As a cranky old bat, I really appreciate companies that connect me with a human being who knows what she or he is talking about and who manages to be nice to me. The two experiences I've had with High Country Gardens have both engaged telephone salespeople who were knowledgeable and who acted like they cared whether the plants ordered made me happy.
As others have noticed, the tiny size of the new arrivals can be a little startling, considering what you pay for the things. But without fail all the plants I purchased, including a couple of salvias a bit exotic for my climate zone, settled in and took ahold with elan. I was delighted with all the plants I bought, and in a couple of cases couldn't believe they would actually grow in lovely uptown Phoenix, Arizona.
One word to the wise: If you live in the Sonoran desert, what with climate change and the current long-term drought, you might want to upgrade your climate zone from 9 to 10.
On Sep 14, 2006, rallychk Farmington United States wrote:
I have purchased from this company for several years and have always been happy with them. It is true that often plants at a local nursery are larger when you first purchase them, but I have found that over time, I have always preferred the ones from HCG. When plants have died, it is so nice getting replacements sent (I have never asked for a refund) and having them go right out. Their pre-planned gardens are wonderful as I am NO gardener and that makes it much easier for "my kind". I recommend them to everyone who asks and have even planted some of their plants at my workplace.
On Sep 12, 2006, trailrunner Wellington, NV wrote:
Every time I have ordered from High Country Gardens I have had nothing but fantasitc results. Not only are the staff very knowledgable but their plants, grasses, and bulbs are of the highest quality. I recommend this company to all of my friends and to anyone who wishes to have beautiful xeric landscaping.
I am really impressed with the beautiful color catalog. I especially like the keys that specify plants that are deer and bunny resistant as well as xeric. I am a lazy gardener and truly expect my work to be done after planting. High Country Garden plants are small when they arrive, but by the end of the season, they are flourishing!!!! I'm always expecially busy in the spring, so, this year, I thought I would place a fall order and get a jump on spring.
On Sep 4, 2006, audmendous Abilene, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:
I purchased plants twice last fall from HCG and was thrilled with the results I had. They were the healthiest and best-packed plants I have received from mail-order sources. I have just placed my first order for this fall season and am anticipating another great experience. I refer all my friends to their website.
On April 7th, 2008, audmendous added the following:
Since this last post, I have received two asked-for gift certificates from HCG that came very attractively wrapped. When I received the orders I placed from them, they added a calendar as a thank-you gift.
As usual, the plants were in great condition. The only plant I've ever lost that I ordered from HCG is one I pulled accidentally while weeding one day while it was still small.
I love this company!
On Jul 24, 2006, hollisterbull Hollister, CA wrote:
I have dealt with High Country Gardens many times over the past few years. All transactions have been handled well without any problems. Plants have always arrived in good condition. I have had only a couple of plants die in all this time and it was mainly my challenging growing conditions: clay soil plus dry shade. Little grows there. Last year I had to leave a shipment of many dozen plants in my garage for more than a month before I got around to planting them. They all survived! Their pre-planned gardens are fantastic. The plants all were vigorous growers. I can recomend High Country Gradens to anyone who needs good plants.
I am new to the High Desert and have been trying to landscape my yard with plants other than the weeds. It seems that only the 'xeric' plants I purchased from High Country Gardens are still alive and well. All the other plants purchased from other gardeners, even tho' labeled zone 8-10, could not survive the hot-dry-hot-hot summer. I now know to purchase only from High Desert for quality plants that actually will live & grow & be beautiful. Thank you High Desert for quality plants & quality service.
On Jul 10, 2006, mrsninavilla Albuquerque, NM wrote:
I've received my first order from High Country Gardens and I'm very impressed with their products and service. The plants were shipped promptly and packed well. In addition, their website is very informative and user-friendly. I will definitely order again and recommend them to others.
I ordered the Full Sun garden package as well as some various other plants. I have been extremely impressed with the quality of the plants and roots as well as the care taken with packaging. I had two plants that weren't doing well after the first week and your customer service was more than accomodating and polite. Thank you for the great plants and wonderful service. Sincerely, Gail
On Jul 7, 2006, DaisyhillDawn Port Clinton, OH wrote:
I ordered the mediterranean garden to plant on a tough, windy, rocky, river side location. It was purchased as a gift for my mother (who is gardening challenged) Mom wanted a peaceful looking, low maintenance garden, but my experience with gardening with Mom is that the garden bed is always a "code blue"--not very peaceful when you are in a constant life and death garden struggle. I bought this garden because it seemed "bullet proof". Plants arrived in good condtion, and on time, but I was frankly embarrassed by the small size. They looked to have good roots so I planted them anyway, but without much hope that they would survive the winter.
Well not only did these little twigs survive the winter--they thrived even under my mothers neglect. The garden is beautiful, I had to add a few plants to give it a little more color to suit my mothers taste, but the plants are vigorous and after only one season TOOK OFF and nicely filled the space. Who'da thunk it?
I am doing a relandscaping project - and chose almost all of my plants based on the descriptions and pictures provided by the catalog. Stage 1 of the project went in last November -and I have a beautiful and strong exhibit of hardy perennials this spring and summer. The plants were all in great condition upon arrival - and have outperformed anything I have ever planted in my yard. I have ordered Stage 2 for this fall's planting - and will report back. I am very happy with the services and plant quality of this provider.
On Jun 29, 2006, sweetjoy Clinton Township, MI wrote:
I was told my plants were mailed on the 26th of June, Monday and I received them today, June 29th. They were packed exceptionally well and appear to be healthy plants. I would recommend High Country Gardens to friends. Joy B - Michigan
I received a number of plants from HCG this spring. Almost all of them were so potbound that I removed one of the Echinacea from the pot, took a picture of it and sent it to HCG with a complaint. The reply I got was rather condescending, telling me that what I was seeing was just a well-developed root system, as if most experienced gardeners don't know the difference. I had to do real violence to those roots to free them up a little before planting them, and, while they have survived, they have been slow to take off (unlike the fantastically vigorous poppies I got from them in the fall). And, no, this is not just because I am gardening in the east in clay soil; similar plants from other sources are doing just fine.
I bought three perennials and one shrub rose from HCG last year, and have great results. They came healthy and well rooted, and transplanted well into my garden. All are thriving this year! The rose has added two feet to its original size, and keeps growing. All of the perennials are huge, and are preparing to flower. I will definitely be a repeat customer
I received a Darlows Enigma and a Theresa Bugnet today. Both were in great shape and well packaged. I was impressed. Much large in size than the Roses I received from Heirloom Roses. I will certainly use High Country again.
I've placed quite a few orders this spring and High Country Gardens sent the best quality plants. They were larger than I expected, healthy and had a strong root system. They went into the garden with no sulking or babying needed. Their packing system is also wonderful. I'll definitely be ordering from them again.
On May 26, 2006, ColoradoBird Littleton, CO wrote:
This is my favorite online source for plants. The plants are exceptionally healthy and always very, very well packed. Not to mention (though I AM mentioning it, aren't I?) the great selection of plants that can tolerate the harsh weather conditions here in the dry West, with our extremes of quite cold (-15) to very hot (100+)--that's asking a lot of a plant, and HCG offers an excellent selection of plants that are not only hardy but beautiful.
The company's customer service is excellent--they always respond in a quick and friendly manner to my e-mail questions and are friendly and helpful on the phone.
This is my fourth year ordering from them and I plan to continue into the future. I always look forward to their catalogs and their Website is excellent (expecially the "plant finder").
On May 26th, 2006, ColoradoBird added the following:
EXpecially?--wow, where did THAT come from??? Some people do pronounce it that way, but I actually do know how to spell. ESpecially common words.
I placed my first order with HCG last fall. I ordered the "Inferno Strip Pre-planned Garden". The plants arrived right on time and were packaged well. Subsequently this spring everything came up and is growing beautifully, except for the English Lavender. I finally decided they were just dead, so I e-mailed HCG about this. Their reply was that it was past the deadline for replacements or refunds but they would send me all new English Lavender plants anyway. They did just that and I recieved them today in great shape! My experience with HCG has been great and I plan on ordering more from them soon. I really love the fact that they have these pre-planned gardens and have lots of xeric plants which is what I need for my area.
I cannot say enough good things about this company and their products. The selection of plants is excellent, as is their mail-order customer service. I have purchased plants from this company for one year and have always received my orders within the time frame stated and in excellent condition. When I have encountered problems, customer service has always been helpful in remedying the issue (i.e., replacement of plants). Another positive aspect of this company is the customer service staffs' knowledge of the plant materials (most seem to be expert gardeners). Friendly staff, healthy plants, excellent company!
It does no good to have a space on the on-line order form for comments about the order when the comments are ignored. I asked that my order be shipped immediately instead of waiting so that it would arrive for weekend planting, as I had weekend committments and wanted to get the plants in the ground. There was no indication from HCG that they ever even read the request. I finally called them and was told by a very rude "Customer Service" rep that it was not possible to ship earlier unless I paid for 2nd day air. I don't believe that shipping charges should be used as extra profit margin. Good customer service involves assisting the customer, not just sticking to rigid rules with no explanation. After this hassle, the plants finally arrived extremely small. It's my first and last order from HCG, and I will tell all my gardening friends, as well as the staff at my garden shop about my poor service.
I have just placed my second order with HCG. Last year I built and began to fill in a landscape bed in an area where deer abound. Altho my first shipment was left in full sun by the delivery folk all plants revived, survived and thrived. Every deer resistant plant really WAS!! In fact, the deer stood in my plants to feed on the roses I have in pots on the patio but never touched any of my HCG plants. I decided to add to the beds this year and I had a hard time keeping from buying more than what I could fit into my area.
The catalogue is organized and informative. It helped me locate the types of plants I wanted in my yard: deer resistant, attractive to hummingbirds and butterflys, longblooming and xeric for the areas I wanted to keep for the low water needs. My area is snow in winter, hot and dry in summer and all plants are doing great! Thanks HCG...I will continue to order from you in future seasons. I really appreciate what you do and how you do it.
On May 6th, 2007, coolcagardener added the following:
I have since placed several more orders from HCG. I am still just as pleased as I was in the previous note. I have ordered from other companies but feel HCG has the best products, packaging and customer service of them all. Whenever I have a question, it is promptly answered via email. I have recommended them to several of my gardening buddies and will continue to use them in the future.
I have nothing but a rave review for High Country Gardens. Plants shipped across the US, grown in the SW, have done beautifully in my 'strip garden', survived our Western NY winters and come up even more beautiful the next spring. I am also impressed with the perfect condition in which the plants arrive - amazing, knowing how far we are from NM. I have recommended High Country Garden to many friends, and their experience has been equally satisfactory. One comment: "not only have the plants done well in my 'berm;, but I learn so much just reading the catalogue'.
Thank you, HCG, for providing such wonderful, DIFFERENT plants for our NE gardens.
This was our first order from HCG and we were looking forward to our experience. What a dissapointment! We had friends and neighbors scheduled to come over and enjoy a day with us planting trees and our two "Inferno" gardens. We had read that plants were shipped in time for weekend planting, that was not true. After calling HCG on the Thursday before our planned planting weekend, we were told that our plants had not shipped yet. We were told that they ship to far away places(like New York) before shipping to areas that were closer to Santa Fe. We had ordered early(six weeks) as suggested in the catalog in order to assure our planting week. The plants didn"t arrive until late Monday afternoon and when we opened the box's we found plants that had been smashed down and many were broken. (The shipping containers were just fine, this was obviously done by the packers). The "premium" plants were little more than the worst small pieces of #*$% that I have ever seen. They were dry and many of them were broken by placing too many plants in the box. After calling and talking to customer service we were told that they would pick up the plants if we wanted them to. We will plant these and see how many survive and then we will let you know about their replacement guarantee. I have another order that is supposed to ship the week of May 29, however I will call and cancel that order and will never buy from High Country Gardens again. I will also make it a point to tell the people at our local Botanical Society about our experience and pass this on to our local Master Gardeners program at the CSU extension service here in Montrose, Co. .We spent over $200.00 for this junk plus shipping and my next order was for over $200.00 as well. Thanks for nothing HCG!!!
Adrian C. Appelhans/M.J.Durall
On May 18th, 2006, ashade changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I was contacted by a customer service rep shortly after posting my comments. He offered to either give me a full refund or replace my order. I chose to have him reship my order as a lot of work had gone into preparing the area we had planned to plant. I have changed my rating to neutral because I am still not sold on this company but respect the fact that they made a very immediate attempt AFTER my negative comments to appease me. If the new plants arrive in good condition and look more like healthy plants I will post more comments here.On May 23rd, 2006, ashade changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
The replacement plants arrived on Friday and although Fed-X left the box on my front porch in full sun, the plants were in much better condition and overall looked more like what I had anticipated in the first place. HCG did come thru and made every effort to correct the situation. It is too bad that our first contact with customer service was handled so poorly. If they would have extended us the same courtesy at out first call instead, of only responding after our negative comments on this site, we would have been more apt to give a positive rating. I would say that if you have a problem with an order from HCG be prepared to have to do more than just place a call to "customer service". I will order again but will probably pay for overnight shipping.
On May 16, 2006, Falconet New York, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
High Country Gardens has been one of my "regular" mailorder nurseries for about 3 years now. Their prices (especially in multiple quantities) are reasonable, the plants come healthy and with good root systems, and the packing is excellent without being "overkill". The only thing I've ever received from High Country that didn't survive my zone 7 winter was a Penstemon that was "marginal" to my conditions anyhow (but was it ever gorgeous all during its single summer of life in my garden!).
Great ordering/response system and overall great quality. A nursery to rely on!!
I have been trying to find information to learn from for 4 years.
High Country Gardens catalog and web site is very
educational, informative & applicable for any person in this
type of situation. The pictures are well taken and allow you
to see the plant properly at maturity, so you can gear how
your plants are doing.
The service is excellent. The mailing prompt. And the plants were the healthiest mail order plants I have ever seen & received. It is a pure joy to be a customer. And I thank God for David Salman and his staff. Martha Moss
I ordered several agastaches and ornamental grasses. All plants came in excellent packaging. The plants looked healthy upon arrival and are all now thriving in the ground. Look forward to ordering more great plants in the future!
On May 15, 2006, Gerris2 Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered multiple times from this company, and each time has been a remarkable event. My last order arrived last week, for Salvia penstemonoides. I received two huge plants, each with very well developed root systems grown in 5 inch pots; they were a delight to plant. The plants and pots were sleeved in plastic bags to minimize evaporation of water from the growing medium. The catalog is a veritable treasure trove of information. If you are not on their mailing list, do so right away, you will learn so much!
Highly recommend this vendor, I will continue buying from them.
I just got my first order from HCG, yesterday. Three plants looked healthy. The Apache Plume however looked a bit dried out. Superb packaging, timely order. I liked the planting guide. Outstanding catalogue. I also ordered a Liatris p., Blue Glow Globe Thistle, and Purple Prairie Clover. I was not happy with the root systems however, of these three. Very small amount of roots. I have planted these three, and will keep steady watch over them. If they make it, I will be shocked. I decided to keep the Apache Plume on the porch until tomorrow....before placing it in the hot sun, in a permanent location. Luckily we will have a slight cool spell for a few days, which should help. I hope these plants make it...they will be a great addition to my garden. I appreciate the hard to find varieties, this company offers. The pictures, and info on the catalogue are extremely well done.
On August 24th, 2006, Kelly333 added the following:
Well I babied the plants all summer long. I recently lost the Blue Globe Thistle. Everything else is still alive. The only noteworthy growth came from the Apache Plume. I was going to notify HCG, but realized I was just past the 3 month mark. We have suffered a drought this year. I watered the flower bed with city water, much more than normal because of the HCG plants...I planted in May.On September 21st, 2006, Kelly333 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Yesterday I received a replacement plant in the mail for the one that died. The plant was in great shape, and healthy. Because they stand behind their product...I am changing my rating to a positive one. I will buy from them again.
I have been pleased with my orders from HCG in the past, but this springs order made me very happy.
My order from last fall did O.K. and I only lost one plant over the winter. The plants I had recieved last fall were on the tiny side, but I e-mailed HCG about the lost plant and I recieved a freindly reply and a replacement.
The plants I just recieved are much bigger and healthier than those of last fall. Good costumer service. Packaging very nice!
We just bought a new home close to the Great Salt Lake Desert. I have a south wall that is constantly being bombarded by wind. I have bought plants from HCG for 2 years and have been very pleased. The plants are shipped for specific dates. FedEx notifies me 2-3 days before the plants are to arrive at my door and the plants are in containers and gently laid in boxes with packing so no damage comes to the plants. When planted they grow with vigor and beauty. HCG carries plant cultivars that are unique and rare. I am totally satisfied with this company. I have dealt with other catalogue companies that did not take such pains with their plants so I know this is a winning nursery.
I've been ordering from HCG for several years now. They have the absolute best plants for my area, bar none. Even the local garden shops don't have their selection or quality. The one time I had a problem with an order, they replaced the plants with no question. The only disappointment I've had was with some flowering shrubs. The plants were very small and just never thrived, so I won't order those again.