordered I have only had 2 that didn't make it. When I emailed them the problem, I had a response in less than 10 minutes and a credit on my account, which I chose over a refund, to reorder with this coming spring. They are great to work with and I highly recommend. It is worth paying the freight considering they have what I am looking for and easier to have delivered than not find what I am looking for at a local greenhouse. The selections are far ranging. Give them a try.
On Nov 20, 2007, Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered by mail for the first time this spring. I was concerned about whether a few of the plants would make it, as they were quite small, but everything eventually did well. I would order again if I coveted something hard to find anywhere else.
Prices are moderately high.
High Country's garden center facility in Santa Fe has some interesting plants and supplies and is worth a visit if you're in the area.
On Nov 19, 2007, Xeriscape Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have purchased plants from HCG repeatedly since 2001 or so and was always satisfied, with a replacement plant or two once in a while. However, in 2006, my order arrived in a pretty sorry state, stems broken off, and wilted. I planted anyway and the plants are still alive but tiny, tiny, grew maybe an inch in more than a year. I am an experienced master gardener and volunteer at the botanical garden, so I am sure it is not my care that is at fault. This spring, I tried again and ordered plants for myself and two friends. More than 60% of the plants died, but their final demise occurred too late to ask for replacements. I noticed when planting that several of the plants had hardly rooted at all. It seemed to me that they were thrown into the pots in a hurry and were shipped regardless of whether they were ready or not. In particular, I've had trouble with the following plants:
This is a fabulous company!! I live in zone 7 and their informative catalog has helped me bring many wildlife friendly plants into my garden that aren't sold in the local nurseries. They even sent me a personal email regarding a question I had about penstemon that thrive in the Southeast. The plants are always in great condition when they arrive and perfrom well in my garden. I shop frequently from mail order nurseries and have nothing but praise for High Country Gardens.
On Nov 8, 2007, jansrosegarden Glendale, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
I've had several orders for myself and sent one gift certificate. The plants are wonderful and all have thrived in my Phoenix garden and in my sister's garden in Minnesota. I've been to the Alb, MN store and it is wonderful! Such a huge selection.
I ordered for the first time from High Country after several years of receiving a catalog and was not disapointed.
I cannot wait to make a visit to the Gardening Center. This past summer I had students that were going to visit Santa Fe and recommended High Country and they came back with books, plants and cute doo dahs, praising you and your staff.
I also enjoy the many "lessons" produced by your staff and the newsletter.
By the way, my order was sent at the perfect time for planting.
And it all arrived in great shape.