Posted on March 30, 2006, updated June 19, 2011
I love High Country Gardens; their plants, website and service! I received my first order Spring 2005 and everyone of the 8 plants were very healthy, nice and packed well. All the plants grew well and all but 1 (Penstemon pinifolius) bloomed last summer, and I'm sure I'll be seeing blooms on it this summer. I bought Salvias, Agastaches, a Penstemon, a Stachys and a Lavender. I already have another order coming soon and it won't be my last. Highly recommended!
On May 12th, 2006, Marilynbeth added the following:
I recieved my plants yesterday and they look great, if fact one of them (Agastache Orange Flare) was blooming in the box! I was able to get 4 of the 6 planted yesterday in a break from all the rainy days we are getting. Really nice healthy looking plants!
A great company to order from!On March 13th, 2007, Marilynbeth added the following:
I've received 6 to 8 boxes of garden goods already this year, which included the following items........
Planters II (Natural Trace Mineral Fertilizer), Yum Yum Mix® 2-2-2 Organic Fertilizer, Soil Mender Humate, Saltwater Farms Sea Com-PGR Organic Seaweed Concentrate, Compost Tea, 10 to 12 bags of 10 Qt. Fertilome Potting Soil, Dramm Pattern Revolver Sprinkler, 2 in 1 English Sieve, English Steel Sieve with 1/2' Expanded Metal Mesh, 2 bags of Soil Moist™ Water Holding Crystals and a Paint Marking Pen by Faber.
Great company to order from! Next month, I'm looking forward to the 18 or more plants from them. This will be my 3rd year (but not my last) buying from them and planting their plants!
On June 19th, 2011, Marilynbeth added the following:
I've ordered every year since my first order in Spring of 2005. In fact, I've ordered several times or more each year. I'm always very happy with each order.
They're my first place I go to for plants each year. Since 2005, I've been mainly ordering Agastaches and Salvias and Xeric plants they offer.
I order more than just plants from HCG. I garden organically and have been ordering the organic garden goods they offer for the soil and plants.
They have a customer for life with me! I first found out about HCG when I read an article in a Fine Gardening magazine in the Spring of 2005 about them and the Agastaches they were growing and selling and I was instantly hooked! Highly recommended!
I ordered about 30 plants at HCG's end of season sale, my first order with this company. Plants arrived quickly (I did expedited delivery as I am in the opposite corner of the country) in excellent condition. Small, but healthy and robust looking plants, well packed in a manner that is easy to unpack. I couldn't be more pleased. I mail order plants regularly, and will expect to use HCG again.
I have dealt with HCG many times in the past, and have never had a bad shopping experience. A couple weeks ago, I ordered a buddleia alternifolia, and never got a shipping notification. After about a week, I emailed asking for status and Maureen told me my order had somehow slipped through the cracks (that can happen - I ordered via website on a Sat, during a busy busy busy month). She said it would ship immediately with free expedited so I would get it as soon as possible.
When I explained that we are now in 90F days here in GA, she agreed to cancel and refund, instead. The refund hit my account the very next day. I'll be ordering my buddleia in the fall when our temps go back down - not just because HCG is the only reputable place I've ever found it for sale, but because I know this most recent snafu was an anomaly, not the norm. They are hands-down one of the best internet nurseries in the business, in my opinion.
On Jun 1, 2011, COgardener2675 Fort Collins, CO wrote:
Beautiful packaging. Plants arrive safely cocooned. Love the plants in the premium containers. The root systems are twice the size of regular containers. Very healthy plants. Love their on-line sales and catalog filled with tips.
Posted on May 12, 2011, updated May 17, 2011
Although my communications and shipping "experience" shopping with HCG was positive---no problems there---for me, it's all about the plants. What I received was "almost" what I expect from a reputable mail-order source---well rooted young plants with healthy foliage.
With a little TLC, hopefully these plants will recover and go on to become robust, healthy plants. Hence, my "neutral" rating---the plant material could have been better.
On May 17th, 2011, plympton changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Well---after planting the penstemon and gaura I purchased from HCG, I was so impressed with the abundance of roots in the premium containers that I thought I'd come back and upgrade my rating from a "neutral" to a "positive". I see that a company rep has beat me to it and has provided a good explanation for what I received :-)
The day I received my order from HCG, I also received two other orders---one from a Top 30 company and one from one that should be. Of the three orders, one had small plants with no roots---they were barely rooted cuttings in an oversized pot, the second, the plants from HCG in the condition as described above and the third were large, robust plants in excellent condition from another nursery.
As I evaluated them, I naturally felt a "negative" for the one order with small plants/no roots and a resounding "positive" for the order with the large plants. That left me with a "neutral" for the HCG order. However, upon planting them out, I found the root structure to be so well developed that I felt obliged to come back and upgrade my review. On May 17, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On May 13, 2011 3:59 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We put great effort into growing plants that transplant well and take off in your garden. We are in zone 5, (it was -20degrees in February) and we grow our plants cold without a lot of heat so they are strong and flourish in your garden. The amount of leaves and stems on spring grown perennials is not a determining factor of plant quality, it’s the crown and roots that make a great perennial. Please note: many western native plants begin waking up much later than common perennials.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
On May 19, 2011 2:32 PM, High Country Gardens added:
Howdy, plympton! Thanks so much for your diligent feedback. Because we know there may be other customers out there who are a little surprised by the lack of showiness in their plants when they arrive in our High Country Gardens boxes, we thought we'd take the chance to build on your experience and comments and put together this short video explaining the different growing habits of various plants. Hopefully this will give customers the encouragement they need to give plants that look a little anemic upon arrival the chance to impress and wow them, just as you did.
On May 1, 2011, Astrogarden Bend, OR (Zone 5a) wrote:
I was reluctant to order a second time as I had ordered some plants a couple years ago and every one died. Since they have such a good selection of Hyssop and also Munro's Mallow which grows great here (semi-native), I gave them one more try. Plants were great and all are now in larger pots in our greenhouse awaiting warmer weather for transplant. Most have doubled in size since we got them!
I would suggest ordering in spring as the first time was in summer and I suspect I got leftovers.
On Apr 30, 2011, agastachegrl Eden Prairie, MN wrote:
Posted on June 4, 2007, updated April 30, 2011
Love this company! This is about the fifth order I've placed and the plants are always beautifully packaged. The plants all flowered the first season and are very healthy and gorgeous. I live in a colder zone, but bring them in to over winter. Agastache plants are phenomenal, many hummingbirds and butterflies. Thank you High Country Gardens, I am definately a fan!
On April 30th, 2011, agastachegrl added the following:
Again I am DELIGHTED @ the quality of the
plants I just received! Very healthy & well packaged!
Zone 3-4 here in MN & haven't lost a High Country
Garden plant yet & it's been prob. 7 years of orders
from them. Shipping costs are still reasonable
and choices are great for any zone! Thank you
High Country Gardens, you are my fave!!
On Apr 22, 2011, Hindernone Broadway, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I received my first ever order from HCG two days ago. Impressive! Ordering was a breeze online, tracking was very easy and with 2nd day air shipping, the plants arrived with perfect timing. All the plants were healthy and very nice sizes for the prices. (agastache, kniphofia, liatris, lonicera, and sedum) Will be planting today and tomorrow... hopefully I can keep them living east of the Mississippi.
On Apr 16, 2011, k2cedarcity Dayton, NV (Zone 5b) wrote:
My 1st order with HCG and I am extremely impressed with the entire ordering process at HCG. I was able to track my order, it arrived on time, all plant were well packed, great size, very healthy. I found the prices to be very, very, good. I live in high desert country (northern NV) and am delighted to find a company that fits my gardening needs. I will definitely be ordering from High Country Gardens again.
Over the weekend, ordered several composting materials to aid my clay "foundation" dirt. All were received in very good order on Thursday and Saturday!
Very pleased with High Country Gardens ordering and shipping process.
On Mar 21, 2011, moosewood Dewitt, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
The plants, etc. herein were lost in a divorce**, but as you will see, this expierience is still well worth the mention:
First: I live in a Zone 5 area. Winters are unkind "here", as is my Ex's** heart.
By 2002 or so, I had received a HGC catalog, and lusted after those beautiful and unique cacti and succulents. However, a lot of their palnts are marginal Zone 5 (might as well just say Zone 6!), or simply must must must be kept Winter-dry, to survive here.
My old house** had a wet basement. In 2002, I had a contractor come thru & waterproof it; one step of which was to trench down to the bottom of the foundation. The trench itself was 18" wide, and about 4 feet deep. The old drains were replaced, the trench backfilled with peastone.
As you likely know: Peastone = "perfect drainage".
Still hot for the cacti, and not wanting to waste the space (about 15 feet along a South-facing wall);
I decided to build a sort of Zone 6/alpine house over the trench.
I consructed a raised bed from landscape timbers, roughly 15 ft. long, 3 feet in width from house wall to bed-front, and 8" deep. I spiked the bed to the asphalt driveway.
I lined it with black gardening fabric, and filled it with a mix of ;
a good garden soil,
crushed (pea-sized) stone,
chick grit (aka. "Stoneymo Granite)
a granular material (the name's escaped me) used to areate and loosten clay soils. There was no clay in the soil mix, this stuff was another dry-drainage item, plus it was red-orange and added color to the mix.
For more color, I threw in some crushed (sledge-hammered) red and black lava.
The whole bed was built it in front of 2 basically under-insulated basement windows.
Next came a 'hoop" or "frame" of a good, stiff, springy fence wire, strong enough to support a snow load.
I hooked one edge of the fencing under the house siding, the other edge flexed behind the back edge of the bed.
I used 3 or four pieces of thick, clear plastic sheeting, (the flexible kind, not the one that cracks if bent!) overlapping them by a couple inches, again the plastic went over the fencing, under the siding, and in back of the timbers, then roughly "sealed" each end with pieces of styrofoam;
und dot vas dot!
Oh, boy it was pretty !
I ordered 15 or so Xerics from HGC, mostly the cactus, Rabias, Titanopsis, a small Agave, etc., etc, .
What they show you in their catalog, about how their items are packed, is exactly what you will get!
That package from HCG was a real WOW!!! moment.
The plants were beautiful, healthy, and none were damaged.
HGC's service was as good as anyone's...they are on an "Elite Nursery" list.
Please do order from HGC, you will not be disappointed.
As for the ultimate fate of the raised bed:
I planted HGC's items, making sure to place extra chick grit around their collars, to wick away moisture.
I was surprised to find that the damp basement air leaking thru the windows and into the little greenhouse provided all the water the Xeric plants needed.
Everything overwintered spectacularly, and was beautiful in Spring of 2003 and again in 2004.
Even a Hebe and an Ephedra I got from a local grower.
(2004** divorce final, ** kept the house), I haven't the heart to go back & see if Ol' Roundup Thumbs** has trashed that lovely bed or not.
HCG offers an excellent selection of rare plants and has a beautiful catalog. All plants arrived quickly and in excellent condition. Packaging was good and all plants were well-rooted and a nice size. The perennial pots were shipped with a tiny bag around each pot, loosely rubber-banded at the top to keep the soil in, and made the long trip to PA in nice shape. I will order from them again. Thanks!
I have bought several hundred dollars-worth of plants from HCG over the years. Some have done spectacularly well, others have been just as spectacular failures. I think the key to success with their plants is to understand that they are for western cultural conditions and some will not do well in soils that are, for instance, heavily augmented with compost. Gardeners here in central Wyoming have to practically re-invent our soils in order to get much of anything to grow, and yet some of the plants from HCG like our soil and will disappoint in kinder conditions. I am making a guess at this point to say that probably half of what I have bought from HCG has thrived and half have failed utterly. I blame three things--I am in a rural area with much harser conditions than in town, I am still a rank amateur after gardening all of my life, and because of that, I chose the wrong varieties for my location. I haven't shopped with HCG for a few years so I could allow some festuca to mature and give me a better idea what else to plant in a natives bed, but I did just place an order for some penstemon pinafolius and rhus aromatica--fairly foolproof plants. I anticipate success. If you order from them, ask questions about cultural requirements and research the varieties you want to try really well before spending the money. Their plants come in great packaging and they get up and running pretty quickly, that is if you've made the right choice. All-in-all they are a great resource for western gardeners.
On Mar 11, 2011, hummengberd San Bernardino, CA wrote:
I first heard about HCG from a Hummingbird group on Facebook. It received very high recommendations, so I decided to give them a try. I just received my first order last night and followed their directions for the plants' immediate care. I ordered 11 plants, and every single one was healthy and well packed. I was amazed really as I've never ordered plants online before. I have to say they're all out on the deck now, enjoying some morning sun; to me, they look like they're spreading their little leaves and enjoying their freedom from the packing box. Thank you, HCG. . . I'll definitely be ordering from you again (and soon).
I had never heard of this company before until I recieved their catalog in the mail.They had a good rating so I gave them a try. I was very satisfied with my order. The plants were very well packed and arrived healthy. I was happy with the size of the plants and they all had a healthy root system. Their customer service is also outstanding. I would definately order from them again.
On Mar 10, 2011, CurtisGans Lovettsville, VA wrote:
Order done easily, processed easily and delivered when HCG said it would be. Only problem is that the non-working hour phone support has no one knowledgeable about plants and their care. So had to call again and e-mail. But once I did do the second, response was quick and thoughtful;
On Mar 10, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Mar 10, 2011 3:18 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. We have a 24 hour order line that handles orders and catalog requests. Customer service is available M-F 9am-5pm MT. We strive to respond to all customer correspondence as promptly as possible. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
On Mar 8, 2011, ladypamelamary Philadelphia United States wrote:
I have the Hummingbird Garden at the Horticultural Center in Philadelphia, and I have ordered from High Country Gardens for the last four years. Their plant material has always arrived healthy, vibrant, and packed with care. I have found their customer service to be outstanding. Also, I have never lost a plant from them, and many of the plants have exceeded my expectations for growth in one season.
Love this nursery! I have ordered from them for years and have always been happy with the customer service, and the plants. I live in Northern California and have several xeric beds that look fantastic thanks to HCG.
Last year, I ordered a number of plants, many in premium (5") pots, from High Country Gardens. While the plants appeared small, their root systems were very well developed, and they took off like a house afire. By mid-summer, they were a riot of color and texture, a lovely sight indeed. Many were planted in the front yard, and I got so many compliments from neighbors and passersby. I could not be more pleased and have just ordered some more for spring delivery, to be planted in the "inferno strip" between sidewalk and curb next to my store. Thank you, High country Gardens!
On Jan 31, 2011, High Country Gardens responded with:
"On Feb 4, 2011 4:51 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:
We appreciate you for your feedback. High Country Gardens specially designed the 5" deep containers used in shipping the majority of the plants we grow. These premium pots are the depth of a #1 Gallon and with their well developed root systems are ready for planting in your garden upon arrival. If you are able to we would love to see pictures! You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on our Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/hcg4fans for all to enjoy!
On Jan 16, 2011, billyet Portland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
Very prompt service, they were cooperative and helpfully agreed to send part of my order right away and the rest in the spring; there was 1 mistake and they replaced the bulb immediately & let me keep the mis-sent one as well.
On Oct 25, 2010, kacton Hasbrouck Heights, NJ wrote:
I love High Country Gardens. Their website is informative, I love that they show pictures of the plants that give perspective of how they will look planted. I do not live in the high country, I live in New Jersey but I order plants often from HCG and they are always alive and shipped safely. Overall a great website and solid plants.
On Oct 8, 2010, dorothy128 Visalia, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:
Excellent Customer Service! When I didn't receive the last part of my order, my e-mail inquiry was answered in less time it took me to write the inquiry. At first I was told the ordered had been delivered, which I assured them it had not. Further correspondence uncovered a problem with the drop shippers and the order would be shipped the following week. This was a problem for me since I am leaving on vacation. They agreed to delay shipment for a week, which will be absolutely perfect. Superior response time to my inquiries. All was resolved by e-mail in less than 45 minutes. I couldn't be happier with the resolution and the customer service.
On Sep 24, 2010, gardenchik Robbinsville, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
I received my very first order from HCG today. The plants were packaged perfectly. All 17 plants (3 varieties) look healthy and are a good size. I will order from this company again come spring. I would order more now for fall planting, but I'm already beat-up from the hot summer. I'm ready to just take it easy and dream of next spring. Thanks HCG!
I moved to Las Vegas a few years ago. I had only lived in the southeast before so I had no idea how to garden in a hot desert. I bought several plants at local nurseries and they all failed miserably. None of them belonged in the desert. I found High Country Gardens and have been a huge fan ever since. Every plant I have ordered from them has been extremely healthy and has grown beautifully. Like I said, I am new to the desert and had no idea what to plant so I have emailed them questions and they always respond quickly and thoroughly. Their employees seem to know more about my local growing area than the people at my local nurseries. Of course they offer many other plants besides desert plants. Compared to the local nurseries their plant prices are a little more expensive but I will gladly pay the price because I know the plant will grow. I just can't say enough how much I love High Country Gardens!
On Aug 25, 2010, enviroplanter North Wales, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
Selection of shrubs is somewhat limited, but they do have things you can't find anywhere else (and not just for the Southwest). Their plants are well rooted and very healthy; they really settle in quickly and grow fast. Packing and shipping are excellent.
Posted on August 24, 2010, updated August 24, 2010
Excellent mail order resource for gardeners who need xeric plants for higher elevations, such as Colorado. Plants arrived the week I specified, in good condition.
On August 24th, 2010, mhpinson added the following:
Their catolog contains detailed information needed to choose perenials for my tough growing conditions (full sun to partial shade, 10" to 20" of rain per year, low humidity, zone 5, no supplemental watering after plant is established). Catelog also indicates plants that won't be eaten by bunnies & deer, or will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
On Aug 5, 2010, wakacjusz South Milwaukee, WI wrote:
I'm very happy with the plants I received from HCG. They are unique and beautiful. Shipping was fast and well packed. The plants grow like crazy, just after few months my catmint is over 2 feet wide. And it was a tiny one when I got it. For couple plants, that didn't make it, I received replacements from HCG and hopefully now they will have happy ending at my garden. I recommend HCG to each garden lover.