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Comments regarding High Country Gardens

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500 positives
46 neutrals
79 negatives


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Positive PlantsnobIN
(29 reviews)
On Apr 15, 2006, PlantsnobIN Paoli, IN wrote:

Rec'd my order a few days ago at appropriate time. Plants are small, but the prices aren't too bad. Two plants were rec'd broken, but I should be able to root the broken tops, so I am not going to complain.

Positive mrobel
(1 review)
On Apr 15, 2006, mrobel Milton, MA wrote:

I just received my first order from HCG, and it's very impressive. I ordered 3 gardens - 80 plants - and every one of them was alive, healthy, with a good, strong root system. I have ordered from other mail-order suppliers, and HCG beats all of them hands down. Now lets see how they do in my garden...!

Positive plntgrl
(1 review)
On Apr 14, 2006, plntgrl Lehi, UT wrote:

I have ordered plants four times from HCG and each time I have been impressed with the health of their plants. I have only had one plant die ( I have ordered at least 150 plants from HCG) and I was promptly refunded the full cost of the plant. The customer service people actually understand the product they are dealing with and are always very accomodating. I highly recommend HCG to friends and family and I look forward to my next order.

Positive DeerPhobic
(7 reviews)
On Apr 9, 2006, DeerPhobic Gig Harbor, WA wrote:

Last spring was my first time to order from HCG. I was very pleased with the quality and condition of the plants I received. And, even happier when one of the plant's blooms, an agastache, turned out to be even more beautiful than pictured. I'll definitely be ordering again.

Positive loveshercowdog
(2 reviews)
On Apr 7, 2006, loveshercowdog Arlington, TX wrote:

Thanks to GW I used this company to buy a gift for my sister in OH. They arrived this week and she is thrilled. They are all green and fresh. She is very excited; she never thought mailorder plants could be so nice.

Positive frankie4
(16 reviews)
On Apr 7, 2006, frankie4 Walhalla, SC wrote:

I received my first order from this company today and was very pleased. The plants were healthy and large for mail order plants. Packing was meticulous and the plants were shipped exactly when I wanted them to be. I was able to find plants for my xeriscape garden that I never could have found locally or through most other plant nurseries. If I initially thought that some plants were a little pricey, those thoughts were offset by the size and quality of the plants I received. I will gladly reorder from High Country Gardens again.

Positive Valentina_S
(8 reviews)
On Apr 6, 2006, Valentina_S West Bend, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Quality plants, small but very healthy and with big root system.
What I also appreciated was the fact that the plants were sent so fast, just in time for planting.

Positive SusieScout
(1 review)
On Mar 26, 2006, SusieScout Irvine, CA wrote:

The folks at HCG are amazingly knowledgeable, accomodating, and helpful. The instructional materials sent with the plants are invaluable, and their guarantee is out of this world. I will be busy filling in the pre-planned gardens I have purchased and planted last fall as soon as everything I've planted so far has matured and I can see where I might need to add a thing or two. I will definitely be buying from them again and will stop by when I visit Sante Fe next month. Thanks again, everyone!

Positive Stsjohn
(1 review)
On Mar 25, 2006, Stsjohn Brighton, CO wrote:

This is my second order from HCG for a xeriscape I am creating in my backyard. Last year, the plants arrived in great condition--my paintbrush bloomed later that same summer! The HCG catalogue is excellent, the selection of plants is excellent, the planting advice is excellent. The plants were packed well and cleverly for shipping. I have worked in this field for many years; these folks have their act together.

Positive pixielove
(4 reviews)
On Mar 23, 2006, pixielove Pasadena, MD wrote:

The plants were all health upon arrival. A good soaking and they looked as good as anything I have bought from local nursuries. The costumer service people are eager to help with any requests or question I had. I would definetly order from them again.

Positive superk
(1 review)
On Mar 9, 2006, superk Portland, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I ordered the Inferno stip preplanned garden back in Jan. I recieved it right on schedule. (the third week of Feb) I planted the healthy plants about 5 days later (bad weather) and this morning before work, (march 9) I was shocked. Some of the plants are starting to bloom! They are all approx. twice their original size, and the dianthus is blooming.
Im planning my next project/order from you. What a great Co.
Thank you. SK

Positive thomaskrafft
(1 review)
On Mar 7, 2006, thomaskrafft Eaton, CO wrote:

HCG responded very fast to my inquiries and I look forward to ordering from them. I believe they demonstrate integrity and willingness to see gardeners succeed.

Positive dchris88
(1 review)
On Feb 16, 2006, dchris88 Ridgecrest, CA wrote:

Extremely good catalog and plant selection
Extremely good packaging and plant quality
Extremely good customer service

Negative lefsamamma
(3 reviews)
On Feb 8, 2006, lefsamamma Bellvue, CO wrote:

Simply the best. Hands down. I'd like to see more rock garden/bunnery plant offerings as well as rose bush (shrub) offerings. I ordered online a couple of weeks ago and somehow the single $50 gift certificate I ordered showed up as two $50 in the checkout. As this was to be a gift for a friend, I didn't want it to be that generous. I emailed them and received a call back over the weekend and during off season no less! They advised me to call first thing Monday morning and that there should be no problem in canceling the extra gift certificate. Monday morning at no later than 8:15 a HCG supervisor, Kurt, called me before I had a chance to call them to help fix the order. I do want to add that one of the negative comments from a person who thought his plants had a virus makes me wonder if somehow a chemical injury was involved. Many years ago when I was working at a retail nursery a favorite customer came in incensed that all his new plants were dying, drooping, yellowing and the leaves were shriveling/curling up. It was a very large planting job. One of the owners went out and checked out the yard, and indeed it was as the customer had said. About a week later the customer came back into the nursery and was very apologetic. It seems he had discovered that while he thought he'd been spraying his new landscape job with hose-end ready to use fertilizer, it was 2-4-D instead! I've also remember customers spraying their plants with OFF and the like as "it was to kill bugs wasn't it??" It happens: we all mess up now and then be it the supplier, the homeowner or the delivery company making deliveries in non-air-conditioned trucks along with the boxed plants in a 90-100 degree weather. But isn't the glory of gardening worth it all!?

On December 15th, 2006, lefsamamma changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

I've been thinking long and hard about changing my view of HCG. Where would gardening be without the incredible offerings they have? However, my sense is that they've gotten too big/busy given how many weak and or dead plants I've received. I'm suprized they even send some of the plants out at all. When I've talked to customer service the one person is happy to send you a replacement plant,but doesn't seem to really hear you regarding the pattern of poor plants being sent out.I'm a skilled gardener.My husband is a horticulture nursery manager.We're both saddened by the plants we've received in the past year.For nearly every 6-8 plants we've received, more often that not, two are either very wilted or almost dead when they arrive. For the plants that do go in the ground they require way too much babying to keep going, especially for plants that are a perfect fit for our soil and zone. I'm such a HCG addict that I am at the curb as the UPS guys pull up with my order.I'm guessing HCG wants to get their plants to you,but again, the plants all too often lack vigor no matter what you do. I've started buying my plants from Timberline Gardens out of Arvada, CO.Between what they grow and the Plants and Things out of Pueblo, CO plants (Timberline Gardens carries their plants) are incredibly vigorous and grow easily.I've put in close to 500 plants in the last two years on our large yard.Sure want to order again from HCG but I'm hoping they'll get more quality control going again.
Positive DanaDW
(7 reviews)
On Jan 26, 2006, DanaDW Pahrump, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have ordered from them every year for the past 8 or 10 years and never had a single problem. Living in the high desert they are a #1 resource for me.

Positive snyderlm
(3 reviews)
On Jan 19, 2006, snyderlm Paoli, IN wrote:

I am a returning customer, and that is largely because of the wealth of information the catalog provides, and the fact that every plant I ordered before has survived and flourished in my garden. While some of the plants were small, that is usually the case with mail order nurseries, and I have never found a source that provided plants with such a high survival rate.

Positive cmsobx
(3 reviews)
On Jan 19, 2006, cmsobx Kill Devil Hills, NC wrote:

I have been ordering from High Country Gardens for the past 5 years and will continue to do so. I live and garden on the east coast, so the plants have to travel a long way to get to me and they are always very well packaged and in excellect shape. The catalog gives enough information so that I can decide if the conditions along the east coast (heat and humidity) warrant me trying the plant.

Positive smfpphd
(1 review)
On Jan 16, 2006, smfpphd Crestwood, KY wrote:

Excellent plants, ship as promised. Love them! :-)

Positive aliceherbert
(2 reviews)
On Jan 12, 2006, aliceherbert Gilroy, CA wrote:

I have many plants from HCG and they are doing extreemly well,even in our hot summers. They were wellrooted and transplanted well and thrived.

Positive Indigoez
(7 reviews)
On Dec 17, 2005, Indigoez Floresville, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've ordered many times from HCG, and I've always been pleased with the plants and customer service. They (plants) are well packed, and have never arrived late or early, unlike other places I've done business with. A+ overall.

Positive estiva
(6 reviews)
On Dec 7, 2005, estiva Grafton, WI wrote:

These plants weren't cheap--but a great value, considering the quality and size. I was especially impressed with the packaging--very well done. The bulbs I ordered with the original group came later, but the company communicated well, and they arrived later when they said they would. I will definitely consider ordering from them again.

Positive havenheart
(1 review)
On Nov 21, 2005, havenheart Falling Waters, WV wrote:

I am writing to say thank you for your fast service and incredible quality of plants.

I recently ordered two huge orders for two of my clients. It was end of the season rush, and you rose to the occasion. Your informative catalog allowed me to order zone appropriate xeriscape plants that will be different than the every day nursery perennials seen around here (eastern WV).

I received your boxes wondering how in the world you could have fit over $2000 of plants in 9 boxes. But you did it! The plants have the best developed root system I have ever seen in mail order plants, and many had large top plants for mailed plants, as well.

My workers and I appreciated your clear instructions on planting, and my clients are raving about the quality of plants I have provided at this time of season.

We will order from you again, for sure!

Positive CBernard
(4 reviews)
On Nov 11, 2005, CBernard Perris, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have ordered three times from High Country Gardens. The first two have been very successful and the third one I am anticipating next week. High Country Gardens has not only fulfilled the two orders in thriving packaging but they have a Customer Service section that answers questions about the plants that you purchase. I am very happy with High Country Gardens.

Positive Florida9
(12 reviews)
On Oct 27, 2005, Florida9 Palm Harbor, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have ordered from HCG three times, and have been very satisfied. All plants were well wrapped and shipped, the best of any of the 4 mail order nurseries I have tried. I find their website informative, and appreciate a recent upgrade to search by geographic region as well as zone. Plants rated for Zone 9 don't necessarily do well here in Florida Zone 9, and this search aid helps. Agastache 'Ava' and 'Pink Cloud' grasses ordered in June have grown 4 times in size, bloomed almost immediately, and are still flowering well in late October. I realize they specialize in zeric western plants, and I am just happy they do also have some that do well in my region. I will definitely be reordering from them this spring, as I continue searching for unusual items that will grow here. (This is only my second year in this wet, warm area.) And I don't find them expensive considering the quality of the plants, the high survival rate, and rapid shipping.

Positive planning101
(1 review)
On Oct 26, 2005, planning101 Florissant, CO wrote:

Matt Swart has been very helpful with making sure that my bulbs will arrive at my home. He is very courteous and timely with the emails going back and forth. Please give him a raise!

Joyce Shinault

Positive kiwi2
(1 review)
On Oct 26, 2005, kiwi2 San Diego, CA wrote:

I give High Country Gardens a thumbs-up.
Plants weren't exactly on the large size, but were comparable to those from other mail-order companies that I've ordered from.
Plants were well-rooted and are doing fine in my garden.
Shipping costs are low at HCG compared to other places - makes a nice change!
Just placed my second order (above rating based on order from 1-2 months ago), hopefully I'll be just as satisfied.

(4 reviews)
On Oct 19, 2005, SNAKEBARK San Francisco, CA wrote:

I have ordered from HCG for several years. Great plants, great service.

Positive trrh
(2 reviews)
On Oct 17, 2005, trrh Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

I get there magazine and it's a good company for flowers.

Positive ikare4u11
(1 review)
On Oct 12, 2005, ikare4u11 Monument, CO wrote:

I've ordered plants and bulbs from several companies all over the US. I was indeed impressed with the quality of the plants that I received from High Country Gardens. Also, I requested my order at a certain time, and received it precisely on time. I also received instructions on how to plant my plants and preparation for the different seasons.

I had to contact the company regarding my order I received. I contacted the company by email. I received a prompt response and was very satisfied with my answer.

I plan on doing a lot of business with this company in the future. The fact that I live in Monument, CO where it's high and dry country. This is the perfect company for me!

Positive nelledoor
(1 review)
On Sep 27, 2005, nelledoor Lavina, MT (Zone 4a) wrote:

Happy customer here - I've ordered from HCG for 2 or 3 years and am absolutely amazed at the strength of their plants. They have a great development program. I'm impressed with the packaging and I don't believe I've ever lost a plant (I've spent $100.00+ each year). Love their catalog and the information. My plants have actually gotten bigger the first season than HCG said they would, so I appreciate their modesty. I work in a retail nursery in Montana and tend to order things we don't have available - and I do understand what a tough business retail sales can be - sometimes things do go wrong, - but you can TRY for a high standard, and I feel HCG does make the attempt on a consistent level.

Positive ladyisle
(34 reviews)
On Jul 20, 2005, ladyisle Bohemia, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I discovered this nursery perhaps a year ago and placed an order for about 20 hardy Plumbago from their beautiful and helpful catalog, (I dislike hype w/o substance). Not initially impressed with the size of the plants; I am quite amazed at how lush and full they look now, in one season. Every plant has thrived with no special care other than ensuring the soil stayed moist.
I placed another order this spring for Bush Sage, Flax, Giant Yellow Columbine, and another plant that I can't remember the name of. They were small also, but well packed as before, and have already grown considerably, and flowered as well.
My personal experience has been that smaller plants (with healthy root systems) establish themselves much better when transplanted than larger plants. Less work too.
Great selection, quality and service-can't ask for more.

On June 3rd, 2006, ladyisle added the following:

I just want to say that all the plants listed above have almost TRIPLED in size, and are blooming profusely-(the ones that are supposed to bloom now,that is). I placed and received another order this year, and everything arrived healthy, as always. I love their packing because it is so efficient, and relatively mess and waste free. HCG has a very satisfied, repeat customer-as long as I have room for new plants;which will be a long time.

On June 3rd, 2006, ladyisle added the following:

Positive htebazile
(1 review)
On Jul 5, 2005, htebazile Saint Paul, MN wrote:

I have ordered from HCG on and off for several years. The catalog is lovely and they have a good selection of native plants. Plant size is as described in catalog, (quite small). The plants that I have ordered have all been well packed for shipment and had good to very good root systems. When planted in the proper location in my northern heavy clay soil, the original small plants have established themselves well by the following year. I have recommended and continue to recommend HCG to others, and expect to order from them again.

Neutral bugster51
(3 reviews)
On Jun 27, 2005, bugster51 Edinboro, PA wrote:

We ordered from this catalog for the first time this year. The catalog is beautiful and they have an awesome selection. However, we also felt that our plants were small and not well-rooted and I think this is the reason that a couple did not survive and the others are slow to become established.

Neutral littlekitty
(3 reviews)
On May 26, 2005, littlekitty Farmington, AR wrote:

I recently ordered some agastache, artemisia and prairie dropseed from HCG excited that I could not find the exact plants I was looking for from any other source. I loved the idea that their catalog descriptions were very informative and the plants were ideal for xeriscaping and deer and critter resistant. The plants arrived quickly, well packed and I was informed the day they were shipped.

But I cannot say I would order from this company again. The plants were not only small but very very tiny. I have heard others remark that the plants were small but had well developed root systems. This was not true in the plants I received. Also, one of the artemisia was brown and crunchy, but it did have a little green showing, so I planted it anyway. Time will tell if it survives.

I have given HCG a neutral rating for the tiny plants, undeveloped root systems, and the HIGH prices in comparison to other companies that I have ordered from.

On August 12th, 2005, littlekitty added the following:

The artemisia I ordered in May is still alive but is all of one inch tall and not growing at all. The other 2 artemisia I ordered at the same time are thriving as well as the agastache and prairie dropseed.My rating remains the same although I do find myself drawn to their website and waterwise plants.
Positive norska
(12 reviews)
On May 24, 2005, norska Ellicott City, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I ordered three agave and a yucca from HCG. The plants arrived very quickly, in less than 10 days, and were very well packaged. But I was concerned about their size, as another reviewer said previously.

I just repotted one agave last night, and the root system on it is fantastic! I was wondering why the plastic pot seemed like it was bulging - I think the Queen Victoria was getting ready to break out and search for a larger pot by itself! I was VERY impressed, considering what you normally get with cacti and succulents (like at big box stores, where it looks like someone did a cutting and plopped it in a pot just before putting it on the shelf - what roots??) Then I read the reviews on GW and see a company rep explaining their agave plants. I can't wait to get the other three planted in my garden!

Positive hollypi
(2 reviews)
On May 15, 2005, hollypi Littleton, CO wrote:

My experience with HCG spans 7 years, and many orders later, my garden is absolutely beautiful. I have never lost a single plant, and each shipment arrives in good condition. The rubber bands are easy to cut off (why would anyone wrestle off a rubber band instead of just cutting it off?) and the bags help the soil to stay where it belongs during shipping.

Even if the tops look a little travel weary, the roots are strong, and they are usually full-size by the beginning of the second season in my heavy clay infested yard. I imagine some folks kill theirs with kindness, assuming by their initial impression that the plant is suffering. Put 'em in the ground, water them in, and leave them alone! You can't believe the conditions they can endure. A little ride on a UPS truck is nothing!

I have friends in Albuquerque and travel down from Denver several times per year. At least once every summer I stop in Santa Fe to see the HCG display gardens and check out the green houses. What a beautiful place! Everyone is so friendly.

During the past 40 years of gardening, I have always enjoyed mail ordering my hard-to-find selections. I was very pleased to discover HCG, because they have been the best by far for quality and cost. This company does it right!

Positive Northeastern
(5 reviews)
On May 3, 2005, Northeastern Weymouth, MA wrote:

This is the first time I have ordered from this company. I received a very healthy looking shipment of plants

Negative lego_brickster
(14 reviews)
On May 2, 2005, lego_brickster Lawrenceville, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is the first time I have used HCG, and I just received my order. Overall a positive experience, however I will point out these issues:

The plants are tiny. Granted they all arrived in good health and were as described in their catalog. However I was shocked to have paid $6 for an agave measuring no more than one inch tall, and having only four leaves. The other plants I ordered were all equally small.

I am not fond of their practice of rubber-banding the plastic bag around the stem of the plants for shipping. Agreed that the plants did arrive intact, but it made unpacking very difficult and hard to wrestle the rubberband back off without hurting the plant.

To end on a positive note, there was ample notice via email when the order was going to arrive. I like that they sent the tracking number to me so I could know which day to be home to get the package.

On August 11th, 2005, lego_brickster changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

A 90 day replacement period is far too short. My own fault I suppose, for not calling in for replacements sooner, but life sometimes gets busy.
Every plant from my order this year (with exception of that one tiny but very well rooted agave) has died.
We had to keep them indoors longer than we thought - we had some late freezes this year - and one by one they just shriveled up without ever putting out a single new leaf.

I want to give High Country the benefit of the doubt, but with a near 100% mortality and no more than 90 days to report it, it's hard to see them positively.
On May 2, 2005, High Country Gardens responded with:


On May 4, 2005 12:49 PM, High Country Gardens added:

Thank you for the positive rating. All of us at High Country Gardens pride ourselves in providing the best plants, shipping and customer service.

Agave's are slow growing native plants that are often not as impressive in pots as other more vigorous non-native plants like Shasta daisies. After reading the comment about our Agave, Inge, our senior cacti grower, wanted to communicate that our crop of Agave parryi have taken 24 months of careful care to get from seed to shipping size. She added, "look at the root system."

For many native plants and large tap rooted perennials, the quality of the plants are in the well developed root system not the top growth. Strong healthy roots are the key for a plant to successfully transplant and thrive in the garden.

Positive sanitycheck
(2 reviews)
On Apr 29, 2005, sanitycheck wrote:

I have ordered from this company on several occasions. I ordered a columbine early this spring which was delivered in great shape. About the same time i emailed HCG to tell them a columbine i ordered last year had not survived and i was disssapointed. Somehow in the the translation i confused them, so they replaced the columbine from last year and also sent a second columbine that i ordered this year. I felt bad so i called and told them i would gladly pay for the columbine, they said to keep it, not a problem. I have found many companys that wont even answer an email let alone replace a year old plan. HCG was more than willing to replace it even when i felt i had caused the confussion. They will continue to get my buisness.

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