On Mar 19, 2012, virginiarose Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Well this is my first order with HCG, I was a little disapointed with the size of a plant I ordered. I sent a picture and they offered me my money back or a bigger shrub in April, so I took the new shrub. I do like the selection of plants on this website and plan to do more business. I appreciate the prompt way they handled the problem and the customer service is terrific.
On Mar 17, 2012, echinaceamaniac (Clint) Medina, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:
Posted on February 20, 2012, updated March 17, 2012
Posted on May 28, 2010, updated February 20, 2012
Posted on March 13, 2009, updated May 28, 2010
I ordered a Hesperaloe parviflora 'Yellow' and it was shipped exactly when I requested it to be shipped. The plant is very healthy and in a larger pot than expected. It also already has offshoots at the base. It looks as good as a plant I bought locally last year (the red variety of the same plant) and the price is very competitive, including the shipping costs!
I would very highly recommend this company. I'm impressed. Thanks for the good service!
On April 3rd, 2009, echinaceamaniac added the following:
I just received another order and they did it again! They ship it when promised. Thanks again!On May 28th, 2010, echinaceamaniac added the following:
I received my plants yesterday. Both Echinacea "Pica Bella" had buds on them already. Sure, the shipping caused the plants to not be perfect, but that is understandable. I have ordered from High Country Gardens several times now and all my orders with them have been positive experiences.On February 20th, 2012, echinaceamaniac added the following:
I received my latest order of Delosperma 'Fire Spinner' and Red Yucca 'Brake Lights.' Both look great. High Country Gardens is top notch in my book!On March 17th, 2012, echinaceamaniac added the following:
I ordered a Delosperma collection and it came in perfect condition. Their packaging is among the best I've ever seen. I just hope they don't switch to coco pots like Bluestone did. Thanks for the great service!
I have visited their nursery/greenhouses in Santa Fe and ordered plants from them. Their demonstration garden is gorgeous.
Last summer (2011), I ordered Silver Buffalo Berry bushes and only lost one due to neglect. The plants came with soil and were very healthy. Shipping was fast. Luckily their climate is similar to our climate in Flagstaff, in fact we get more moisture, so growing here is a little easier.
I highly recommend this company to all my neighbors and people I work with. They are a great company to get hard-to-find natives.
I just found HCG this year and placed my first order for 3 Amaryllis bulbs that were discounted. I was told the bulbs would be small because they were discounted but I have been trying for 2 years to get this particular variety so I agreed and expected 3 small bulbs. They arrived within the week and were the biggest bulbs I have ever received. I was thrilled and I'm anxiously waiting for them to bloom.
I will order from them again when I find something I am looking for.
A very satisfied customer in Abilene Texas.
On Feb 7, 2012, kkirschbaum Yonkers, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
I was surprised to see that HCG gets somewhat mixed reviews on here, and then I realized that though I have ordered from them several times a year since 2007 I had yet to contribute a review. I am a fan of this nursery. I've never visited them, but I like the ethos of their catalogue. Westchester County NY would hardly be considered a xeric place, but I garden on a hilly site facing south and east (and never water once a plant is established so everything in my garden needs to survive on rainwater). Their selection of water thrifty plants is very useful for my site. I've been happy with the success rate of most things I ordered from HCG. Have plants died? Yes -- but unless the plant dies shortly after arrival (or arrives in bad shape) I find it hard to blame the nursery. Plants are living things and by their very nature this means they all die eventually. Part of my flexibility on this point is that I've experimented with plants from HCG that are offered with the caveat that the plants are better for the arid West, and when those don't make it I especially feel it unfair to complain. Amazingly an impressive number of these Western plants have survived (Chamaebatiera millifolium, Hesperaloe parviflora) or even thrived (Tagetes lemmonii, Philadelphus lewisii) for me. In general I find HCG's service is very good -- I always select my ship date, and have never had a problem with plants not arriving as expected. The packaging is usually great, so I haven't had problems with plants arriving in bad shape. In fact, this year I ordered another round of Agastache rupestris and was pleased that HCG changed their policy and didn't cut the plants back before shipping. I had a 100% success rate getting those established whereas in the past I always lost some. I always look forward to seeing what's new at HCG. I find their catalogues inspiring, and I like that they are unafraid to offer unusual varieties. I think many complaints on this board are from people whose expectations are a bit unrealistic. If price is really a big issue for you or if you get ruffled if a mailorder plant arrives looking jostled, then maybe you are the kind of customer better served by shopping at a local garden center or the big box stores. I've had plenty of bad mailorder plant experiences with other companies -- plants arriving dead, plants arriving bare root without that having been clear in the sales pitch, wrong plants, shipments gone awol without any tracking -- but I can heartily say that HCG is not among the bad mailorder companies.
On Jan 28, 2012, louis1933 Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
I have been buying from High Country Garden ever since they started. IN FACT MY ORIGINAL CUSTOMER WAS IN THE LOW TWO DIGITS. I have only praise for their plant selection and plant quality; also their soil amendments are very good. This is the ideal place to find plants and fertilizers for the front range of Colorado. Here in Colorado Springs these garden essentials are hard to find LOCAL NURSERIES ARE FEW AND MOST STOCK PLANTS NOT ARE SUITABLE FOR THIS PLANT HARDINESS ZONE AND SOIL TYPES FOIND AROUND COLORADO SPRINGS; MAKING HIGH COUNTRY GARDENS A VERY VALUABLE ASSET.
On Jan 15, 2012, oldCTgardener Glastonbury, CT wrote:
On several occasions I have ordered plants from High Country Gardens.. The ones that I ordered in spite of their recommendations to the contrary (suited for only western gardens) did eventually die (as I expected, I like to push the envelope) but the others did well, and are doing well. I will continue to order from them. Their plants are vigorous and well-packaged. They have always arrived in top condition.
On Dec 6, 2011, Sandwichkatexan Copperas Cove, TX wrote:
I love these people , This is my third year ordering from them and I have never had a problem . They offer gallon sized plants on a lot of their yuccas and agaves , Love that ! Everything I have ordered from them is now huge in my garden and thriving , Even the little 5 in premium pot items . Just placed my order for two brakelight hesperaloes and one agave all gallon sized and the fact they let you choose your delivery date is simply unheard of in mail order nurseries I recommend them to anyone .
On Nov 10, 2011, jerrytate Lake Charles, LA wrote:
agaves were my interest with this company. i placed my first order last week and received it today. that's good. i ordered 10 agave parryi that were on sale for $3.50. that's real good. i called to place an order by phone with a credit card and it took a bit of time as the sale prices were not what they had on their end. the plants arrived and i could here movement when i tilted the box. not good. upon opening the overly complicated packing the plants were in excellent condition with only 2 damaged leaves. very good for shipping agave. i think the packaging was overkill. for a small rootbound agave (which is OK) i see no reason to use rubberbands to keep a piece of foam to cover the top of the soil. more should have been done to keep the plants from moving in the box. i've received many agave from other on-line nurseries that use newspaper. the plants were very well grown and for $3.50 a great value. i will order from this nursery again, and other than the packaging techniques, i give it a positive rating.
The plants are usually seedlings, so they will take years to grow like the pictures. I was disappointed last year when I got my first yucca rostrata. This year, it's growing and I now like getting small plants and watching them grow. I wish they could all be premium or one gallon size. I've ordered about five times, and I usually moderately pleased.
I would recommend HCG, but realize the plants are small.
On Oct 20, 2011, rinomanfroni Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on October 12, 2011, updated October 20, 2011
I am very happy with this company!
Because the plants HCG ships are very tiny, I really suggest anybody (especially if you live in Texas) to buy plants from High Country Garden in the Fall because they will be able to create a good root system during fall and winter before the summer heat begins. Plus the plants are so tiny that you better buy them early if you want them to become something during the next growing season!
Here are the problems I found with the following plants:
1) Helianthemum nummularium 'Burgundy Dazzler' (Standard Pot)
It was out of stock and I received a refund very promptly without even asking anything about it.
2) Hymenoxys scaposa (Standard Pot)
This one died when I planted it in the ground. I believe it was too small (in fact it was a tiny little seedling). I already made a replacement request through their online form 2 days ago. I did not receive a confirmation email about the submission of the replacement request, but I hope they will send me a replacement soon.
3) Lavandula stoechas 'Madrid Blue' PP# 12,573 (Premium Pot)
I hoped this one was going to survive, instead it died just like all the other lavanders I bought at other stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. I really discourage people from buying lavender plants in North Texas because it seems like they do not like the humidity in the air here. Once a lavender feels stressed even a little bit, there is no return, it is doomed to die and there is nothing that can be done. So, I consider this as simply an experiment and I did not ask for a replacement plant. The best lavender plants to buy in Texas are those they sell in your local stores in 2-gallon pots or bigger. They are better prepared for standing our climate.
All the other plants are doing fabulously, and I can't wait for next Spring to see them bloom!
On October 20th, 2011, rinomanfroni added the following:
Wow! Today I not only received the replacement plant for the Hymenoxys scaposa, but I also received another Hymenoxys acaulis! They thought about making sure that I ended up at least with a Hymenoxys alive if ever the scaposa will not make it again!
Thank you so much High Country Garden! The other plants are still doing super great! Let's see how they are going to tolerate the upcoming unpredictable Texas Winter season!
On Oct 18, 2011, Delightful_Dawn Altus, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered some Kniphofia Caulescens last spring. They arrived as promised in Oct. They were in wonderful shape and larger than I expected them to be. This was a good shopping experience. I will buy from them again.
I've purchased plants from High Country Gardens several times and always been happy with the results. The resources and information available on their website are extensive and the time or two that I've needed additional help, it has been easy to reach a knowledgeable person. I'm a very happy customer, in Maryland.
I purchased two Agastche from High Country Gardens. I have purchased from them many times over the years and have Always been satisfied with the plants that arrived. They have always been good sized plants and in good condition.
This time I ran into a problem. One of the plants that arrived was already shriveled up and drooping badly. The other plant was fine. I went ahead and watered both plants and kept them in the garage for a day. The second day I put them out in a shady area and kept them watered. The plant that was shrivled still looked bad, the other one was great. The next day I planted both of them. What I found was that the shrivled plant didn't have any soil in the bottom half of the pot. This is why it was doing so bad. It didn't have any root system to speak of due to the air space in the pot. I contacted HCG and they have sent me a new plant to replace the other one. That's the way a vendor should answer a problem and that's why I still think HCG is the number one vendor for plants. Overall good product and standing behind what they sell makes them A+ in my book.
This is the first time I bought from HCG that I was not satisfied. Two of my 8 plants arrived with the soil spewed out into the box, and one of them has half of the young stems completely dead. Also, I had ordered root stimulator to help with planting and it was not in the shipping box. Not sure if it was sent separately as no communication indicated that. I have a feeling they forgot it.
YET ... the 6 other plants in the box [lavenders] all look full, healthy and robust.
Living in NY, I think I probably will stick to more local growers in the future.
On Sep 24, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Sep 27, 2011 11:08 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
So sorry that some of your plants arrived in less than optimal condition and that a product was missing from the box. We are happy to replace them for you at no charge. You are correct the Root Stimulator Combo Pack should have arrived with your plants. I would like the opportunity to rectify this situation and make sure that you are satisfied. I would like to make sure you get your root stimulator and new plants. Please contact me directly, by phone or email with your order number, at your convenience so I can take care of this for you. Thank you for your business, our goal is your gardening success!
I was majorly disappointed with High Country Gardens after getting a personal referral on them from a local gardening friend.
I ordered $40 of plant stock and $10 of seed. High Country said they would pic the dates for shipping, this is always a bit of a problem as it requires you to be ready to receive the plants and get them situated the day they come in. But at least their order processing web site gives expected ship dates which seemed pretty cool.
The plants were shipped per their production and fullfillment dates, in the worst heat in the summer, via UPS, no doubt in trailers running 150 degrees inside or more. Three of 4 plants came in green but lost their leaves within 2 days of receipt while being kept inside in filtered light at a warm but not hot window location. The 4th plant came in August and it was still record breaking heat, and met with a slightly protracted fate as it took 5 days for it to expire. I can not for the life of me figure out why they sell plants to ship to Texas in the summer, and it humbles me for being so stupid as to do business with anyone who thinks that shipping plants via motorcarrier across west TX in June and August is a good idea. I guess I was sucked in by them knowing what ship dates were best.
I sent an email to customer service regarding my dissatisfaction with the fried plants, and it was returned by Rocque Ranaldi a Customer Service Representative of High Country Gardens with instructions on how I could drop my email on further receipt of catalogs by clicking on unsubscribe at the bottom of the message.
I have a suspicion that customer service is contracted out into India, based on a conversation I had on the phone, and terse the email response which did not seem to have a clue of the nature of the request and smacks of a poor linguistic connection.
I felt that a xeriscape supplier in NM was worth dealing with for my TX xeriscape settings as they had taken the time to categorize plants that would be good for my area, and I guess I just expected too much.
Even though the plants were listed for summer shipment, I was aghast that they would ship in this weather versus at least give me an option to take them later in the summer after the heat wave. To a large extent I can live with the lack of control on this kind of thing, and take it as a lesson learned. However, I feel that the customer service connection here is substandard, and I do not wish to participate with it. The good news is that while I am entering into the Xeriscape area I continue to be interested and that I am now seeking out a local company to do business with and set that as my standard. I don't care what it costs, its getting viable plants that I want, not to have my time and money wasted, borderline rudeness, not to mention frustration and disappointment. The later is not why I garden, and quite frankly, I am not used to experiencing it.
While I am VERY saddened to have seen the passing of Wayside Gardens and Park Seed. My experience here does nothing for the source company nor the industry, and really should not be tolerated.
I AM happy that they included this link in their customer response and I AM thankful for that as it gives me a wonderful community to exchange seeds and growing knowledge, so that alone may well have been worth the 50 bucks spent and lost on this order with High Country Gardens.
On Sep 20, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Sep 20, 2011 1:26 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
One of the things so many of our customers love is that we do give you the option to select your own ship week. Ship weeks can be changed if needed.
I would appreciate the opportunity to get a new order sent to you when the time is right for you.
On Sep 15, 2011, WilsonCWW North Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:
Ordered a few plants from them during summer of '11. They delivered them towards the end of summer as stated. All plants but one arrived in good condition. One of the plants was wilted and pretty much dead. I contacted the company and within a week I already had a replacement for it. Overall I'm satisfied. It's been a few weeks and the plants seem to be doing well so far. I'd order from them again.
On Aug 31, 2011, anitamacey Atascadero, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on July 26, 2011, updated August 31, 2011
Seems that High Country gardens has gotten way TOO BIG. They did not ship my plants as advised on my order. I finally managed to contact them by live chat and my plants are shipping a week late.
All phone lines are always busy for hours on end.
I have been a customer since they first opened to mail order back in the early 90's and I am VERY DISAPPOINTED.
On August 31st, 2011, anitamacey added the following:
One of my plants was to ship on Aug 22 2011. As yet I have not heard about the plant now has it been delivered.
They have wonderful plants but I will be ordering elsewhere.On Aug 31, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Aug 5, 2011 10:46 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you and address your concerns. As a result of your comment we have made positive changes in our customer service phone. I am glad we were able to immediately ship your plant order. We look forward to serving you in the future.
On Aug 24, 2011, Patmisty1 College Park, MD wrote:
I love this company. Had nothing but positive experience. Plants arrive health. If planted promptly and nurtured the first year they thrive.
Just placed my third order with them. I live in a relatively wet part of the country. Maryland, and look for plants that will do well here and have used plants for areas that are hot and dry.
I have just put my third order with High Country Gardens. In the past I have ordered thir Legacy buffalo grass plugs to be installed in a side yard as well as some perennials. Today I ordered 2 flats of the Bella plugs for my small front yard. In the past I have been most impressed with the packaging, prompt delivery as well as the detailed instructions for successful planting results. I am very pleased with their xeric efforts and especially impressed with the ability of their turf to easily adapt to the climate in northern Illinois.
Posted on July 14, 2010, updated July 25, 2011
We've been ordering from HCG for several years and were never disappointed until this year. Very sloppy packing caused many plants to arrive without dirt or labels. They were very good about replacing or crediting all of the ones that did not make it (which is why this is not a negative rating), and those were packed properly, but the overall quality of most their plants (including many of the replacements) is not as good as it has been in the past. Very disappointed. Maybe they've gotten too big or made some poor hiring decisions? Hope they get their act together soon. We miss the old HCG.
On July 25th, 2011, phdler changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Last year HCG was very good about replacing plants so I changed my original negative to a neutral and decided to give them another chance this spring.
The plants were well packed but arrived in very poor condition and one was very small and yellowed. We planted them carefully, hoping they would pick up -- some were planted with the same plant ordered from elsewhere. ALL of the HCG plants from this year have died while the same ones from elsewhere are thriving. In addition, four of their plants from last year did not survive. I will no longer order plants from HCG as I am far happier with my other sources. On Jul 25, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Jul 14, 2010 2:01 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We are glad you have already contacted customer service and have processed your claim. We appreciate your feedback and are looking into some of the process changes that took place this season. Most of our growing shipping crew has been with the company for multiple years and we take the same care as in the past. We strive to continue to be the leaders in plant quality, shipping and handling and offer the best customer service. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.
On Jul 26, 2011 10:24 AM, High Country Gardens added:
Many of the plants High Country Gardens carries are for arid (dry) conditions. We mark these plants for folks in rainy areas so if they purchase them they do not plant them in the same beds as moisture loving plants. High Country Gardens does have plant specialists available to assist with any questions or concerns. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you, as there are a few things that could have caused the yellowing of plants and we would like to explore some solutions with you.
Posted on August 26, 2010, updated July 21, 2011
I placed my first order with HCG this past Spring, all plants arrived looking healthy. After planting everything still looked good, however, 1 plant did not make it. I e-mailed HCG for a replacement, they said it was just past their summer shipping deadline, they would replace it in the Fall, or add it to my next order. I asked for the plant to be replaced in the Fall. I didn't intend to order from them until next Spring, I wanted to see how everything came through the Winter. However, the Fall catalog came, and well....you know how that goes...
Anyway, the replacement came today, looks great, and I'm anxious to see how all the plants fare this winter. I hope they do well, I had a great experience with HCG, and if all goes well with the plants, I WILL be ordering from them again.
On July 21st, 2011, stanlesmith changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Although I still think highly of HCG, I would not recommend them for zone4 and colder. Some of the plants I ordered came back, but not enough to warrent ordering more. Living in WI; I knew it was a crapshoot...sigh...
I am sorry to say it, but the refund process is so difficult with this company that even though I have used them for several years, I no longer will.
I sent in two orders and they got one entirely wrong. I complained about it but they said they had sent the right plants. They were not in good condition and finally died. However the refund process requires so much information, and you can't put but 2 plants on a page that it is very cumbersome.
If they can make some changes to their process I'd be glad to use them again because they specialize in the type of plants I need. My yard is full of them, but I no longer can recommend the company.
On Jun 24, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 24, 2011 3:45 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and will work to improve the online claim process in the near future. I see you did contact us for your claim and that it was processed today. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or additional feedback.
On Jun 30, 2011 3:28 PM, High Country Gardens added:
Customer Service and exceptional plant quality is what we strive for each and every day. Here at High Country Gardens we have taken your concern to heart in regards to the online claim form and have been working hard at making improvements. We hope you take a moment to see the improvements: http://www.highcountrygardens.com/claim/. If you find these changes satisfactory enough to update your post, it would be greatly appreciated. We look forward to your serving you in the future!
Posted on March 30, 2006, updated June 19, 2011
I love High Country Gardens; their plants, website and service! I received my first order Spring 2005 and everyone of the 8 plants were very healthy, nice and packed well. All the plants grew well and all but 1 (Penstemon pinifolius) bloomed last summer, and I'm sure I'll be seeing blooms on it this summer. I bought Salvias, Agastaches, a Penstemon, a Stachys and a Lavender. I already have another order coming soon and it won't be my last. Highly recommended!
On May 12th, 2006, Marilynbeth added the following:
I recieved my plants yesterday and they look great, if fact one of them (Agastache Orange Flare) was blooming in the box! I was able to get 4 of the 6 planted yesterday in a break from all the rainy days we are getting. Really nice healthy looking plants!
A great company to order from!On March 13th, 2007, Marilynbeth added the following:
I've received 6 to 8 boxes of garden goods already this year, which included the following items........
Planters II (Natural Trace Mineral Fertilizer), Yum Yum Mix® 2-2-2 Organic Fertilizer, Soil Mender Humate, Saltwater Farms Sea Com-PGR Organic Seaweed Concentrate, Compost Tea, 10 to 12 bags of 10 Qt. Fertilome Potting Soil, Dramm Pattern Revolver Sprinkler, 2 in 1 English Sieve, English Steel Sieve with 1/2' Expanded Metal Mesh, 2 bags of Soil Moist™ Water Holding Crystals and a Paint Marking Pen by Faber.
Great company to order from! Next month, I'm looking forward to the 18 or more plants from them. This will be my 3rd year (but not my last) buying from them and planting their plants!
On June 19th, 2011, Marilynbeth added the following:
I've ordered every year since my first order in Spring of 2005. In fact, I've ordered several times or more each year. I'm always very happy with each order.
They're my first place I go to for plants each year. Since 2005, I've been mainly ordering Agastaches and Salvias and Xeric plants they offer.
I order more than just plants from HCG. I garden organically and have been ordering the organic garden goods they offer for the soil and plants.
They have a customer for life with me! I first found out about HCG when I read an article in a Fine Gardening magazine in the Spring of 2005 about them and the Agastaches they were growing and selling and I was instantly hooked! Highly recommended!
If this is their idea of customer service, I'll be moving on. I was trying to order a catalog for my niece, who has just moved to a new house in New Mexico and solicited my advice on landscaping. I immediately thought of High Country Gardens. Well, their site would not let me send the order because my email address was wrong. After three tries with three different emails, I gave up and called the catalog department. They don't deal with customers, so the call goes to a voice mail drop box. Then I tried customer service, with the same experience. Finally, I decided to call their store in Santa Fe. After making it through their mail tree, I was dropped into a voice mail box. I have better things to do with my time than play games.
Also there is something wrong with their website. All plants listed on the initial page are listed as $29.94, which is outrageous for what they are selling. When I went to the full description page for Echinacea purpurea Pow Wow 'Wild Berry', it is only $8.99.
Seems to be a once great company falling apart.
On Jun 15, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 15, 2011 2:43 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
My apologies you were not able to place your order online. We are working on our website. Our call volume has been high today. Messages left with customer service are returned promptly. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to place an order or if you have any questions. Toll free 1-877-811-2700 ext. 3023.
I ordered about 30 plants at HCG's end of season sale, my first order with this company. Plants arrived quickly (I did expedited delivery as I am in the opposite corner of the country) in excellent condition. Small, but healthy and robust looking plants, well packed in a manner that is easy to unpack. I couldn't be more pleased. I mail order plants regularly, and will expect to use HCG again.
I have dealt with HCG many times in the past, and have never had a bad shopping experience. A couple weeks ago, I ordered a buddleia alternifolia, and never got a shipping notification. After about a week, I emailed asking for status and Maureen told me my order had somehow slipped through the cracks (that can happen - I ordered via website on a Sat, during a busy busy busy month). She said it would ship immediately with free expedited so I would get it as soon as possible.
When I explained that we are now in 90F days here in GA, she agreed to cancel and refund, instead. The refund hit my account the very next day. I'll be ordering my buddleia in the fall when our temps go back down - not just because HCG is the only reputable place I've ever found it for sale, but because I know this most recent snafu was an anomaly, not the norm. They are hands-down one of the best internet nurseries in the business, in my opinion.
My order was placed in April.. In late May, I inquired the status and learned it was "lost in hyperspace".. and that it would be shipped in June... That date has come and gone with no word and no response to two emails. In the meantime, I continue to get notices that I might buy the very items I paid for at 1/2 of the price.
On Jun 1, 2011, COgardener2675 Fort Collins, CO wrote:
Beautiful packaging. Plants arrive safely cocooned. Love the plants in the premium containers. The root systems are twice the size of regular containers. Very healthy plants. Love their on-line sales and catalog filled with tips.
Posted on May 12, 2011, updated May 17, 2011
Although my communications and shipping "experience" shopping with HCG was positive---no problems there---for me, it's all about the plants. What I received was "almost" what I expect from a reputable mail-order source---well rooted young plants with healthy foliage.
With a little TLC, hopefully these plants will recover and go on to become robust, healthy plants. Hence, my "neutral" rating---the plant material could have been better.
On May 17th, 2011, plympton changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Well---after planting the penstemon and gaura I purchased from HCG, I was so impressed with the abundance of roots in the premium containers that I thought I'd come back and upgrade my rating from a "neutral" to a "positive". I see that a company rep has beat me to it and has provided a good explanation for what I received :-)
The day I received my order from HCG, I also received two other orders---one from a Top 30 company and one from one that should be. Of the three orders, one had small plants with no roots---they were barely rooted cuttings in an oversized pot, the second, the plants from HCG in the condition as described above and the third were large, robust plants in excellent condition from another nursery.
As I evaluated them, I naturally felt a "negative" for the one order with small plants/no roots and a resounding "positive" for the order with the large plants. That left me with a "neutral" for the HCG order. However, upon planting them out, I found the root structure to be so well developed that I felt obliged to come back and upgrade my review. On May 17, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On May 13, 2011 3:59 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We put great effort into growing plants that transplant well and take off in your garden. We are in zone 5, (it was -20degrees in February) and we grow our plants cold without a lot of heat so they are strong and flourish in your garden. The amount of leaves and stems on spring grown perennials is not a determining factor of plant quality, it’s the crown and roots that make a great perennial. Please note: many western native plants begin waking up much later than common perennials.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
On May 19, 2011 2:32 PM, High Country Gardens added:
Howdy, plympton! Thanks so much for your diligent feedback. Because we know there may be other customers out there who are a little surprised by the lack of showiness in their plants when they arrive in our High Country Gardens boxes, we thought we'd take the chance to build on your experience and comments and put together this short video explaining the different growing habits of various plants. Hopefully this will give customers the encouragement they need to give plants that look a little anemic upon arrival the chance to impress and wow them, just as you did.
Ditto the comments from others regarding plant size and - I hate to say it - health of the plants. The plants I received about 6 weeks ago are still struggling to get established, and I fear I may lose a couple of them. I'll probably be able to check on the refund/replacement guarantee and will update if that happens. That said, they are certainly not the smallest or weakest plants I've ever received from a mail order nursery.
On the positive side, prices at HCG are some of the best. They offer many unusual, hard-to-find things. Especially love their focus on xeric and natives, something other nurseries should offer...considering the state of our planet. Will update status of plants in a couple of weeks.