I have had occasions to purchase plants from this vendor for my own home and have had other occasions to recommend them to friends. Plants that my friends and I have received have proven to be sturdy and visually delightful. I am especially pleased with the premium pot that provides greater root depth. I greatly appreciate having a ready source of xeric plants, especially plants cultivated from the wild. I live on the boundary of two zones in OK and deal with extremes of temperature, moisture, and wind, so I need plants that can withstand such variation in conditions. I also enjoy getting emails announcing seasonal sales since my dollars are in short supply these days.
I moved from NY to CO and found myself in a zone with different planting times and a whole new world of plants. After a few years of struggling with flowers and lawn I found the HCG site and a world of info about what to plant, when to plant it and what complimented what. In the middle of a drought, with water restrictions and ugly yard contests I had this great looking lawn thanks to HCG.
Now we have moved to TX and here I am looking for plants and grasses at my favorite site! I agree that the prices are a tad high but the quality is also high, and the service is exceptional-even if you need a plant replaced. Watch for those coupons and you won't find a better place or a better value then HCG Denise Herring
On Sep 24, 2009, floating_stump Grafton, WI wrote:
High Country Gardens has a great website. It's very informative, both about the specific plants, and tips in general. They're very clear about when and how they ship, and they plan their shipments to arrive at their destinations on fridays, so you can plant on the weekend (and they don't sit in a warehouse over the weekend).
I ordered eight plants. Two of them were coming out of their pots in the package. I wasn't thrilled about this, but those plants seem to be in good shape. One plant was in sorry shape when I opened the box, and the next day it was clear that it was dead. I have about nine months to order a replacement. Two more of the plants seem to be dying, but that's my fault. I mentioned this, when I e-mailed to discuss what I did wrong, and they offered to replace those as well. I'm not sure I'll take them up on it, since I'm sure it was my fault, but I appreciate the generous offer. It would have been nice to have gotten a planting guide, since these plants were all "xeric" (kinda special cases). Everyone else I order from includes little booklets on how to plant, no matter how mundane the plants.
Not a perfect experience, but I would definitely recommend this company.
On Aug 31, 2009, gardeningjen Tollhouse, CA wrote:
I have been purchasing plant material from HCG for several years. The plants arrive in good shape. For the most part, I have had success with material purchased. On the rarre occassion that I have had failures, they have stood by their products with a refund or replacement. I continue to do business with them because of these factors.
I live in Michigan and have a sunny, dry beach garden. High Country Gardens has been very responsive to any problems. Last year all of the stock I bought was wonderful, but one variety did not make it through the winter. They promptly and cheerfully responded by sending replacements this past spring. I have nothing but positive things to say about their stock, service and attitude. My garden could not be more beautiful.
On Aug 27, 2009, 3rivershome Three Rivers, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I discovered High Country Gardens while living in New Mexico and continue to order from them now that I'm in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California. I've found their plants to be wonderful and their service superb. The one time a plant didn't make it, they replaced w/o question. I recently emailed a suggestion and got a very prompt and courteous response. These guys are great!
On Aug 21, 2009, BirdieGirl7 Upper Lake, CA wrote:
This is an extraordinary company! I discovered HCG shortly after buying a new house in the country. Their catalog and book, Waterwise Garden Care, have been my guides to a beautiful water efficient garden. With the exception of one plant (which is being replaced) all my transactions with them have been extremely satisfactory. Shipping is on time, plants are carefully packed, instructions are easy to follow. I have both called and emailed for information. Employees are pleasant, informative, and readily available.
I have ordered from this company several times. Every time the service has been exceptional. The plants arrived as stated and in excellent condition. I like that they warn you not to plant certain plants in the fall if you live in zone 5 or lower. This is honesty before profit.
On Aug 5, 2009, Sharkey Marianna, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I just received an order for Gro Power fertilizer from High Country which I ordered last week from their website. This was the only place I could locate this product which has been recommended by a friend. The service was great, the staff was friendly, and I will order from them again in the future.
On Aug 2, 2009, ridgebax1 Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
The plants I have ordered have been of high quality and they stand behind what they sell. One of the plants I ordered did not die but never took off and had no new growth after several weeks. They replaced it without question. The sad plant that did not thrive was replaced with a new plant that is doing very well. I replanted the sad plant in another area and though it still is not thriving it is not dying either so maybe it will hang in there.
On Jul 15, 2009, ic_conifers Iowa City, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I was happy with the communications from the company and the plants that arrived. I ordered a cold hardy agave sampler and a conifer, all have been in my garden about two months now and are doing well. I also ordered a birdbath, which was a bit pricey for what arrived (it does look nicer in the catalog), but it is much adored by the local songbirds (cardinals in particular seem to love it).
Yes, I have lost a few plants, but I realize it was my fault. It takes some know-how to garden successfully. I read a lot of garden books and pay attention to the how-to's and warnings too. I live in the Albuquerque, NM area and have had much success with the plants I have ordered. But, here is what I had to do. Put them in nice well-worked soil. Even sand needs some compost and loosening to accomodate the small plants we are talking about. They need space to spread their little roots comfortably. I planted a planned garden, the "Jumbo Waterwise" at my front door in the fall. I threw sheets over it in the winter when frost or snow was predicted and then pulled them off in the morning when the sun came up. I was worried that they wouldn't make it. Come spring, here they came. They look very established now and happy and growing into large plants. The bed is gorgeous. I love the catalogs and have learned so much about what will make it here in the high desert. Love High Country Gardens.
On Jun 28, 2009, s_jones Aurora, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have ordered from HCG on 5 occasions, starting in 2007.
Shipping time, and timing, is excellent (always on a Friday). Plants arrive healthy and ready for planting. Special mention must be made of how the plants are packaged... all pots are strapped to folded cardboard, which fit snugly inside the box, and properly padded. Making sure contents do not shift even when the box is rolled 360 degrees in all directions is the best way to guarantee safe transit. HCG understand this, and their implementation is superior to anyone else I've purchased live plants from.
Since all of my orders made their journeys in great shape, I can't speak to post-purchase customer service. I have had isolated, minor issues with slugs and a few root-bound plants, which were not unusual since most of my purchases were made late in the growing season, and they were easily remedied anyway. All survived their first year, and the vast majority are thriving. As a gardener of only moderate knowledge and below average experience, that's ultimately the best endorsement I could give.
Have ordered 3 sets of plants from High Country Gardens. All came exceptionally well packed, with ample and healthy roots. In comparison with similar plants from four other companies (say, coneflowers to coneflowers), the HCG transplants leafed out far more vigorously and already look like something!
My HCG shipments have arrived right on time-but I live in nearby Arizona. Shipments from companies in the Midwest or East, despite time guarantees, have taken as long as 10 days to arrive, sometimes presenting me with a box full of half dead plants, and/or half a box of DEAD plants. HCG will also let you specify what week you want your plants shipped, which is a great help if your microclimate is unusual for your zone, or if you have other timing issues.
HCG's terrific selection of xeric and high desert plants includes some varieties that I cannot obtain at the best nurseries in Tucson-I'd normally have to wait until one of the botanical gardens there had a plant sale, and hope. HCG also has available online detailed info about the plants' traits and growing preferences, which has greatly helped me in choosing the right plant for my needs.
Ordered from HCG years ago but thought I'd give them a shout out for offering such a wide variety of tough plants that look good when nearly everything else is struggling through the heat. Two favorite plants that I remember from HCG are Swallowtail Aquillea and an ornamental oregano. I noticed a new, even prettier oregano offered in catalogue and may just have to put together another order with it in it.
On Jun 15, 2009, akitalady Albany, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
I've ordered from High Country Gardens for a few years. I've placed 3 orders this year alone - the quality of the plants and the prices were just too good to resist.
The plants arrive in great shape, take off immediately after planting, and come back strong the following season.
High Country Gardens has earned its high rating with the Watch Dog!
On Jun 10, 2009, dagovitzm Reardan, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have ordered a number of times from High Country Gardens. Plants always arrive healthy and well packed (despite the carrier's misroutings and rough handling). Although the winter weather is harsh, summers very dry, and I have only hard clay where I live, I have lost only one of their plants - all others have thrived. I'm more than satisfied by the quality of both plants and service.
My first order with High Country Gardens was to be shipped first week of May 2009. 4 Oenothera Macrocarpa (Missouri Evening Primrose) and 1 Philadelphus Microphyllus "June Bride". When shipment did not arrive-I called- they traced and said was in transit back to them and out again. My question was the plants will be dead right? The answer was probably so -just call us when you receive the shipment.
Shipment arrived -all plants dead. I called-they reshipped
all of the order. Apparently this shipment was shipped on
Monday and I received late the following Thursday. 2 of the
Oenothera Macrocarpa survived as did the Philadelphus
Microphyllus. But I am very disappointed in the fact I have paid for 2 dead plants and very expensive shipping. I feel
like faster transit would help prevent this problem. At this
time I have no plans to order again. My credit card was
charged March 16th. They had no problem using my money during this time.
On June 10th, 2009, lou69 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Changed to positive rating. Contacted Victoria Peralta as
she requested. She has been a pleasure to work with on my complaint. High Country Gardens has done much more than I expected. In solving my complaint they probably discovered the problem customers seem to have receiving their products and them not in great condition. I will order from them again. And my thanks for making me a very satisfield customer.On Jun 4, 2009, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 4, 2009 4:57 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
High Country Gardens ships plants so they arrive for weekend planting. I am not sure why the orders were delayed for delivery. I would like you to contact me so I can figure out what occurred. I would also like to ship you new plants and ensure timely arrival.
On May 30, 2009, b_schr Wayne, NE (Zone 4b) wrote:
Have bought from HCGardens almost from the beginning when *everything* was one price, $3.95 or some such. Have always been very satisfied with products, price, information and arrival. The increasing availability of rare plants native to the open grasslands of Nebraska has been great. I love it!. Thanks!
On May 19, 2009, Blackbelt_Lizzy La Grange Park, IL wrote:
I purchased several plants that came well packed and undamaged during shipping. The plants were healthy and are doing well in the garden. Although they are smaller than plants from other nuseries, I purchased them because they had unusual cold hardy succulents.
I ordered a dozen of Aster x frikartii 'Mönch' in the Mid April, 2009. I received a week later, all the plants received are healthy. Like the way they packed the shipping plants very much. I am happy ordered from them. I would order from them again in the future.
On May 2, 2009, CherryValleyNY Cherry Valley, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:
I received my order from High Country Gardens two days ago and was highly impressed. Root balls and plant growth were much larger than I expected. Plants were carefully packed and damage-free except for a couple of creased leaves. Everything I ordered was included – no back order or out-of-stock messages were necessary. And everything was shipped during the shipping week I requested. I am more than satisfied and wouldn’t hesitate to order from High Country again.
Part of my order included three Agastaches and I had a twinge of trepidation to find a disclaimer note on top of the plants warning of possible damage to Agastaches during transit. The note was not necessary as the Agastaches were wonderfully large, full, well grown and pristine. As a wholesale grower and plant breeder with twenty-four years of professional experience (including years of trialing Agastache seedlings, alas in a warmer climate), growing plants that are this robust and healthy does not happen without attention and care over an extended period of time. I’m sorry coco3 did not have the same experience I did.
On Apr 30, 2009, 505badgolfer Albuquerque, NM wrote:
I've been shopping from HCG - both retail and mail order - for about 3 years. Experiences have always been favorable. Plant prices are generally higher than other local nurseries in NM, but you can find rare xeric plants here that cannot be found elsewhere in NM.
On Apr 28, 2009, theherbgardener Stone Mountain, GA wrote:
I've purchased from High Country Gardens before and I have always been pleased with my purchases. Their catalogs provide me a lot some wonderful idea for container gardens and they've so many, many great plants that are drought tolerant.
This year I purchased Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low'. It arrived in excellent health, with buds already forming. I know it's invasive, but I've a very large backyard as well as a slope that is beyond my abilities to weed and I've read Rhus 'Gro-Low' is an excellent choice for crowding out weeds. Let the invasion begin! Death to the weeds! Thanks High Country for making this plant available.
On Apr 24, 2009, Tigernach Charlottesville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered a South African collection and a hardy cactus collection. Both were packaged very well, and the plants looked healthy upon arrival. Prices for the collections and other plants were a pretty good deal, especially considering the rarity of some of the plants.
I also found their planting instructions very helpful, which included what soil amendments to add for clay soils.
On Apr 22, 2009, landscaper84 Rock Springs, WY wrote:
I have ordered from High Country Gardens for 11 years now.
The plants I ordered are beautiful. I planted a Xeriscape garden to prove to the doubter in town that Xerisxape did not mean just rock. I called and received information on how to begin. I received a detailed e-mail with a complete list of plants and a design to get started, every year I have added a few new plants. I have people from all over town looking at my flowering Xeriscape. I water it 1 time each month with a drip system that they also helped me plan. I will continue to order from them. I have recieved 100% satifaction from them . It does not matter what the problem is High Country garden fixed or replaced any plant I was not happy with.
I received a gift certificate for Christmas in 07, I ordered in the spring 08 some salvia and sage. When I received the plants they were all a little off. Some had obvious root rot and others were just awful looking but being a gardener I know that if you plant them they often bounce back. I called and got replacements for the ones that were rotted the replacements were also awful. But being an optomist I planted them. Anyway they did not survive through the summer. I get their catalog all the time and I need to call them to tell them to save a tree, I will not order from them again. The funny thing is I ordered in Spring 07 and the plants were beautiful needless to say maybe they figured it was a gift card and not my cash so they would send me the cast offs. I was completely disappointed.
On April 24th, 2009, Pupula changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
They promptly got in touch with my after a negative post and resent my botched shipment, thanks Victoria, high kudos to you and your excellent customer service, plants arrived today!On Apr 16, 2009, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Apr 16, 2009 4:48 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We appreciate feedback so that we at High Country Gardens know what is being done right and where improvements can be made. We strive to provide the best quality plants, products and service. We do not negotiate the health of our plants based on method of payment or any other means. It is never our intention to send poor quality plants. I am sorry to hear your disappointing experience. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss your order.
Customer Service Supervisor
High Country Gardens, a division of
Santa Fe Greenhouses, Inc. email@example.com
1.800.925.9387 ext. 3023"
I have purchased from HIgh Desert for years now, while I lived in Albuquerque and now via mail order. I am a happy returning customer.
I've just ordered buffalo grass plugs to complement my developing native wildflower & grass prairie/meadow. My 1/2-acre meadow started out as decomposing limestone with Texas sized very recalcitrant weeds. Since September we've killed weeds, amended soil, planted a winter crop, seeded & now - finally - wildflowers are coming up. Time to add grasses - buffalo grass plugs with an assortment of twelve prairie grasses.
High Desert has been with me from early idea conception - how to kills weeds without herbicides & then on to to selection of appropriate prairie plants. They have responded to specific questions via e-mail. Early in March I happened to be in Albuquerque & was able to consult directly at High Garden's and cleared up a number of soil questions, particularly regarding micro-nutrients. :)
During this 9-month process I've ordered plants from High Desert and three other national growers. With one notable negative exception, I have been satisfied with the plant material However, the High Desert plant material was consistently superior, more robust (larger) and really, better than other material I've ordered. I am convinced that when you start with good plant stock, as with High Desert plants, the mature garden, in my case a meadow/prairie, will reflect the quality of plant stock.
I'm delighted with High Desert - both quality of plant material and professional expertise and guidance.
On April 15th, 2009, sc4cinc added the following:
In my comment I refer to High Country Gardens as "high desert" from habit when living in Albuquerque - it seems to me that locals refer to HCG as High Desert, at least I did. But HCG is the grower I intended to comment on.