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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
I have ordered from mail order nurseries in the past and I have had some good and some bad results. I was truly impressed with High Country Gardens. The plants arrived securely packaged - especially the cactus - and they were healthy plants. Their catalog and online website gave excellent info on the plants zones, watering, light, etc. and helped me narrow down exactly what I was looking for. I was so impressed that I have placed another order.
I've bought plants from this company for nearly two years. All the plants I've received have been healthy and arrived well packed. They've arrived when promised. The catalog and website give useful information on zone that's good for each plant, it's blooming cycle, light, soil, water requirements and fertilization.
I received my plants yesterday in excellent shape, packaged well!! This is my second order with this company and I have no complaints at all. Their customer service is very fast in answering my emails and their prices are competitive. Will continue doing business with them. AA++
On April 5th, 2009, plantgnome added the following:
Received my hummingbird attracting I hope to get some hummingbirds this year with the help of these plants, as I have been trying for 3 years now. Maybe these will do the trick. Pleasure once again. On May 5th, 2009, plantgnome added the following:
Had a plant from the fall not make it thru the winter and one from early spring-They already shipped my replacement plants. Very satisfied and happy with this company. Will continue to order.On May 7th, 2009, plantgnome added the following:
Received my replacements today-excellent shape and good growth on them. Very pleased!
I purchased two grasses from High Country Gardens recently, and I am very pleased with the outcome.
I was skeptical about purchasing plants online, due to shipping, however their catalog enticed me to give it a try.
My order was handled quickly and efficiently, I received two confirming emails, including a tracking number. I mention this because too many online retailers today fail to send customers confirming emails or shipment notifications.
The plants arrived in the time frame that the company promised, which in my planting zone was only a few days.
The plants came packed in a very sturdy and I must say efficient box. Kudos to all retailers who pack their items in appropriately sized boxes, i.e. small plants - small box.
The plants themselves arrived in great condition, green with moist soil. The plants appear as described and as expected.
On Mar 23, 2009, dthomas979 Saint Charles, MO wrote:
I order 3 plants two orange meadowbrites and an salvia, all arrived on time and decent size at a very competive price.
I have know idea why someone (last posting) would complain and compare what you get from a mail order with what you get at a nursery. I look for a good root system first. It would cost a fourtune to send a gallon size plant though the mail that you find at your nursery. I thought $10.00 shipping to St. Charles, Mo. for a 4 lbs. package was quite reasonably.
Besides if you can find it at the local nursery for cheaper and bigger, why would you order online. I only order online to find something I can't find locally.
I have been ordering from High Country Gardens for four years. In the interim, they have changed their packaging system. I have done mail order plants for at least a decade, and the packaging HCG uses is the most impressive system I have ever seen.
The very first order I received before the new packaging, two of the plants were dead. When I contacted the company, they replaced them immediately.
I have had mixed success with the plants I order from them. This is not their fault, as we have very inconsistent weather here in the Ozarks and also our soil has a tendency to be very clayey. They clearly mark which plants do not like heavy soil, so I can't blame them if things that want lots of good drainage and xeric conditions die because the soil is too heavy or it decided to rain for three weeks in the middle of June and drowned the xeric plants.
It interests me that so many of the commenters here blame HCG for condition issues when the plants arrive, but HCG is not in control of the plants once they have been put into "the pipeline", so to speak. The fact that they are willing to replace stuff when it is quite possible the issues were caused by the UPS driver parking his van in the sun while he went to lunch or there was a sudden spring freeze during the shipping says a lot about the company. I have personally witnessed the way UPS treats packages, I'll bet FedEX and the USPS are just as callous. Also, I have had plants left in the sun on top of the mailbox by the postman when the box was clearly marked "PERISHABLE -Protect from heat and cold". This is not the plantsmen's fault.
I am extremely happy with HCG and have ordered stuff for this spring, and I will continue to order from them confidently as long as they are in business.
On April 2nd, 2009, EllieSmith added the following:
I ordered grasses from HCG this year. My order arrived today, in excellent condition. I have limited funds, so I decided not to order the multiples of varieties, like I really need 6 Nassella but only ordered two, needed 2 bluestems but ordered one, etc.
Imagine my happiness when the babies arrived and I inspected them and saw that they are big enough and well enough developed that I will be able to split them and get the numbers of plants I need. How cool is that?
I read a comment from someone who says that she thinks HCG plants are awfully expensive, especially when you add in the shipping. I agree. They are expensive. But you have to pay for quality, and shipping costs have followed the price of fossil fuels.
She said that she expects something a lot bigger for $9, that at the nursery she would expect a good sized plant in a gallon container for that amount. I wonder if her nursery is like the one I used to patronize here. They order a whole bunch of plants in 2-4" pots and then repot them into gallon sized containers as soon as they arrive, then turn around and sell them for $9. If they don't sell the first season, they repot them (weeds and all) into a 2 gallon pot and raise the price to $24. Half the time, the variety they say they are selling you is not the actual variety. And I have had plenty of experience with these "large" and pricey plants not being hardy in my zone because they were not labelled correctly, or because they were complete fertilizer addicts and went into withdrawal when planted. And they won't replace them, either.
I'd rather spend my money on something I KNOW arrives ready to grow, and if it dies, HCG will most likely replace them.
I know that I will be confidently ordering from them in the future.
I ordered 2 Timeless Beauty Desert Willows. Both appear healthy and arrived in perfect condition. This is perfect for what I needed and couldn't find anything similar locally. Would definitely order from again.
On Feb 27, 2009, kaled Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
I have placed a couple of orders with High Country Gardens and have been satisfied with both deliveries. I particularly like their rabbit resistant icon which helps buyers find plants that may resist browsing by rabbits. They offer a good selection for gardeners of the desert south west.
I have ordered Expanded Shale Mender twice from them, and it was quickly shipped and arrived within the week. Worked exactly as directed. I have just placed another order with them for some Delosperma, and will update when it gets here and transplants. Prices are reasonable, awesome selection, etc. If you are looking for cactus and succulents to plant straight into your garden I would be patient because those plants that they offer are small, but for all others I imagine they are a garden ready size, and much faster growers.
As I am stuck in an apartment gardening indoors for now, I will definitely be ordering many plants from them in a few years when I move in to a house.
On September 11th, 2009, gittarheero added the following:
Ordered $150 worth of Agastache, Penstemon, Ornamental Grasses, Lavender, and Gaillardia. Just planted here in mid September in Boston (zone 6), so will see how it does after winter comes through. Fast shipping (3 day so it didn't sit over the weekend), shipped on the week I picked. Plants were adequate size for mail order, all were well rooted and healthy.
Am ordering for the second year from High Country Gardens. Plants arrived last year well packaged and suffered little transplant shock. All were true to type. I am especially enjoying the 2008 planting of Echinacea Big Sky. Online catalog is easy to use and informative.
On Jan 16, 2009, Vicky_D Pompano Beach, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:
I received my first order in November and placed two more orders due to arrive in February. All plants in first order arrived on-time and in good to excellent condition. The garden tips and plant details on their website are extremely helpful to novices like myself. I was looking for Mediterranean plants and found a very good selection at HCG, particularly lavenders! I can't wait for my other orders to arrive and look forward to a long relationship with HCG. Thanks!
I've been a customer for several years. So far only 1 plant has died (totally my fault!), everything else has been great. As I hate watering these xeric plants from HCG have been a godsend. Ordering is a breeze, plants are in great shape when received and thrive when planted. I highly recommend this company!!
On Nov 10, 2008, pixiesadelle San Diego, CA wrote:
This company rocks! Two out of about a dozen plants arrived dead, because the temperature was over a hundred the week I requested them. HCG quickly replaced them when I let them know, even though it was the weather's fault, not theirs. :)
On recommendation from this site, I ordered a catalog. I was very surprised at the number and variety of xeric plants available. When I received my shipment the plants were all in good condition and ready to plant. My only complaint is that the three rhus trilobata plants were only the size of regular plants with the potting soil being about 1.5" - 2" below the rim of the 5" premium pots. I look forward to adding to my garden in the future with plants from High Country Gardens.
On Sep 19, 2008, 7lfair Glenwood Springs, CO wrote:
I am a repeat customer of High country Gardens, and have always been happy with their plants and their service, but my last order was just so nice I wanted to post this feedback. I just recieved a large order- the plants were all BEAUTIFUL- healthy, nice sized for mail order plants, with healthy and vigourous looking root systems. The plants were packaged well- all in great shape and the soil still moist. I am a very happy cusotmer of High Country.
On Aug 24, 2008, katiebug11 Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered three times from this company with great success. The plants were carefully packed, quickly shipped, and have flourished in my garden, even under my inexperienced care. HCG is the only mail-order company I will buy from.