I just received my first order of plants from High Country Gardens. The plants were so well packed, they suffered no damage and were not in shock when they came off the truck even though it was 90 degrees here. I gave them a good drink and transplanted them last night, filling each hole with water before transplanting. They looked great last night after watering the garden, and today they look just as good. They haven't gone into shock at all, perhaps because of their foliage-to-root ratio. It is my belief that small plants transplant much more easily than those with lots of foliage to support. It's too soon to tell if they will survive the winter, of course, but all except the lavender are rated for my zone, so I fully expect to see them thrive next year. My first experience with HGC was a good one; in fact, I've already ordered more plants.
I just received an order from High Country and my experience was really quite good. Yes, the plants arrived very small, but they are so cute! They are extremely healthy looking and they arrive expertly packed and it is fairly easy to unpack the plants (which I like). Since the plants are small they are very easy to plant. I love their catalogue--it's very inspirational. I found the service responsive and friendly. I would order from them again.
On Aug 28, 2007, demosthenes07 Albuquerque, NM wrote:
I have used the mail order and purchased several times from the albuquerque store. I think the plants through the website are significantly smaller BUT for mailing plants that need to be transplanted I think the smaller ones survive better. I live in the desert so I have to try a lot of plants and have a lot that don't survive but all in all their plants do the best...
Ones that haven't been successfully for me from HCG is the california poppies, rubspina pulvaris, yucca rostrata, and maura applecloud blossoms. Can't say enough about their russian sage, it's in it's second year and the color is so much better than others in the neighborhood and really thriving. Agastache ava looks full size in it's second year. Like all of the lavendars, and agastache, they really do well with little care. I have also purchased cactus and succulents, and I really would advise against it to others. I purchased three agaves and they are just too small for anything and agaves are slow growers. Maybe 2 leaves none being longer than 2 inches, or wider than 1 inch. TINY!
All in all, you have to love this company and their unique selections, and they have a good packing system for the box. If you are unsure, start with the wide varieties of lavendar, and agastache and you will be pleasantly suprised. Also their ice plants are vigorous!
I have been exceptionally pleased to be able to use a mail order company to get plants for my garden. I have a new home with a gorgeous mountain view and I wanted to add gardens entirely around the home. I was unable to get the local nurseries to provide the plants I wanted including over 100 trees!! So I decided to design the landscaping myself and use the High Country Garden plants.
This has been highly successful. It has been exactly one year and 2 orders (over 250 plants) since I started the front garden . It looks beautiful! I will continue ordering this fall and next spring for the sides and back gardens.
Using the young plants is an excellent idea. It gives the root ball a chance to form and all of the plants are healthy and vigorous now.
I could not live without High Country Gardens! I have studied their catalogs for years as it is a great source of information for growing in the West, particularly the Rocky Mountains where I live.
The plants CAN be small at times, but I have learned to prefer that so that I am not putting a sponge of potting soil in the ground that dries out in our climate -- lavenders bought at a local home store in gallon containers will never make it through the fall and winter here with that big core of well-drained potting mix, according to my experience. The lavenders I did buy at HCG are thriving, and that is in zone 4 (protected enough to be a zone 5 micro-climate, or maybe the key is starting with the smaller plants!).
Shipping is always fast and well-packed for me.
I get excited every time a catalog arrives: it is a pure pleasure to peruse!
I ordered one of their gardens and everyone one of my plants are doing wonderful. I received them in good shape, fertilized as directed, and have kept a deligent eye on my purchase. They are growing and blooming and next year I will have a beautiful, full , perinneal garden.
I have ordered numerous times from HCG and have never had a bad experience. Several years ago I ordered the Inferno Strip Garden and this year purchased 2 Inferno Strip Gardens for my daughter. I suspect those persons who were unhappy with the plantings and their results are not experienced gardeners. There is always some attrition when gardening even when purchasing larger plantings from local garden centers - at a higher cost. Conditions are not always right for every plant every time. It takes a lot of care and consistent watering initially to get a plant established. Just made another purchase of cacti/succulents yesterday and with proper care I feel confident that the majority of the plants will grow and thrive.
HCG sells high quality plants. I purchased 2 plants in HCG Albuquerque store and they are doing well. I had to order the rest of the plants from the web-site (Viola Corsica and Veronica Pectinata) since they were not available at the store. The plants were very well packed and all of them except one (it arrived very small compared to others ) are doing well. I had to request a refund for one lost plant and the customer service was great. Overall, my experience is very positive. However, I wish HCG would carry larger selection at their Alb. location.
I have ordered from High Country Gardens for years in one of the most difficult gardening environments around (little water, summer frosts, no topsoil ) and have been very pleased with the selection and health of the plants, the service, and the user friendliness of their online communication.
I purchased 5 ornamental grasses that died, and notified High Country Gardens. They immediately arranged for replacements to be sent. I have nothing but high praise for this company, and I've bought from them for years.
I have ordered from this company 3 or 4 times but will not again. Most of the plants I have received from them have been small and spindly and I have to grow them on in a greenhouse for a season before planting out. Probably half have just outright died or not returned after winter (and thus after their guarantee has expired). When I have sent emails regarding problems none have been acknowledged. The last order I made was a complete disappointment and, after writing a snailmail letter to the company, I did receive a refund for the order. None of the plants from that order are strong enough to go in the garden this year; they're all in the greenhouse. I will stick with companies with responsive customer service and healthy plants.
I have shopped in their nursery and have corresponded via email, and have always found the staff there to be very knowledgeable and helpful. I've bought more than $1200 worth of plants from this company, and have been pleased with their health and vigor. I recently emailed a query regarding whether certain native grasses were safe for horses to graze, and I received an immediate response with a well-informed answer. I also find the High Country Gardens website, catalogs, and e-newsletter to be very useful and informative, especially regarding native and xeric plants. Highly recommended!
HCG has a great selection of plants. I've made several orders in the last two years. The plants arrive pretty much as expected - which is to say quite small - but I think the small root systems have a better chance of transplanting successfully in my marginal-soil desert garden. I do have a couple of negative experiences though. I made one transaction that included a small discount (I think it was $5) but the discount wasn't applied when I completed the online order. I sent email about it and the response said I should call if I found the order was placed without the discount. By that time, with the charge already put through to my VISA, I pretty much blew it off. With the last order I placed this year, Jan 29, all three of the lavendars, all four of the alyssum and three of the four verbena have died. (Jasmine, nolina, fallugia, buddleia and one verbena from the order doing OK.) I filled out the online replacement form when the first alyssum died within a few days of planting but never got a response. In the meantime, the others have died, but because gardening in my area is so difficult I usually just write off the loss to the environment, and my inexperience with desert gardening, and don't seek reimbursement. To wrap it up, my only beef with HCG is their failure to follow through with online service. For me, making phone calls is a lot more inconvenient than handling transactions by email.
I like their selection, but I agreed with Joe777. I ordered Veronica X Blue Reflections around the same time with Joe777. It was dead. I did not have any problem with other two type of plants. It seems that there was some troubles with that particular plant..... If so, they should not sell. I am not sure if I order anything from them. What's the chance to receive troubled plants?
We have ordered twice and have been very pleased with the plants. While they were small, they were the size designated in the catalog. The spring after we planted them, they were absolutely enormous and completely filled the garden space.
Two of the plants did die within a few weeks of being planted but replacements were shipped promptly and without question.
High quality plants and outstanding customer service!
Lavenders purchased absuredly small (only about 2-1/2" Plant Size), sold by "pot size". Other plants purchased (5) as per their largest pots - not at all near mature growth size as pictured in their catalog. A word to all: Never buy plants from anybody, unseen, by "Pot Size" - it don't mean a thing. Request actual Plant Size, age, or number of years to reach mature growth.
As an aside;
The lavenders are way too small, to plant in ground. Will have
to pot-up for the TLC they need at this tiny size. Hopefully,
will be mature enough to plant in-ground by fall.
At the $100.+, I spent, I expected a whole lot more...
On Jun 1, 2007, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Jun 2, 2007 4:59 PM, High Country Gardens added:
High Country Gardens strives to offer the best plants, products and service available. Our plants are shipped with a hardy root system which are ready for planting in your garden. The root systems on the 2 1/2" pots usually catch up to or exceed the growth of a gallon pot within a growing season. Lavenders and native plants prefer growing in soil and we recommend that you plant them immediately in your garden where they will begin to thrive. We provide a David's Helpful Planting Guide with each plant order and are available to answer any planting questions you may have through our customer service department. If you have any questions or concerns we are in customer service Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm MST."
On May 25, 2007, trachecache Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
I am not quite sure how to rate HCG. I love their products, website, newsletters and customer service. I have ordered three times from them. The first time, stems of several of the items were broken at the base of the plant and were scattered throughout the box. Customer service replaced them immediately with plants that were not as large as the first damaged set. They lived and may even thrive this year. The second time (ordered in Dec 06 for delivery in May 07), the packaging did not include the nifty foam sheets and rubber bands. The dirt was missing from most of the pots. Since it was not hot when it was shipped and delivered, all but one survived. The one broken and dirtless plant was planted with the rest and is still alive only, while the others are thriving. I did not contact customer service because I considered damaged plants part of the package deal. Today's shipment, (ordered just last week for shipment this week) was very well wrapped with the foam sheets and rubber bands and arrived in excellent order. However, my order of 8 Baptisia Australis was swapped for 8 Aster X frikartii "Monch," not at all alike! Once again, customer service was extremely responsive. However, the delays due to the reorders do put a crimp in my family's planting schedule.
So, great products, fantastic customer service, extraordinary website, but significant problems in shipping.
I just received my small order for 6 Delosperma Cooperil (puple ice plant). Shipping arrived a day earlier than expected (FedEx tracking #). Very well packaged. Everything as expected. Highly recommend.
Although a couple of things initially went awry with my order to High Country Gardens, their customer service is excellent and they righted things quickly. They replaced one plant that was really too small and poorly rooted for the premium pot size that it came in, and refunded me for another that was mislabeled as a different cultivar because they couldn't replace it. I agree with some of the comments here that their plants are very small and maybe a little high-priced for the size, but they were all healthy and well rooted (except for the one they replaced), and shipping and packing is very efficient.
As a resident of the high desert on the border of Colorado and New Mexico I have a diffucult time finding plants that are colorful, easy to maintain, thrive in the cold of winter and the blistering sun of summer. I also have a thriving population of rabbits and mule deer that stand in my back acreage waiting for the newest offerings in my landscaping. All of these problems are solved with amazingly wonderful results by High Country Gardens. Their print and online catalogues are concise, practical and essential for anyone who has gardening challenges. Check them out and enjoy!
On May 20, 2007, susybell Vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Being in PNW zone 8b, I have to be pretty careful what I order from HCG. That said, their website is so excellent and helpful! With their detailed information and well-organized catalogs I can find the varieties that are most suited to my climate.
I just ordered a number of plants for my "inferno" strip (what they call the area between the sidewalk and the driveway) -one of my best areas for their xeriscape plants. They arrived promptly and are doing very well. I've been following their instructions very carefully, and the little plants are all thriving. The centranthus ruber is even blooming and the penstemon have easily doubled in size in two weeks. I just wish that I had the right climate for more of their plants.
On May 17, 2007, krdixon Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have purchased from High Country Gardens, and its bricks-and-mortar Santa Fe Greenhouses, dozens of times. I have been uniformly impressed with the quality of the plants and the helpfulness of the staff. Their plants are typically smaller than other nurseries, but they quickly catch up in a couple of months. My survival rate from HCG is much higher than from other places.
They've introduced and popularized dozens (hundreds?) of amazing plants that thrive out West (Agastache, Penstemon, Salvia, and lavenders in particular). High Country Gardens have proven that water-wise gardening can be beautiful!
I highly recommend their catalog for great ideas and, if you're near Santa Fe, their Demonstration Garden borders on becoming a tourist attraction! (My parents ask to visit each time they're in New Mexico.)
I ordered 3 chocolate plants and 3 mallow poppies, each of which arrived well packaged and in very good condition. In fact one of the chocolate plants was in bloom already and sporting a second bud which has since opened as well. Each little plant was well developed and leafy and arrived with adequate moisture. The company sends instructions to unwrap and water at once, which I did. All have been planted and are thriving in their new homes. I was pleased enough with the overall experience that I have now placed another order.
On February 16th, 2008, dannynme added the following:
Just an update: My mallow poppies have thrived and spread more than I would have imagined or hoped for in just one season. I felt that their performance was definitely worthy of note and that's why I have updated my comments. My experience with them was so pleasing in fact that I have ordered 7 more but this time in white. Perhaps this is an overall great performer but all the same I feel HCG deserves at least some of the credit for shipping me healthy, good quality plants! Thanks!
In my first experience with this company I submited a large order. The order arrived last week. The grass plugs arrived in good shape. However the other plants that I ordered were another matter. Both of the Veronica X Blue Reflections arrived nearly dead. 3/4 of the leaves are brown and brittle. The two Hymenoxys acaulls are skinny and scrawny plants that I would not have bought if I had seen them.
I recently ordered and recieved 3 orange coneflowers from this company. They were very well packed , came in 5 inch pots and were extremely healthy. I will definitely order more from them.
On April 28th, 2008, katdan44 added the following:
April 2008, I ordered several different kinds of plants this year and once again they were in great condition. I am looking at ordering a few more if I can find it in my budget. They have very very good quality plants. Great store.
I have very sandy soils that drain quickly, but I live in humid South Jersey and am too busy to water frequently. Plants work out great! But High Country is not just for desert plantings. They actually include a symbol that tells you which plants are not appropriate for the East Coast, yet there's plenty to choose from. Why not help the environment and try xeriscaping (low water, drought tolerant)? Some fun or unusual varieties. I just ordered some Mother's Day gifts, but my last order had great looking plants that arrived in pristine condition. The best I've ever seen (and I mail order a lot). Highly recommend them.
Excellent service!!! Vigorous, healthy plants! I ordered several agastache plants and my hummingbirds LOVED them. They would go to each and every flower trying to get every drop. It was like dessert for them, as every night that was the last place I would see them dining.
If you like nice plants and love hummingbirds ... order the AGASTACHE from HIGH COUNTRY GARDENS!!!
And they smell wonderful to boot!
On Apr 26, 2007, spgarden Spring Branch, TX wrote:
Received my order no problems. Plants came in 3 inch pots with lots of roots.
Order consisted of Agastache and Gaillardia (oranges/lemons). Living in Texas hill country, I only purchase plants that are deer resistant. Gaillardia is advertised as deer resistant, but within 2 days the four flower buds that came on the plant were all nipped clean off like candy by the deer. I do not fault HCG for this, I am sure in many places they are deer resistant but our population will eat anything (including prickly pear cactus). Will probably need to treat the plant with a deer repellant.
On another note, the Agastache (desert sunrise) were not touched by the deer so I am excitted about that. I'm hoping this will be the plant that nobody else in the neighborhood has that has it all: deer resistance, heat/dry tolerant, hummingbird attractant, etc.
On Apr 25, 2007, adadia Glenmoore, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I ordered a lavender collection and some deer repellents and fertilizers this spring, all of which arrived quickly with no problems at all. The lavender are all healthy, but two are significantly smaller than the rest. However, the roots seem strong and extensive; they could be slower-growing varieties, and I'm hopeful their top growth will catch up. I'm happy overall with the health and size of the other lavender plants, which is the majority of them, and I'm thrilled that HCG carries Superthrive, which I've been looking for for a long time. I will definitely order from HCG again soon.
they are experts in agastache, a humming bird plant that is gathering quite a following in the northwest. careful planting guide for all geographic regions of the U.S. a chiloposis ordered from them was undersized, but wintered over so all is forgiven.
On Apr 20, 2007, quaintcharm NW/Central , IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have ordered several times from High Country Gardens. The plants were healthy when they arrived, and have thrived since. The first group I bought was a pre-designed garden, and is as beautiful today as when it was planted in 2003. I have been happy with all I have received since then. They have many plants I have not been aware of before, such as the orange globe mallow, which is one of the items I ordered this year.I will definitely continue to order from them.
On October 16th, 2007, quaintcharm added the following:
In spite of quite a delay in getting the plants in the ground, they have all really taken off. I have confidence when ordering from High Country Gardens.
All my plants arrived in very good condition. They were packed well to minimize damage in shipping. This is my first order with them and am very pleased.
On May 8th, 2008, glasstoad added the following:
I received my large order from them this week and the packaging is almost excessive. Although excessive is good for my plants. They are large plants and not root bound. I have done business with them for several years and never disappointed yet. Very nice job.
I can't wait to order again from this company. I am a novice gardener who could never get lavender to grow. I ordered lavender from this company last year, and my neighbors raved that my yard looked like a garden in Provence! The detailed descriptions of water and sunlight needs, etc. are helpful for newbies like myself.