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Comments regarding High Country Gardens

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489 positives
46 neutrals
72 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Positive RevWhitebeard
(1 review)
On Jun 17, 2015, RevWhitebeard Riverhead, NY wrote:

Ordered big. Over $200 in plants. Some came that were so tiny, I doubted the survival. Two months later, all good. The soil and potting treatment the plants come with are all fine. For me, the smaller size made for much easier planting on a slope that is difficult to work. Now I'm thinking it's more up to me, God, and the environment than for the nursery. You might be able to find similar cultivars for less, but HCG does make it easier.

Positive SpringPeeper
(4 reviews)
On Jun 12, 2015, SpringPeeper Willows, CA wrote:

I was happy with the plants I got from them, neat varieties I didn't see elsewhere and an excellent selection of xeric plants. They arrived in good shape and stood up well to transplanting. I would order from them again.

Positive phat10
(3 reviews)
On Apr 24, 2015, phat10 O Fallon, MO wrote:

This is the first time I ordered from High Country Gardens. I placed 2 different orders. The 1st one was scheduled to be delivered the week of April 6. On April 2 I received an email informing me that the order was going to be delayed because one of the plants needed a little more time for the root system to develope. I was given the option of picking a substitute, but I chose to wait. The order arrived the following week, and the plants were all healthy with very well developed roots. The 2nd order was shipped the following week, and those plants were also in excellent condition. I was very pleased that they did not want to send me a plant that was not fully developed. It shows that they care about the quality of their plants. I will definitely order from them again.

Positive pspoftelluride
(1 review)
On Feb 20, 2015, pspoftelluride Telluride, CO wrote:

High Country Gardens is a marvelous source of xeriscape plants. High altitude gardening in Telluride is always a challenge, and their plants have performed beautifully. I've had marvelous success with their Eriogonum and Helianthemum. These are not easy to find plants in my experience. Customer service is outstanding: super friendly and super knowledgable. Thanks High Country!

Positive topgunja
(3 reviews)
On Dec 30, 2014, topgunja Tempe, AZ wrote:

I am an experienced, avid (ok, addicted ) gardener who has ordered from at least 9 different online plant nurseries (though I still source the majority of my plants locally; I rarely currently propagate) over the past 15 + years. This would include roughly 500 plants now from HCG, 2nd only to Annie’s Annuals & Perennials, where I have ordered maybe 1500 plants over the same time period (but also have the ability to source from nearly year round). So I have experienced HCG through the ups & downs and believe I have “some” background with other nurseries for comparison purposes. I now wholeheartedly feel that HCG is on the way back up—perhaps eclipsing where they were before.

Since I routinely source online websites for new information (and HCG’s catalogs—both written & online—have always been among the best), I just happened upon the initial closure of HCG the day it was posted, now over 2 plus yrs ago. I shared this with several bookwriters & other nurseryfolk I occasionally converse with, and they were as taken aback by this as I was--though there was quite a bit evidence of this unraveling over the previous yr. Up until sometime in early ’11 perhaps, I had noticed that HCG plant & order quality—though I never had any major prior problems—seemed to be gradually improving. Plant size & breadth were increasing, as was shipping quality & responsiveness. But that-along with numerous technical difficulties—seemed to all but disappear over the next yr. Thought I never got the read that HCG was previously an extremely high customer oriented company, they did appear to try to address the problems that I had experienced. Then the shutdown announcement posted on their website. A notable new Mexico businessman & plantsman I have befriended helped to put this in perspective—it seemed that HCG had been hit by the quadruple whammy: 1) a downtown in the national as well as the local New Mexico economy, already a relatively poor state that relies heavily on government contractural income 2) several seasons of increased drought, resulting in some areas of more watering or planting restrictions 3) Increased competition from the local big box suppliers 4) perhaps some overextension on the retail store/trade side, at the same time these other factors were occurring let to HCG’s downfall. I had the sense the Salmon’s—who had an overall ~ 29 yr history here—likely did all they could to resolve this situation on the hope and belief they could at least salvage some of this.

I share this because I believe it is important to know that—though was a period the previous owners (and thereby customers) had experienced numerous difficulties--the entity that took over any remaining assets & runs all this now is a COMPLETELY different established, successful company (though I believe they were wise to retain David as a consultant--his many accomplishments are well known in industry circles).

I learned how different early on when I went to place my first order. I was quickly called on the phone by a service representative of the company who simply wanted to let me know I had ordered some zone 8 plants for my low desert zone 9 clime. I quickly explained that the order was intentional, I either had extensive prior successful experience with the genus or a related plant and/or had set up appropriate microclimes to increase success. He then said he just wanted to be sure, as they offered a full year, full return quarantee. I politely told him that I considerend the loss of any plant I had in the ground more than a couple days to be completely on me. I rec’d the same call by a rep on a 2nd order. Above & beyond, IMO. Interestingly, in addition, as I was writing the company, the President (as it pertains to this division I believe) himself, Ethan Platt, responded directly. We had a couple nice exchanges. What impressed me the most about him—was not only that he took his valuable time to write a customer (and at that time, they likely did not know my lengthy multi-annual order history, as nearly all their customer files had to be restored, including mine subsequent to this) but that he was very CANDID in letting me know they they had implemented many of the necessary changes and were hoping to even exceed where they were before, but that there may still be some growing pains, He politely asked for my understanding & patience, indicating most would likely be solved by the next Spring. Though I typically complete most of my planting by early Fall to increase my chances of success, I decided to place a couple more small orders. And sure enough, with each successive order, I saw an improvement in quality.

HCG is a nurseryman’s nursery. As one example, I would visit noted plantsman, nurseryman & successful bookwriter Gregg Starr in Tucson and found he was enamored with HCG plants & selection. They were the only plants he would display or provide outside of his own extensive SW native succulent stock. In his own plantings, he would attractively intermingle HCG plants. I highly believe that the more drought tolerant, more native larval & “pollinator extraordinare” style plants that HCG propagates/supplies are the gradual wave of the future. One day there may be more selective enforcement of these types of plants.
Though I hope it is the rare natural beauty these plants provide that ultimately necessitates that switch instead; once you have patience & discover the breadth of offerings and beauty these beneficial plants provide, I believe you will be hooked. I am certainly not suggesting you give HCG a shot for these reasons alone; this is a suggestion that you strongly consider (or reconsider) HCG as it is an entirely new entity that appears to be working very hard, as evidenced by their many repeated efforts with me, to once again become a top notch service company providing an array of beautiful plants that are hard to find in this quantity elsewhere.

This is an unsolicited endorsement that unfortunately has taken me way too long to free up and to write.


On Dec 30, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Dec 31, 2014 9:46 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Topgunja - Happy New Year! Thank you so much for taking the time to convey your experiences with us. We really appreciate your business and love to be able to provide people like you with unique plants you won't find anywhere else.

Here's to great gardening success (and maybe a bit more rain?) in 2015!

Best, Ethan"


Positive Charwhitten
(1 review)
On Oct 8, 2014, Charwhitten Apopka, FL wrote:

Ordered daffodils. Bulbs arrived in a timely manner and are the biggest, prettiest bulbs I've ever seen!

Liked my experience with High Country Gardens so much that I have now ordered blue grape hyacinth bulbs from them. Can't wait for Spring to see these yellow daffodils bordered with the grape hyacinths, under my white flowering dogwood trees! Should be gorgeous!

Also, got a very cordial email response from their Customer Service Representative, Leigh. So, my experiences with this company have been very positive and I would certainly do business with them again.

Positive lopesgw
(1 review)
On Sep 26, 2014, lopesgw Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

I had a couple of plants I'd purchased which failed to thrive; not only did wonderful Customer Service rep Leigh get in touch with David Salman to ask questions, but she also replaced the items after it was determined that was the right course to take! Leigh was consistently cordial, dealt exceptionally competently with the intricacies of my situation, and was prompt and efficient! I can't say enough about the customer service at High Country Gardens! A few years ago, when the company was sold and Ethan Platt took charge, there were some tough moments as much change and new processes were worked out. HCG is even better than before, and their highly responsive and thorough customer service is the main reason I am a loyal customer! The plants are wonderful, but the people who stand behind them are even more so! Thanks HCG, and especially Leigh, for making me feel I am a valued customer, one whom you all encourage as I stumble my way through xeric gardening!

Positive flowermaiden2
(10 reviews)
On Sep 8, 2014, flowermaiden2 Saint Maries, ID wrote:

Posted on June 7, 2013, updated September 8, 2014
Posted on June 6, 2013, updated June 7, 2013
Posted on June 5, 2013, updated June 6, 2013
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 5, 2013
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 4, 2013
Posted on May 15, 2010, updated May 20, 2010
So far, I am very pleased with what I\'ve gotten from High Country Gardens. The Alyssum they sent me is nice and large and green, very healthy!

When I intially placed my phone order for the Turkish Speedwell and Pink Chintz Thyme, I had requested a shipping date of May 24th, based on past experience of cold Springs and frost even after Mothers Day. However, it has really warmed up these last several days, and the weather forecast says it will continue to be nice. Night-time temperatures are in the 40s, or at our elevation, maybe the very high 30s, but it no longer freezes. So High Country Gardens has now offered to change the shipping date so I will receive my plants next week. This will be great, as the sooner they can be in the ground, the better headstart they will have.

Great experience, so far. I have ordered from them in the past and shall continue to do so.


On May 20th, 2010, flowermaiden2 added the following:

The rest of my order arrived today, and it\'s amazing how well packed the little groundcovers were! Not a leaf out of place! I really am looking forward to the lovely pink chintz thyme when it begins blooming, which I realize won\'t be for awhile yet as it establishes its root system. Ditto for the creeping Veronica Oltensis speedwell. Yet, even as I was inspecting them, I noticed a couple tiny blooms, a lovely azure blue. I am delighted with all I\'ve gotten from High Country gardens this year, and will continue adding to my flowerbed in future seasons, via their catalog.
update
On June 4th, 2013, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

As of today, June 4, 2013, I have to rate this company negatively. They aren\'t the same company, anymore, and their behavior toward me, and apparently others here, has been atrocious.

When I tried to initially place my order, I was put on hold so long that I had to hang up and try again later. When I finally got a represenative on the phone, there was a strange echo in the phone system (either my end or theirs), which made it very difficult to hear the rep and understand what he was saying. I asked him to speak a little louder and more clearly as I was having trouble hearing him. HE HUNG UP ON ME!

I then sent an e-mail explaining what had happened and (I\'ll admit, strongly) suggested they train their order takers to NOT hang up on customers simply because they\'re asked to speak a little louder!

I tried again to place my order, and this time we were able to get it done, though the echo persisted and I still had trouble understanding the rep. He gave me an order number, which I wrote down. I repeated it back to him and confirmed it was correct.

I had ordered three Agastache rupestris, which I was told would be shipped from Denver around May 26th, via FedEx.

It is now June 4th, and I haven\'t received any shipping confirmation, and my order hasn\'t arrived. I have tried calling them three times about it, and nobody answers the phone. The one time it rolled over to voice mail, I left my name, order number, complete phone number with area code and asked them when I could expect to receive my order. I also asked them to please return my call PROMPTLY.

I never heard from them.

I have also e-mailed them three times, and haven\'t received a single reply, despite confirmation that my e-mails went through.

They have charged my credit card with plants they have thus far failed to deliver. They refuse to communicate with me, and I don\'t know if they ever will. I am on the verge of reporting them to the Better Business Bureau and/or filing a formal complaint with their state\'s attorney general. It is illegal to charge someone\'s credit card and fail to deliver the goods, and it\'s also illegal to stonewall when contacted about it.

I understand that the weather in Denver has caused some glitches in their inventory, but there\'s absolutely NO excuse to dodge my inquires, especially after taking my money. I have a right to expect this to be resolved in a fair and ethical manner.

At the moment, I am in limbo and don\'t know what to do next, except dispute the charge on my credit card. I\'m hoping the company rep will respond here and give me some means of communicating with them. I would still rather receive my plants, as our growing season is short and I need to get them into the ground ASAP. I was really looking forward to beautiful Agastache blooms!




On June 5th, 2013, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Now that I finally know that my order will be shipped within the next two days, I shall wait for FedEx to deliver it.

I\'m glad , Mr. Platt, that you have taken the time to respond. I\'m a little puzzled as to why this has only now come to your attention, since I sent several previous e-mails and had left one voice mail message. Perhaps the difference is that I had previously e-mailed HCG from the \"contact us\" tab on the website instead of using the \"e-mail them\" option from this watchdog page.

Evidently, all those contacts got hung up in the system, too.

I wish to be fair about this. I will await my order and give it reasonable time in which to arrive. I really am looking forward to planting my Agastaches.

Thank you, Ethan, for assuring me this will be taken care of.


On June 6th, 2013, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

Today, I got a full shipping confirmation with correct and complete information. Looks like my Agastaches are going to arrive, afterall! Hope they\'re in reasonably good condition. I have spots picked out and set aside for them in my garden.

I think by now it\'s fair to say the folks at HCG are overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with everything. They may not have realized what they were getting into when they took over the company.

I now have hope that eventually they\'ll again be the top notch mail-order nursery they once were. It looks like Ethan is making a real effort at this.

On June 7th, 2013, flowermaiden2 added the following:

My Agastaches arrived today, and they look good. When it cools off this evening, they\'re going into the ground.

I think we can all be hopeful that things will get straightened out and will run smoothly again.

Ethan has delivered according to his word, and now I feel confident about ordering again in the future.




On September 8th, 2014, flowermaiden2 added the following:

This year, I am very pleased to announce that I have received my order promptly for Fall, and all my plants are nice and green and healthy. They moved up the shipping date for me to allow more time for roots to become established before it begins snowing, which is unpredictable around here. Everything I've ordered is in the ground and doing well. It's obvious they have fixed last year's problems and are now up and going again, with great service.

On Sep 8, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 5, 2013 10:13 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

flowermaiden2: I'm so sorry for your frustrating experience. When we took over High Country on Feb 1, we inherited their existing phone, inventory and order management systems. It turns out, there were extreme flaws in these systems and we've been doing all that we can to manage the consequences.

Your order is an example of what we've had to deal with: You entered it on May 10, the plants you ordered are available, yet the order is just "hanging" in our system. Now that you've brought it to our attention, we're manually forcing it out of the system and it will ship within the next 2 days.

I'm very sorry for the negative experience you have my personal promise that we won't rest until we get all these issues ironed out.

Best,
Ethan Platt
President | American Meadows "


Positive SunshineSher
(1 review)
On Aug 21, 2014, SunshineSher Dammeron Valley, UT wrote:

Hello to our favorite Gardening Place that we spend our money to have a beautiful yard!!!
I've have had many wonderful experiences with your staff, Adrianne and Matthew in particular this season. They are all so well trained and are always wanting to help. Since I've been dealing with your fabulous company, I've had the pleasure working with two of your employees, Adrianne and Matthew.
Both Adrianne and Matthew are very dedicated employees. Their follow-up for the customer, ME, has been proven to go beyond the extra mile with Customer Service.

I had a little problem with the shipment of over 30 plants. What are the odds that one plant didn't make it during the shipping process. I say that was pretty darn good! Adrianne replaced my plant and gave personal attention by calling the shipment area so the replacement would come as I would have expected. Plus I purchased additional plants. The replacement did come perfect and it is thriving along with my other plants! Adrianne is extremely pleasant and patient. I appreciate her resolving a little problem to which PROVED to me that your company is WONDERFUL!

Just recently, Matthew helped me tremendously with my future shipment because I'm not going to be home when the schedule shipment is scheduled for that specific week. I was also able to order additional items during that phone call and then the next day I changed my order and added other items. I don't mean to be a pain with my orders and I promise to do better each time!

Matthew is truly SINCERE when he speaks to me (I'm sure he is with all of your customers), absolutely professional and knows how to pronounce the names of all items - he doesn't even laugh at me when I try and he should - but I'm probably one of your customers who might be a bit different and can definitely make fun of myself. He has a terrific personality, you can hear his Smile within his voice when he is taking care of a customer.

He even remembered me from months ago, very impressive!!! Now that is an extremely important attribute only some people can embrace.

I look forward to continue doing business with this fantastic company which includes your sister company American Meadows! I've had success with all of our planting and love everything we purchase over the years!

Thank you to Matthew and Adrianne for making my telephone experiences a pleasure to spend money!!!

I'm a loyal customer to High Country Gardens!

Positive nhawthorne
(1 review)
On Jul 19, 2014, nhawthorne Deming, NM wrote:

Just wanted to thank you for your superior plants and customer service. I like the fact that you stand by your products. I had received 4 plants that were part of the BOGO promotion last month. They weren't as perky as your plants usually are. When I called customer service to asked whether I should give them more time in the ground, Ted immediately replaced the order with healthy plants. These plants arrived green and healthy, despite the summer heat. I used to have several online nurseries that I did business with, now I have just one- yours! Thanks again!

Positive NevadaGarden
(1 review)
On Jul 15, 2014, NevadaGarden Gardnerville, NV wrote:

My experience with High Country Gardens has been similar to others noted here in that I had been a customer for a number of years with mostly good experiences, but in spring 2013 I encountered a number of problems with poor customer service, order problems, poor packaging, and plants that didn't survive long after arriving. It became clear that the change in ownership was a part of the challenge the company was obviously facing.

In late summer 2013 the new company president, Ethan Platt, sent out a general letter to customers about some of the changes and I responded with a detailed description of the problems I had encountered and my frustration. I was very surprised to get a personal phone call from Mr. Platt, who in fact made a point to follow up when I was originally unavailable and has continued to follow up with me.

Mr. Platt was forthcoming about the problems they had encountered, what they had done to change things, and what still needed to be addressed. Figuring everyone deserves a second chance, I did place some orders when spring 2014 came around and I remain impressed with the changes at HCG. Plants were much better packaged and arrived in good health and properly mature for going into the ground. While there were still some glitches, the customer service I received to get things resolved was excellent. I especially liked that the customer service reps were proactive about checking to make sure the issues really had been resolved.

The plants I ordered this spring are all doing well and I will continue to be a customer of HCG and recommend it to other gardeners I know.

Positive WTCHHoDog
(4 reviews)
On Jul 15, 2014, WTCHHoDog Monroe, OR wrote:

Love the unique selection of plants. Have ordered a few times, with some successes. I attribute the failures to my love of trying plants on the edge for my zone, just to see if I could pull something off that no one else around can. Doesn't always work out, but not because the plants arrived in poor shape, because they have always been well packaged and thriving at arrival. By far my two big successes are the monarda fistulosa 'Wichita Mtn form' and the 'Marcus' salvia. It took two years for them to get going with less care than they deserved those first years, but now, they have come Iinto their own and everyone is dying to get them for our local pollinators.

Communications have always been right there, packing top notch, and plant quality superb. No hesitation to go for it again.

Now, if I could just get one place that the wild Four O' Clock will grow....

Positive thephotoguy
(1 review)
On Jun 11, 2014, thephotoguy Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I've ordered plants from HCG for a number of years. They often carry unique plants that I can't find via local sources, I like their emphasis on native and water-thrifty plants, and the combination of ship time and arrival condition was never an issue when I lived on the Colorado Front Range. That latter situation changed when I moved to Minnesota, however, and since moving here 5 years ago, ship times were significantly longer, and plant mortality approached 50% for some orders. I like to use native, water-thrifty plants, but was ready to abandon HCG as a source because of that mortality rate. I decided to try one more time – a final test, so to speak – since the nearest source for Callirhoe Involucrata that I've been able to find in Minnesota is a 6-hour round-trip drive.

My previous order for Callirhoe Involucrata ("Poppy Mallows" in the HCG catalog, but commonly called "Winecups" here in Minnesota) a couple years ago was a disaster. The plants arrived with very little root structure, and two of them had only two wilted, yellowish-green leaves apiece. Those two plants died within 48 hours, and others died within a week.

But that was then. I can't say that it's all due to the change in ownership, but my latest order for Callirhoe Involucrata arrived in excellent condition. At my door a day earlier than I expected, The plants were all obviously alive and healthy when I opened the box, and all had well-developed root structures and numerous green leaves when I put them in the ground. A week later, they have survived the transplant, and are growing. I have high hopes that they will flourish.

My faith in HCG has largely been renewed by the excellent condition of the latest plant order when it arrived.


On Jun 11, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 11, 2014 2:02 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear thephotoguy:

Thanks so much for your positive comments. We enjoyed hearing from you earlier - our team really appreciates when folks call to relay those experiences. Glad to have you back!

Best, Ethan"


Positive bryana
(70 reviews)
On May 17, 2014, bryana Albany, NY wrote:

Posted on November 29, 2013, updated May 17, 2014
Posted on May 9, 2013, updated November 29, 2013
Posted on May 6, 2012, updated May 9, 2013
Posted on November 6, 2011, updated May 6, 2012
Posted on May 3, 2011, updated November 6, 2011
I ordered 4 Agastache, 1 goldenrod & 1 Penstemon. They were all healthy with very good root systems and packaged with great care.


On November 6th, 2011, bryana added the following:

ordered 6 different bags of bulbs all on sale.
Good sized bulbs well packaged.

On May 6th, 2012, bryana changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

I had a small order of two butterfly weeds and one kniphofia.
The butterfly roots have been planted for a while with no growth and the kniphofia was quite small.
On May 9th, 2013, bryana changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

I ordered some spring bulbs at the end of the year clearance - all grew well despite very sandy soil,cold winter & dry spring.
I ordered several agastache - all arrived in good condition and very well packaged.
On November 29th, 2013, bryana added the following:

I ordered from the 50% off end of season bulb sale.
The bulb sizes were very impresive for the most part.
Trumpet Daffodil Bulbs Primeur very big and firm (2 dozen), the Butterfly Daffodil Bulbs Centannees (1 dozen) big and firm,
the 50 Early Spring Bulbs Deer Won't Eat were small early season bulbs in one large bag with each group of bulbs separated but NOT labeled. (the only disappointment)
The Tulipa praestans Bulbs Shogun were average size for an early season tulip. Good value and well packaged.
On May 17th, 2014, bryana added the following:

I ordered the Gaillardia Sampler, two Kniphofia, two Lavandula and one Echinacea purpurea Rubinstern.
All arrived well packaged, deep pots, damp potting soil and healthy plants. The Echinacea is a little spindly but all the others are thriving.
Positive cd1229
(1 review)
On May 10, 2014, cd1229 Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

Posted on May 29, 2013, updated May 10, 2014
Posted on May 28, 2013, updated May 29, 2013
Posted on May 23, 2013, updated May 28, 2013
Posted on May 17, 2013, updated May 23, 2013
Ordered my plants 5/5/13, to be shipped the week of 5/6/13. Did not receive shipping notice or shipment. Contacted customer service by phone on 5/10, after being disconnected, then on hold, and ultimately reaching a representative- who said he would "follow my order" and that I should receive a tracking number no later than 5/16/13. Didn't receive any tracking number. Still no plants. Checked my credit card account and saw that I had already been charged for the order. Called several times 5/16/13, was on perpetual hold, then automatically transferred to voicemail at 5pm. I left voicemail and email with no response. On 5/17/13 I tried calling again, for over an hour was on hold, and decided to try "live chat" to which I Finally got a response. Since the plants had Still not shipped, I requested a refund, as it is now getting too hot to plant here. Was told my refund would be processed within 2-10 days, and if I in fact, I do receive my refund, will update my rating to "neutral. I am Extremely disappointed, having been a customer of High Country Gardens for many years, with nothing but positive feedback and praise for their plant selection for Southwestern gardening. I was so thrilled to still be able to receive their awesome plants by mail order, but it does appear customer service was sacrificed when the company changed hands.


On May 23rd, 2013, cd1229 added the following:

A week later and no refund has been issued. I have checked with my card company, no credit has been submitted to them by High Country Gardens. I suppose I'll have no choice but to dispute the charges thru my credit card company... first time in my 55 years it has come to this! Ugh!
On May 28th, 2013, cd1229 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Since my posting here, Ethan Platt, President of American Meadows and High Country Gardens, has personally addressed the issues with my order, and I've received a full refund. I've decided, based on Ethan's response, the outstanding track record of HCG over the years, and the unique plants available thru HCG for my region, to give them another chance. As Ethan has stated here, they are not up and running properly as they'd hoped, the company having changed ownership just weeks prior to Spring shipping. As a long time, die-hard customer, I will go ahead and give them some time. In August when the temperatures begin to cool down here, I will order again... Rest assured, I will be posting my experience at that time.
On May 29th, 2013, cd1229 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:


On May 10th, 2014, cd1229 added the following:

I just received my order, and am totally impressed with the large, well-rooted plants, and careful packaging. I have been ordering from this company for well over a decade, and it is still my go-to place, for their huge selection of plants that thrive, as opposed to merely "survive" in this harsh southwestern climate. I will definitely order again. Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to see the Salvia Burgundy Seduction blooming, in all its glory... based on the size and root system of the plants I received, I expect it will happen this season, and the color is simply to die for!
On May 10, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 19, 2013 3:01 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

cd1229,

Sorry for your experience. As you can tell from the other recent reviews, we've really had a hard time getting some of our orders out this spring. But you also touched on another critical thing - the plants. High Country has always been about unique plants you can't get anywhere else. American Meadows has always had a reputation for excellent (and prompt) customer service. I promise you that once we get through the initial hurdles this spring, the High Country that you've always loved will be back! Don't forget that HCG was out of business from November through Feb 1 this year - we've had to do a tremendous amount to get back up and running. We're shipping almost 400 orders per day (and have been for the last 6 weeks). We just have some orders (obviously like yours) that have given us issues due to inventory and system problems.

If you've requested a refund, that will be processed immediately. We have no control over how quickly your bank posts that back to your account, but we are processing any refunds within 48 hours.

Again, I'm sorry.

Ethan Platt
President
American Meadows & High Country Gardens


On May 23, 2013 8:56 PM, High Country Gardens added:

cd1229, I just emailed you directly to get more info on your refund to make sure that it's gone through properly.

Ethan"


Positive Sequoiadendron4
(22 reviews)
On Apr 29, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Posted on October 22, 2013, updated April 29, 2014
Posted on June 8, 2013, updated October 22, 2013
Posted on June 7, 2013, updated June 8, 2013
I placed my order and when I checked up on it a week and a half later they told me it would ship that coming Monday. When I didn't receive my order I checked up on it and they said the same thing. This basically repeated itself for a few weeks and by that time it was getting late in the season for me to be planting fresh little plants in an established garden and at this point I didn't trust a word they said. I canceled my order and I would strongly advise against ordering from this company. Their sister company, American Meadows, is great. I don't even see how they could be affiliated with the difference in experiences.


On June 8th, 2013, Sequoiadendron4 added the following:

Thank you for responding. Perhaps, after an increase in positive ratings on here, I may try ordering from HCG again. I do appreciate your response and wish you the best of luck in turning things around.
On October 22nd, 2013, Sequoiadendron4 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I have changed my rating to positive after a recent order was received in a timely manner and the plants were in very good condition upon receipt. Email communication was great and it took much less time than I thought to get my order. They shipped the plants over the weekend, which was a concern, but when they arrived, I only had to water one of them. It was probably the best packing I've seen yet getting plants in the mail. I will note that I avoided anything that said it was on back order and it was nice that they said whether the item was in stock or not on the website. Hopefully they've turned things around :)
On April 29th, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 added the following:

I have received another order from HCG and everything was perfect. The plants were in good condition and the packaging was adequate. Definitely a good source for some interesting plants!
On Apr 29, 2014, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 7, 2013 4:07 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Sequoiadendron4, Thanks for your positive feedback on American Meadows! Yes, we've struggled with High Country this spring - they were closed from Nov until we took over in Feb and their systems have really given us a lot of headaches. Their inventory, order management and phone systems have been very hard to manage this spring.

Rest assured that we're still here, working like crazy to get the company back on track as at the end of the day almost everyone I've talked to has been very excited that High Country's plant offerings will live on.

As you know from being an American Meadows customer, this spring does not reflect how we run our business and I can assure you that it won't reflect how High Country is operated.

Best,
Ethan Platt
President


On Oct 23, 2013 11:01 AM, High Country Gardens added:

Thanks for giving us another shot and for the kind words! Much appreciated.

Ethan


On Apr 29, 2014 7:53 AM, High Country Gardens added:

Thanks, Sequoiadenron4. Glad we were able to re-earn your trust. We're working double shifts, 6 days a week in the greenhouse trying to keep up with the spring rush.

Happy Spring,
Ethan"


Positive James_Cramer
(1 review)
On Mar 21, 2014, James_Cramer Wye, MT wrote:

This really is an extraordinarily good company. The selection of products is vast and the information provided about each plant is very complete.

In addition they take great pains to be sure orders are shipped at the right time and in the way you want them shipped.

A while back I placed an order and then a couple of weeks later another. At the time I placed the second order I asked that the two orders be combined. Almost immediately I received an email informing me that would be done.

Today I placed a third order and again, no problem combining all three orders together for shipment on the appropriate date.

This company is extremely well organized and dedicated to doing things right. As we all know, that is something that is all too rare in on-line vendors.

Positive DaveEgbert
(2 reviews)
On Nov 24, 2013, DaveEgbert Carpenter, SD (Zone 5a) wrote:

Long time fan of the catalog, placed my second order for 2013 in late October.
Plants were Penstemon punifolious, Salvia daghastanica, Phlox nana, Chrysothamnus nauseous.
Plants were very strong, green and well rooted. The penstemon were in small 3 inch liners. The others in 6 inch large liners. All were rooted very well at the bottom and garden ready. They came packed in a special box with pots wrapped in plastic bags to hold in soil and moisture.
Only drawback of the whole experience was that the customer agent on the phone was not very familiar with the stock and was reluctant to look for alternate sizes of the plants I wanted initially and urged me to shop online instead. It was at the end of the season so I had thought calling would ensure a better guarantee of getting what I wanted.
Over all great experience.

Positive kip563
(1 review)
On Sep 26, 2013, kip563 San Diego, CA wrote:

After reading the negative comments during the transition of the ownerships, I was wary about my order. But also had a glimpse of hope when I read the responses from the new business. I am happy to report that all 5 Salvia pachyphylla came in well packaged and in good health.

I never wrote comments on anything I bought online. I want to give High Country Gardens a fresh start. I am pleased with my order, High Country Gardens delivered with quality and met the scheduled as promised. Good job. Thank you.

Positive chernandez
(1 review)
On Sep 10, 2013, chernandez STEPHENTOWN, NY wrote:

I ordered from High Country Gardens last week and my plants arrived today 09.09.13. I was so impressed with not only the quality and health of each of my new plants but the way they were packed and shipped was the best I've ever seen! This has been the best online plant order experience I've ever had. I just recently bought a new house and I will be purchasing all of my landscaping material from this company. Keep up the good work High County Gardens!!! and Thank You!!!


On Sep 10, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Sep 10, 2013 7:10 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Thank you for your kind words! Our team has been working very hard towards the fall season and it's great to hear that you were pleased with your order. Best Wishes, Ethan"


Positive BreeG
(1 review)
On Jun 29, 2013, BreeG Campion, CO wrote:

I placed a large (57 item order) online the evening of 06/21/13: all plants arrived on Saturday 06/29/13. I'd stumbled upon negative reviews on 06/23/13 on this site and emailed Ms. Victoria using the email provided in others' comments to inquire about my order since most of the recent reviews were very unflattering and received a response from her the next business day. She let me know of 18 varieties of plants I ordered only 1 was not available; I received credit for that set of items (confirmed pending via my credit card statement online) and was given a small credit toward future purchases as a goodwill gesture. Tracking information arrived via email as well as follow up from Ms. Victoria, at my request. Above and beyond this, I placed my order with $350 in gift certificates that had languished for several years and they were honored without any hesitation. Clearly if problems existed with the change in ownership they are smoothing them out - my recent order was virtually flawless: additional thanks to your great customer service representative! I am pleased to recommend HCG each time someone stops by to praise my landscaping and will continue to do so with confidence.


On Jun 29, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On Jul 1, 2013 5:17 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

BreeG, Thank you, thank you for your kind words! As you can tell from the other posts, it's been a long spring for us as we've worked to keep High Country afloat. The good news is, we survived and the better news is that we will be back on track for fall with the kind of service and support High Country has been known for. Victoria and her team worked 'round the clock this spring and your words of encouragement are much appreciated.

Best, Ethan"


Positive Garden_Blogger
(1 review)
On Jun 2, 2013, Garden_Blogger ADIN, CA wrote:

Posted on May 28, 2013, updated June 2, 2013
I placed an order in February and was instructed the lawn seed I ordered was unavailable. Customer service suggested that I wait until the seed was available and they would send it along with the plants I had ordered earlier. Many plants from that order have since been been sold out and I still haven't seen any part of the order.

I have left phone messages, sent several emails and have not heard back from anyone. I have bought plants from this company for years and had nothing but stellar customer service. The change of ownership is questioning my willingness to order again except I have a gift certificate I need to redeem. I noticed others are having the same experience. What is going on???


On June 2nd, 2013, Garden_Blogger changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

Ethan contacted me to express his concern regarding my order. He investigated the whereabouts of the order I had given over the phone to find it didn't exist.

Ethan has been very helpful in his attempt to remedy the situation and I appreciate his outreach. Given this, I will place my order again with High Country when the plants are once again available.

Thank you Ethan.
On Jun 2, 2013, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 28, 2013 9:13 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Garden_Blogger,

Our records show only one customer in Adin, CA and their orders have all shipped. I have sent you an email through Dave's Garden seeking more information.

Thank you,
Ethan"


Positive desertrim53
(1 review)
On May 17, 2013, desertrim53 Union, OR wrote:

As a past and very satisfied customer of HCG, I was dismayed when learning that the store and online catalog were a thing of the past. Then great news, they were back, under new ownership (by passionate plant-people) and David was still going to be around to do what he does best, and loves. Plants. Isn't that why we are all here?
As with any transition things have not gone well, plant orders have been lost, inventory isn't there, etc. The possibilities are endless for playing the blame game but I would like to ask all of you this, please just be patient. They have an incredible staff trying to make sense of lost and unreliable things of the past. Many of which were out of their control. Again, please be patient. Things will be sorted out and HCG will once again be there for the plant lover in all of us. I have not been asked to say any of this but feel that HCG deserves the benefit of the doubt when they are struggling so dearly to make good on their word. My greatest dismay was hearing, when the president of the company called me personally to tell me what had happened to my order, "You are only the second person in two days that has been civil to me..." What a shame. What a dreadful shame...

Positive Guppycat
(1 review)
On Feb 20, 2013, Guppycat Eldorado at Santa Fe, NM wrote:

HCG is back!!!! I live in Santa Fe (HCG's former home) and I just ordered from them now that American Meadows has taken over.The person on live chat provided quick,knowledgeable answers about the transition, ordering on the new website was really easy, and the email acknowledging my order was in my inbox faster than I could click over there from the HCG site. The plants won't arrive until May, but I'm guessing they'll be fresh and healthy, just like my HCG orders in previous years. Now I can get those special "rock garden" plants I thought I'd never find again!

Positive carrielamont
(20 reviews)
On Feb 3, 2013, carrielamont Milton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Posted on April 13, 2007, updated February 3, 2013
Just want to add this now while I'm thinking of it. My father, who lives across town from High Country Gardens, told me never to order from them, as all their plants are for dry climates, and I live in soggy Massachusetts. Well, he's not around to complain, and they were almost the only ones to have the hardy diascias I was looking for. The other vendor credits them with having first developed the diascia 'pink adobe'. Why would I order them from anyone else? I'll follow up with another rating when I actually have some experience wiith them.


On February 3rd, 2013, carrielamont added the following:

Reading the other current negative reviews is sad, since I've always had such positive feelings about this company. I was planning to order some Agastache for containers, since now we live in hot and dry; much closer to the intended home for these plants. D. 'Pink Adobe' is still doing well, as I recall. I hope spring shipping starts soon.
Positive shindagger
(4 reviews)
On Jan 18, 2013, shindagger Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Posted on October 27, 2010, updated January 19, 2013
After years of looking at the plants at High Country Gardens, I finally placed an order for some native grasses no one else seems to sell. They just have so many hard to find plants. They are upfront about planting/climate conditions, stating what might not be suitable for different areas in the country and I think if you keep in mind that your climate may have drawbacks to planting low water plants you will not go wrong with this company.

My plants arrived in excellent condition and the packaging was impressive, with nice heavy boxes with inner protective lining and the plants were extremely fresh and well rooted.

I placed a second order for Los Lunas Sacaton, an exclusive strain of grass they carry, and the plants just arrived today. Again, excellent, well rooted, good sized plants that are in very deep pots. I can't wait to see how big these monsters really get.

I would definitely order from them again.


On January 18th, 2013, shindagger added the following:

Great News!

I just found out that High Country Gardens is going to continue to offer their mail order service. I am so glad to hear it because it saddened me to hear they were closing down. There are so few sources online for similar plants and they are nice to deal with.
Positive hckybreath
(1 review)
On Dec 27, 2012, hckybreath Keyport, NJ wrote:

Despite the number of comments, mostly positive, for High Country Gardens, and it's apparent demise; I feel compelled to add my own 2c
Visited the Santa Fe store at least twice in the last 6-7 years and ordered on line at least a dozen times; the last being October 2012 for spring bulbs; all plant materiel was in good shape
However beyond the actual goods they sold; the information on and development of unique plants was most valuable; and I believe important to a world and nation that is becoming ever more environmentally conscious. I purchased varieties of Jerusalem sage; Bethlehem sage; and Kashmerian sage; which they produced from it's discovery by Paneyoti K of Denver Botanic Gardens; I also tried the Digitalis obscura which they fully described as being native to Spain; but suitable for dry arid conditions;
So while the end of Santa Fe Gardens is the loss of an important resource, I hope we will hear again from David Salman and his associates about the important contributions they have made to 21st century horticulture..........................
Galewood Design Associates

Positive flying_squirrel
(9 reviews)
On Oct 7, 2012, flying_squirrel Priest River, ID (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on July 11, 2008, updated October 7, 2012
I am a gardener transplanted from the wet western side of the Cascade mountains to the northern Idaho mountains. In planning my landscape here I realized I needed to go with plants that like the hotter, dryer and just generally harsher conditions. After reading HCG catalog and seeing their good reviews, I decided to place a good sized order. A few of the plants looked weak on arrival but I planted them anyway. Of the 50 plus plants, only 2 died after 2 months of trying to coax them along. The rest have not only survived but are really starting to take off. I got a refund for the 2 that died, quickly and no quibbling. I look forward to ordering more plants in the future.


On October 7th, 2012, flying_squirrel added the following:

Recently placed a small order since a couple plants were on sale that I wanted. They arrived quickly, well packed and small but healthy.
Positive bethany_in_ct
(3 reviews)
On Sep 13, 2012, bethany_in_ct Hartford, CT wrote:

I ordered two sungold tomato plants from them fairly far into the season (June?). They arrived within the window they promised,and were quite tall and healthy when I took them out of the packaging. The tomatoes have produced abundantly all summer.

Positive PamelaNoyes
(1 review)
On Sep 9, 2012, PamelaNoyes Blanding, UT wrote:

Posted on March 30, 2012, updated September 9, 2012
I ordered 8 flats of legacy grass plugs, and one of the pre-planned gardens, as well as some planting supplies. The supplies came quickly. I ordered the grass and plants to come end of April. I was very nervous when I received the grass a month early. I called customer service and was quickly assured that the grass would be re-sent for the date I had chosen. Thank you High Country Gardens for being upstanding and helpful!


On September 9th, 2012, PamelaNoyes added the following:

So the grass never re-shipped, but they were so helpful and sent me a gift card to make up for the inconvenience. I have since ordered several more shipments. Some of the plants seem small, but all have flourished. Everything that I planted in the spring is large and blooming despite the dry year and me having a new baby so I neglected them.
Positive Sherry4819
(1 review)
On Aug 22, 2012, Sherry4819 Flagstaff, AZ wrote:

I love this company. I have never had a bad experience with shipping or with the health of the plants they have sent. EVERY ONE of the plants I have bought from them has thrived. I live at 7,000 ft. elevation and I have had quite a few mail order plants from other places that have gone into terminal shock. High Country plant are a great fit for my landscaping. My penstemons are so gorgeous right now with the monsoons going on - wish I could post some photos so you could see the High Country plant experience we're having here.

Positive FiremanDave
(3 reviews)
On Jun 3, 2012, FiremanDave Red Bluff, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Overall, good experience.
I order through HCG to obtain choice plants that are not available from local and regional garden centers in my area.
Two Important Notes:
First: plants seem to be shipped direct from the greenhouse so are not "Hardened off" to tolerate strong sunlight or temps. I would STRONGLY recommend that gardeners take CARE before planting out new purchases directly in the ground. My plants really needed some hardening off time before they are garden ready. So I introduced them to the sun slowly and watched for stress.
Second:Catalog and website often do not jive with availability. I had seen Prunus andersonii in the catalog but not online when I went to order. This has been true of several plants, that seem to not appear online.
I have visited the store in Santa Fe and loved the selection and the gardens and have chatted with David Salman personally. He is a fine plantsman.

Positive islander1938
(4 reviews)
On May 26, 2012, islander1938 WASHINGTON ISLAND, WI wrote:

The plants received are healthy and look good. There should be no problem with them, but these folks really don't like to email.

Positive gpaulon
(3 reviews)
On May 23, 2012, gpaulon Forest Park, IL wrote:

High Country Gardens is a great company to deal with. They are always friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. Whenever I have had a problem with a shipment or an individual plant, they have always taken care of it with a smile. They're great!!

Positive JonSchneider
(12 reviews)
On May 21, 2012, JonSchneider Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Posted on May 19, 2012, updated May 21, 2012
After several years of wonderful experiences with this company, I have to rate them with one big negative. I have tried contacting them 6 times via e-mail, their internet claim form, etc. with no response. Finally, I called and spoke to a customer service representative who "had no authority" to replace 6 dead plants and promised me she would have someone call me. that did not occur either. The bottom line is that I am out 6 plants with no mechanism to resolve the issue. As good as my previous orders have been in the past, I would not order from them again nor advise other gardeners to do so. My guess is that this letter may result in a response, but this is just plain bad customer service


On May 21st, 2012, JonSchneider changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

As expected, High Country Gardens appropriately responded to my evaluation. They are apparently experiencing "growing pains" with new software that has impaired their ability to respond to customers in a timely fashion. I am pleased to say, though, I have been in contact with both Sam and Victoria and we came up with a very fair resolution to my issue that will result in me being able to obtain new plants that will be sent to me overnight. This is exactly the kind of customer service that i would anticipate from this company. It would be hard to add enough superlative to the plants I have previously ordered from them. The packing is always superb and the deep pots with excellent root systems guarantees easy transplants with hardy growth. I will be back to order from them in the future. Anyone can make a mistake and they certainly are forgiven and deserve another chance.
On May 21, 2012, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 20, 2012 10:36 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

I am sorry to hear of your recent experience. As you know this is not the norm for High Country Gardens. I am glad you gave us the opportunity to contact you and to satisfy your request of replacements.

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta
Customer Service Supervisor
High Country Gardens
vperalta@highcountrygardens.com
1-877-811-2700 ext. 3023"


Positive sandgarden
(11 reviews)
On May 18, 2012, sandgarden Millsboro, DE wrote:

I was a little surprised at the small size of the plants...a first for me, but they've been transplanted and are doing fine.
Arrived in good condition. A first order for me, so I'll have to see how the plants do.


On May 18, 2012, High Country Gardens responded with:

"On May 20, 2012 10:40 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Glad to hear your plants arrived safely and are planted in their new home! Happy Gardening!

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta
Customer Service Supervisor
High Country Gardens
vperalta@highcountrygardens.com"


Positive FlowerDiva
(5 reviews)
On Apr 22, 2012, FlowerDiva Raleigh, NC wrote:

I ordered 5 Agastache 'Ava' , 5 Agastache cana 'Rosita' and 1 Buddleia alternifolia in early March. I was able to select my week of shipping, which is wonderful! I received an email that my plants were shipping the 2nd week of April, just as I had selected. They came right on time and were packaged secure and safe! HCG has a wonderful packing method! Every plant looks wonderful and healthy!! I've ordered from them 2 years ago and had the same great experience. They have the best selection of Agastache!

Positive Ispahan
(55 reviews)
On Mar 30, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a marvelous company. Customer service is efficient and helpful (Sam is the greatest), plants are great quality, selection is wonderful and the packing is more environmentally friendly than most nurseries with very little extraneous material involved.

I just received a large order to start populating my new garden with bountiful perennials. I am very pleased.

I always look forward to learning about the new HCG plant introductions each year. At such reasonable prices, it is hard to resist temptation!

I will definitely be a repeat customer in the future.

By the way, I am surprised at some of the negative reviews below. The customer service of this nursery is one of the best and easiest to deal with...

Positive avsjen
(1 review)
On Mar 19, 2012, avsjen Castle Rock, CO wrote:

I've ordered from HCG for at least 5 years now and have always been very satisfied. In all those orders, I've only had one plant not make it; took a picture, sent it to HCG, and promptly received a replacement, healthy and still going strong in my garden. I'm a fan!

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