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.
I have ordered from High Country Gardens many times. My garden is in hot dry southeastern Colorado. My mother happened to visiting me when I unpacked my most recent order on Good Friday 2007. She could not get over the condition of the plants and the clever packing. I guess I had come to take it all for granted! I believe in supporting our local folks (and DO!), but rely on High Country Gardens for finding new and unusual plants. Whether with the knowledgeable folks by phone or with the user-friendly website, this is a wonderful company of helpful and proud gardeners.
On Apr 8, 2007, Seeking_Thujas Loveland, CO wrote:
I ordered 6 Loneria (honeysuckle) and 2 Agastache Rupestris. I found this company's email communication to be excellant. I was informed as to when the company would ship these plants and roughly when they would arrive. Package tracking was available. 5 of the 6 Loneria look fine and the 6th one may be ok as well. One of the Sunset Hyssops looked really cold (we had a sudden cold spell during shipping week) but I think it was because they wrapped those two in newspaper and it got wet during shipment (wet newspaper refridgerates, rather than insulates) but a day and half later all plants are responding well to warmer temperatures and additional light during the day (prior to planting this week.) I think they should use small cell bubble wrap if they feel they need to insulate a plant during shipment as this at least will not become wet and while evaporating water start to cool the contained plant.
On Apr 4, 2007, mrs_colla Marin, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I was very happy with the plants this nursery sent me. They came in a very timely manner, well packed and at a decent price.
They are happy in my garden, and I will order from them again.
On April 12th, 2007, mrs_colla added the following:
And another batch of plants found their way over to my garden. Beautiful, healthy.
This company has the best packing I have ever seen, the plants are well rooted again, I am a very happy customer!!On May 10th, 2008, mrs_colla added the following:
More plants arrived at my house well. They look great, as expected and were packed with a lot of care.
Looking forward to buying more plants soon!On February 22nd, 2009, mrs_colla added the following:
9 Ornamental grasses in deep pots, super well packed, great roots, it will look splendid next fall, thank you High Country Gardens, I will be back!
On Apr 3, 2007, wishccr Loveland, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:
High Country Gardens is the only mail-order nursery I will use anymore. 100% of the plants I have ordered over the past two years (a considerable amount of $) have arrived in perfect condition. Last year I purchased several flats of Ohme thyme and then circumstances prevented me from planting them in my chosen location. I watered the flats, hoping to get them in the ground soon, but by the end of the long, dry summer most of the plants were on their last legs. I threw them in the ground in October with little hope. Every single one came back this spring to my delight. This is typical of my experience with HCG. The only plants I have lost were due to my own mistakes (wrong location, etc.)
On Mar 30, 2007, whitehen Salem, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I just received my order from HCG.The quality of the plants are great and they were packed with care. I have been using HCG for the last four years and only had one problem that they took care of with one phone call. They have a great selection of plants that you can't always find locally.
On Mar 28, 2007, Desertdenial5 Tolleson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
I have ordered from this company twice. The first time was in the fall of 2005. Nothing I ordered survived but I chalked it up to my in experience with what I ordered. I placed a second order the begining of this year. Everything looked ok except the gladiolus segetum.
I went to plant it and there was almost no root sytem and this tine bulb
smaller than the size of a pea. I immediately e-mailed them:
I received my plant order Thursday Feb 15th. I planted my items yesterday on the 16th my Gladiolus segetum was of a little concern. The bulb of it was not even the size of a pea. it had ver little in the way of roots. Is the normal?
The reponse was :
Thank you for contacting High Country Gardens.
The Gladiolus are dormant. The root tuber is very small but if you follow the instructions for dormant plants in Davids Helpful Hints they should be fine. If there is no progress by late March please contact us.
I did contact them by e-mail again yesterday and I received a call this morning now telling me I may not see even one leaf until late fall. I was also asked if I had received a letter regarding this plant. I said no and had it faxed to me.
It basically says these are seed grown and while small they are well rooted (mine hardly had any roots) . I will change this rating once I see if this puts out a few grassy leaves this year.
On March 30th, 2007, marieortiz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am changing my rating to nuetral because I was personally contacted by Dave with some more information regarding this plant. It was much appreciated that he took the time out to contct me.On Mar 28, 2007, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Mar 29, 2007 7:09 PM, High Country Gardens added:
Gladiolus segetum is new wildflower species for us. As is often the case when growing new, unfamiliar plants, there is no instruction manual. This little gem has turned out to be a much slower grower than the vigorous, more familiar South African wildflower Gladiolus oppositiflorus v. salmoneus we have been growing for a few years.
After the first two weeks of shipping this spring, we noticed that the potted bulbs were very slow to wake up. By early March the plants in the greenhouse had started to push a few leaves and the roots were pushing nicely to the bottom of their pots.
I spoke to another grower of this rare plant and questioned him at length so I put together a cultural instruction sheet detailing what to expect about the behavior and growth characteristics of this species. This sheet was included with all subsequent shipments of the plants. We also added this information to our website and included photos of what the plants looked like in early March so our customers could see what they would be receiving. http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/54603/
Please be patient and mark where you planted your Gladiolus segetum. And of course, your plant is guaranteed if it fails to grow for you.
Sometimes being on the cutting edge of horticulture throws us some curve balls.
President/Chief Horticulturist HCG
On Mar 25, 2007, ericprk Denver, CO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I just placed my fourth order with High Country. I've always been impressed by the quality of their plants. Almost everything on their site grows well in the Denver area. The only problem I've ever had was one plant which arrived with a broken stem. They promptly replaced the plant for free.
On Mar 23, 2007, MARYPETRI Valley Springs, CA wrote:
plants that I have recieved from this company have always been of high quality and have survived the shipping and transplanting easily. I appreciate the large choice of unusual products that are available for my area and poor quality soil.
Most of the plants I received from HCG this spring were incredibly root bound, to the point of cutting the pot apart to get them out without damaging the roots. Loosening the roots enough to get them planted was a real challenge! The plants are growing and healthy, but given the relatively high price I was disappointed in their quality. They do have a unique selection of xeriscape plants and their shipping is impeccable, but I would only order from them in the future if I couldn't find what I wanted elsewhere.
On Mar 12, 2007, bradrohr Gorham, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:
This is an awesome company. Living in the zone 6 area of Western KS, it is very difficult to find great plants. HCG has made it so easy, we go from 117 degrees in the summer to -15 in the winter and most things just can't take the stress. The small plants we got from HCG last year are looking beautiful this year, I even tried a couple of Agaves and they are growing wonderfully. If you live in a harsh desert or grassland environ, try them out, they are worth every penny...and get the moisture granules...they are inexpensive and worth it...especially in this area where we only get 7-12" per year.
On Mar 1, 2007, kjsacramento Sacramento, CA wrote:
I live in the dry and hot central valley of California in Sacramento and have found High Country Gardens to have the perfect plants for the dry hot conditions and the poor soil conditions. I have a yard of clay that I have added limited quantities of compost to and have found my best answers at High Country Garden. I have had amazing experience with the surprisingly healthy plants I've received from High Country Gardens. They have come healthy and substantial and more carefully packed for safe delivery than from any other catalog plants I have ordered - and that has been many. My success rate with their plants has been astounding and the failings have been directly attributable to my experimentation with their location and inexperience with sensitivities specific to a plant. I have better luck with their plants than I have with the local nurseries and the failures have only been the natural result of bad positioning or neglect, since they lasted a long time until weather changes, soil or watering issues proved to be the problem. I would highly recommend their plants.
High Country is a lifesaver for gardeners in high desert areas! I've been ordering yearly for about 7 years now and have never been disappointed! The information about preferred soil types and other specifics in their plant descriptions is far more valuable than the usual zone chart. The weather is never the same from year to year here, but we can always count on wicked winds, plenty of sun and wild temperature fluctuations. HCG has helped me find plants that are native to the western US and perfect for my location. My sandy alkaline soil is not suited to many 'typical' gardening favorites. But thanks to HCG, I now have a beautiful, enthusiastic and waterwise high country garden! I'm sure I'll be back for many years to come!
On Feb 10, 2007, peachespickett Huntington, AR wrote:
Ordered four times now from HCG. Perfect shipping. Friendly and professional all around. Plants grow faster than what I thought was even possible for certain species. A+
On March 6th, 2008, peachespickett added the following:
Received another perfect order from HCG...I wish I had ordered so much more.Because of them I now have sagebrush, rabbitbrush, desert willows, purple sage, primroses, agastaches, and a whole assortment of yuccas, agaves, cacti and other little treasures here in Western Arkansas. I don't miss the Southwest as badly as I used to because I've been able to bring a lot of it out here thanks to HCG. The plants have all exceeded expectations, and made all the hard work of interpreting Arkansas climate and soil into something a sagebrush or an agave could thrive in worth it. The shipping is always perfect. I order on Friday, and it's here on Wednesday. Now they're branching into selling more trees (no pun intended), such as the pines, which is encouraging and I can't wait to see what's new in each catalog.
I have been ordering from HCG for 3 or 4 years, and they never cease to amaze me with their advancements with native western plants. I am willing to pay their somewhat high prices in support of their progressive palette, to further the cause of native gardening in the west. As a biologist and landscape architect, I learn a couple new plants every year by browsing the HCG catalog. And my western Nebraska garden is rapidly becoming a local spectacle, thanks to David S. and his wonderful efforts!
On Dec 21, 2006, flowercrazy39 Manchester, NH wrote:
I ordered two plants from this company this past fall of 2006 and boy did they take off quickly. Beautiful color and I didn't expect to see them blooming so fast. Definitely will order again. They came very quickly and they were packaged very well.
On Dec 7, 2006, summerkid Rose Lodge, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
Given how fussy these plants appear to be, I needed bigger seedlings than these tiny things. There was nearly a 100% mortality rate by spring, but what really shocked me when I finally looked closely at the invoice was that they had charged me shipping of roughly 23%!!!!!!!! I don't know anyone else who charges even half that.
That's outrageous even for perfectly packed shrub-size plants, which these were not.
Now I just shred their catalog when it arrives, use it for much.
On Dec 7, 2006, High Country Gardens responded with:
On Dec 11, 2006 5:01 PM, High Country Gardens added:
I am very sorry you are unhappy with the plants from High Country Gardens.
I want you to know that the plants are guaranteed and you can choose to have replacement plants , a refund on the plants or a credit to order something else.
We would very much appreciate the opportunity to rectify the current situation.
On Dec 6, 2006, hem_iamy Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:
Customer Service was friendly and helpful during ordering when their website was malfunctioning last week. Ordered a gift certificate (10% off until 12/17!), they shipped immediately, arrived today. Will try some plants in the spring. :)
On Nov 30, 2006, pj1143 Boise, ID (Zone 6a) wrote:
High Country Gardens is wonderful. I have ordered plants from them for several years and never been disappointed. They have a great selection of waterwise plants for my high desert garden in Idaho. Plants are very carefully shipped and always in good condition on arrival. Highly recommended!
I was totally pleased with High Country Gardens. My plants arrived exactly when I expected, and they were in wonderful condition. They stayed beautiful, even though I didn't plant them until almost 2 weeks later! I ordered different types of lavender and agastache (which I had been warned against) and they are doing great (even though it's November now)!
I had also ordered plants from DIFFERENT company at the same time, and they were a disaster--those plants were actually infested with aphids!!!
I will definitely order from High Country Gardens again!
On April 19th, 2008, jenwright27 added the following:
I continue to be impressed with this company! My most recent order of various lavenders and tuberoses arrived on time and in wonderful condition. I have several friends who tell me they can't get lavender bloom in our area, but I've never had a problem with the ones I get from High Country. In fact, two of my newest ones are already blooming!