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.
On Oct 12, 2007, mrkitty Middletown, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:
This was my first time purchasing with this company.
I found them to be very helpful, plants & bulbs were well packaged and shipped on schedule. Communication regarding shipping was timely. All-in-all a fine experience.
On Oct 6, 2007, NatureLover1950 Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
My orders from High Country Gardens have been more than acceptable. They get my orders to me on time and package them very carefully and the plants have all been very healthy. My most recent order had one plant that got crushed by the pot of another. I tried to save the plant (Asclepias Tuberosa) but it was too weak to survive. When I emailed them and requested a replacement, they very promptly sent me a replacement for ALL THREE butterfly weeds! I love this company and will definately order from them again.
On Oct 5, 2007, TijerasTess Tijeras, NM (Zone 6a) wrote:
I recently moved to New Mexico (within driving distance of High Country's gardens) and I've visited and bought plants. The staff in Santa Fe is so knowledgeable, it is amazing. High Country sells plants in Albuquerque too, and I've bought many plants there. All are thriving! I've bought through the catalog with mixed results (both since moving to New Mexico AND when I lived in California. Most everything has grown strong though a couple faltered. I truly love High Country's catalog and website--both are so much more than a mere catalog and website.
I have ordered several times from High Country Gardens and have recommended them to friends. All but 2 of the plants I've ordered came in lovely condition. When I called about the first one, a Russian Sage, I was told it would recover but if it didn't to call back and they would replace it. It did recover and is even beginning to bloom. The second one, an Agastache, Orange Flare, was in my most recent order and I was told they would send me a replacement next week.
The phone has never rung more then once before it's picked up by a REAL person.
The search engine works better then any other gardening site I've been to. I type in "deer resistant zone 8" and it searches exactly on those parameters and gives me a list of all the plants I can choose from. So far the deer haven't eaten any of the plants I've ordered.
I love this company.
We live in the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of 6,000 ft. and experience winter's chill earlier than many. However, when I requested that High Country Gardens ship my order of bulbs to me before their "bulb shipment date," which is apparently set in stone, they refused. I have a large number of other small plants waiting to be planted AFTER the bulbs are planted, which are now being subjected to repeated frosts in their little pots above ground, but High Country Gardens won't ship my order before a certain date. This lack of flexibility has taught me a lesson -- BUY LOCALLY!
On Oct 2, 2007, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Oct 3, 2007 1:37 PM, High Country Gardens added:
High Country Gardens strives to have the best plants, bulbs and customer service in the industry. We sell top sized best quality bulbs imported from Holland in late September. Bulbs should not be harvested too early. If they are harvested too early it affects their size and flower performance in the spring. So we did not yet have the bulbs in the USA to ship to you prior to October. Bulb planting times are different from planting rooted plants. Plants need to be planted in the fall allowing 6-8 weeks rooting time before your soil begins to freeze. Bulbs are best planted after you have received a few frosts and the ground has begun to cool. I would recommend you plant your plants immediately and plant the bulbs as soon as you receive them which is the best practice for fall planting of plants and bulbs. Please contact us as soon as possible so we assist you in anyway.
Ii guess I should wait until the plants get here! My comment is that with such a beautiful catalog how can anyone not find something to order. Betwen the two of us with my husband winning most of the time, we all most have worn out our catalog and then it goes from house to house as the neighbors enjoy it. My compliment? What a lovely catalog with good explanations..
I ordered several Agastache. I have bought 2 here where we livein OK and they have done wonderfully. I just wanted to see if these gorgeous plants will do well also.
I was a little disturbed reading the comments and should have gone further into the website before I ordered but possibly would have missed out on a great experience. The ones that we bought here were each about 3 ft tall. Now I thnk my husband may think we got "rooked" if these are that small. I do know and believe that with perennials.....the first year they sleep, the 2nd year they creep and the 3rd they leap. You have to really love certain plants to wait 3 years for a good response. The first one I bought locally came in at the nursery where my daughter works p/t seasonally came without a tag and the only one they had. Of course her boss told her to take it to her Mom (who they think can grow anyting) :o) Not only did I plant it but I did a lot of research and found it. we were SO surprised that it didn't need it's sleeping, creeping period and was leaping all over the flower bed. :o) Even the neighbor children come to "smell" the yard. We just planted a blue one which was all they had left. It was 3 ft. tall and in a gallon bucket and covered with blooms. These came at a price of $6.95 and no shipping and handling so we are customers just holding our breaths. the idea of a a 5" inch pot with more roots mde sense to me
I hope it does. I figured one order to check you out could not be a huge loss and if it keeps me the beautiful catalog coming then I figure that is not a bad subscription rate.
I received my order of agastache and poppies in early September. The plants weren't big, but were very healthy looking. I planted them out right away and the agastache are actually blooming not 4 weeks later. So far so good!
Placed a medium sized order this past spring. Well-packed box and delivery time was as stated. Yes, the plants were small as is noted by almost everyone. Looking out at my garden, though, one will notice that the plants I received from HCG are doing spectaculary and are much larger than the ones I purchased locally. They have a great selection and the plants are very healthy.
I did have one plant die, but I received an email response within 24 hours and a credit was given, no questions asked. I just placed my fall order. Highly recommended!
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.)