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The scoop on 'High Country Gardens'

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  Company Profile  
High Country Gardens

High Country Gardens has 1029 products listed in PlantScout.

Mailing Address:
2438 Shelburne Road Suite 1
Shelburne, Vermont 05482 (United States)

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 0 3 5
Neutral 0 0 1
Negative 0 7 7
This company is affiliated with American Meadows

This company offers a variety of plants.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Company Comment, posted on February 14, 2013:  
For over a quarter century, High Country Gardens has been a pioneer in sustainable gardening, offering the best drought-resistant, native and unique plants. Our mission is to improve the earth, one garden at a time. Each year, together with David Salman, our founder and chief horticulturist, we introduce numerous unique and water-thrifty perennials that you’ll only find at High Country Gardens. Our plants are garden tested and guaranteed to grow.

  Feedback History and Summary  
510 positives
47 neutrals
92 negatives

Comments:

Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive ColorMeGreen
Elizabeth, CO
(4 reviews)
September 18, 2019
Last summer I visited my local Botanic Garden and came across a really unique plant called Kintzley's Ghost Honeysuckle. Of course, I had to have some and High Country Gardens was the ONLY place I could find them. I ordered two. Shortly before they were to be shipped I received an email from them saying that the plants really weren't up to snuff and that they couldn't sell me anything that they wouldn't plant in their own gardens, so my order had been canceled. Of course I was disappointed, but I also appreciated their consideration. Then a couple of days ago I received a shipping notice for those very plants! Well, they just arrived and they are definitely up to snuff. One is 9 inches tall and one is 14 inches tall and both are moist and leafy. Now, the ball is in my court. Thank you, High Country Gardens, I will be back next spring!
Company representative comment on September 25, 2019:
On Sep 25, 2019 2:37 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear ColorMeGreen, thank you for taking the time to share your experience and positive feedback. The Kintzley’s Ghost Lonicera is a favorite of ours too. It can be a tricky crop to root out correctly and we just didn’t feel comfortable with the progress of the plants we’d had in production for shipping last spring. As gardeners ourselves we know the joys (and challenges) that come along with growing these unique plants. We also recognize how disappointing it is to have something not grow as planned, particularly when you’ve been looking forward to receiving it for so long in advance. We start all of our plants at least a year in advance, so you can imagine how saddened we were to make that decision and hold back shipments. We are thrilled we were able to get you the long-awaited Kintzley’s Ghost for this fall and hope you enjoy them! Best, Ethan

Positive RogerH3
Nyssa, OR
(1 review)
August 12, 2019
I placed several orders with them in May/June (Monardas and Agastaches, about 25 plants altogether). They all arrived in a timely manner. They use the best packing method I've seen - their cardboard boxes have an internal cardboard 'clip' which holds the plant pots in place and prevents the soil from shaking loose. Consequently the plants all arrived in excellent condition and established themselves quickly.

They made a mistake in one order (one of the plants was the wrong variety), and when I emailed them they shipped the correct one promptly.

Their little video 'how to' planting guides are good too.

I give them 5 stars out of 5.
Negative jvw
Clinton Township, MI (Zone 6a)
(7 reviews)
June 13, 2019
Posted on May 29, 2019, updated June 13, 2019
My plants spent EIGHT days in a box! In this day in age it should never take that long. They do list that they pack them to survive that long. But why would I pay so much to get plants that will “survive”. I NEVER would have ordered had I known it would take that long. My plants arrived sad and stressed. They dropped tons of leaves. One plant looks terrible and should never have been sent out. Could not get through on the phone. Tried to send them email through “contact us” on website but all I got was an error message. Had to do the “chat” on the website. Not helpful. Just was told the plants were guaranteed for a year. Well I sure won’t want replacement of plants suffering in a box for another eight days. Totally disappointed. I see here they were forced to move, have staff shortages, computer issues etc. Well stop marketing so much! Get your act back together before you disappoint and lose more customers. Oh, and they sent me an email BEFORE I even got my order encouraging me to buy more and here is a coupon. I just want my money back.
On June 13th, 2019, jvw added the following:

I also posted my experience on Google reviews. I asked that they make it right. I was directed to email them and they would make it right. Almost two weeks later I have had no response or credit to my visa. This experience has made me so mad!
Company representative comment on June 14, 2019:
On May 29, 2019 8:47 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Jennifer,

I\\\'m sorry for your frustration and negative experience. Yes, it\\\'s been a trying spring for us, but we\\\'re working through it all. We appreciate the patience of all of our loyal, passionate customers.

In this day of Prime, customers have become accustomed to fast, cheap shipping. I can assure you that for small businesses like ours, the rates we are charged are over 4x what Amazon is charged by UPS and the Postal Service. Yet we do not have the ability to pass those costs on to customers - they\\\'d never pay those rates. It\\\'s a balance as we seek to keep our shipping charges and costs low, while getting the plants to our customers in the best shape to thrive in your garden. We are constantly trying find that balance, but in some cases, such as yours, we still have work to do.

Thank you for the feedback and rest assured that we\\\'re working around the clock to get better, as we have for the last 26 years.

Best Wishes, Ethan Platt | President


On May 29, 2019 8:47 PM, High Country Gardens added:

Dear Jennifer,

I\'m sorry for your frustration and negative experience. Yes, it\'s been a trying spring for us, but we\'re working through it all. We appreciate the patience of all of our loyal, passionate customers.

In this day of Prime, customers have become accustomed to fast, cheap shipping. I can assure you that for small businesses like ours, the rates we are charged are over 4x what Amazon is charged by UPS and the Postal Service. Yet we do not have the ability to pass those costs on to customers - they\'d never pay those rates. It\'s a balance as we seek to keep our shipping charges and costs low, while getting the plants to our customers in the best shape to thrive in your garden. We are constantly trying find that balance, but in some cases, such as yours, we still have work to do.

Thank you for the feedback and rest assured that we\'re working around the clock to get better, as we have for the last 26 years.

Best Wishes, Ethan Platt | President


On Jun 14, 2019 8:46 AM, High Country Gardens added:

Jennifer, we're working around the clock to wrap up our spring season. Your refund was processed and a confirmation emailed.

Negative dem2rd
Naugatuck, CT (Zone 5a)
(4 reviews)
May 28, 2019
Not sure what has changed this year, but received absolutely the worst looking plants ever from them. Some were DOA, most had dead and broken foliage and thick green slime on the top of the soil. Reached out via email and twitter with pictures documenting the plants. No response. Unfollowed and will not longer get their emails. Literally a waste of over a hundred dollars. Lesson learned.
Company representative comment on May 29, 2019:
On May 29, 2019 4:53 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Doris, I'm very sorry that you did not have a great experience with us this year as we really appreciate your repeat business.

It has admittedly been a challenging spring for us. The cannabis / hemp industry in Colorado forced us out of our greenhouses in November and we had to quickly uproot and move our entire growing and shipping operation to Utah in a matter of 2 months. On top of that, we implemented entirely new software to better serve our customers, but are working thru the bugs, which have proven overwhelming.

I realize that reads like a bunch of excuses, but I just want to acknowledge that we've been unable to live up to our usual level of customer service this spring. For that, I apologize. But rest assured that we're working around the clock to both help existing customers and get through these challenges. We will be in touch regarding your order and will work out a solution.

Thanks for your understanding - Ethan Platt | President

Negative LisaDenver2019
Denver, CO
(1 review)
May 24, 2019
Do not use this company! Their customer service is nonexistent! I placed an order in April and they stated on the receipt that the plants would not be shipped until the week of May 6 (which is understandable for Denver’s planting season). On May 10, I received an email saying that the shipping date was changed to the week of May 13. On May 17, I still had not received the plants so I started a chat and sent an email inquiring about my order. The only response was a canned message stating that that I would receive an update on my order soon. By May 21, I still had not received a response so I left a message with customer service (went straight to voicemail). It is now May 24 and I do not have my plants and I do not have any update on when and if my plants will ever be sent. I wished that I would have checked the online reviews before I ordered from this company. Please use another online garden supply company.
Company representative comment on May 24, 2019:
On May 24, 2019 11:11 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Lisa, I'm sorry for your frustration. For a number of reasons (such as new technology, weather challenges, low unemployment and even the hemp/cannabis market in Denver, which forced us to move our greenhouses...), we've fallen behind our usual standards in how quickly we're replying to inquiries. All I can tell you is that we're a small, dedicated and passionate team that's working around to clock to both ship orders and respond to customers.

I wish you the best in your future gardening endeavors.

Ethan Platt | President

Negative ChicagoStanton
Chicago, IL
(1 review)
May 22, 2019
Shipping took more than a week to arrive. Shouldn't plants go overnight?

1 plant was missing from my order. 1 arrived unlabeled and not much of a plant at all, just a bit of a seedling under the dirt. 1 arrived mostly moldy and brown. To be fair, the other 12 or 13 were fine.

Really frustrated with the lack of responsive customer service. I submitted a request online. No response so I called and waited on hold for 20 minutes and was then told to call back after planting and waiting up to 2 weeks. I planted, I waited, I submitted another online request, no response, need to call again.

I won't order plants here or online again. Back to the local options.


Company representative comment on May 22, 2019:
On May 22, 2019 10:12 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear ChicagoStanton,

I'm sorry that you were not satisfied with your experience with High Country. We work hard at plant quality, shipping experience and customer service. Over-nighting plants is not an option due to costs of shipping. We are constantly working to balance shipping costs with plant quality and continue to evaluate the right mix.

As for your frustrations on reaching us, again I apologize. We're at the absolute peak of spring madness right now. As a matter of fact, we closed the entire company yesterday so that every member of our staff could focus on replying to customer inquiries. I can assure you that we will always honor our 100% satisfaction guarantee and we will reply ASAP. In the meantime, please plant and care for all of the plants you received - we make sure to ship healthy root systems and are confident that you'll be pleasantly surprised if you follow the care instructions included in your shipment.

Best Wishes, Ethan Platt | President

Negative south_girl
Denver, NC
(2 reviews)
May 12, 2019
Disappointing experience. Attracted by the "sustainability" and "native plants" etc. in description, I tried them out for some sage varieties my favorite online dealer didn't carry. Notified Friday, May 3, 2019 that my order shipped that day. Sadly, a Friday shipment pretty much guarantees the order will sit around somewhere over the weekend, and it did. While it's less than a two-day (14 hour) drive from High Country to where I live, the order took 7 days to show up, again on a Friday. Of three plants, one was one very dead and another not doing well. No sign of plant labels anywhere and, since it was 6 pm Friday, no chance over the weekend of identifying which plant was which for the recommended quick planting. When I took a chance on planting the one plant that looked healthy, I did discover the plant ID stick completely buried between plant and (non-sustainable plastic) pot, where you would never see it if you didn't know it was there; not mentioned in instructions. I see HC instituted a new shipping process this year; likely being refined. But in the meantime, recommend checking Dave's WatchDog 30 (top) sellers. To High Country: Please do not contact me; I've spent more time on this already than I can afford. But for the plants' sake, please fix your shipping processes. This isn't it.
Company representative comment on May 12, 2019:
On May 12, 2019 1:13 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

south_girl, I'm sorry for your negative experience. We're constantly working to refine our shipping, packaging, etc to ensure the best experience at a reasonable cost. One point I would like to clarify is that plants shipped on a Friday do not sit over the weekend. Once they're in the UPS/USPS system, they continue to move over the weekend, thus we purposely ship on Fridays for further points (such as yours) to ensure that you have the products in time to plant the following weekend.

Once again, sorry you were not pleased.

Best, Ethan Platt | President

Negative gryll
Marstons Mills, MA
(1 review)
May 3, 2019
After many years of ordering with HCG I will never do business with them again. Ordered 2 plants on 4/14 one arrived dead after 8 days of shipping. They sent replacement on 4/29 with an ETA of 5/7 from UPS. That really is unacceptable and I phoned customer service today and spoke to Amy, who proceeded to tell me I should never be ordering from HCG living on the east coast and that the plant I ordered will not survive. I told her I use it as an annual for the hummingbirds and she then told me it does not bloom for 3 or 4 years.Very argumentative and incorrect. I asked her why they keep sending me catalogs if I should not be ordering from them. Then I asked for a refund please and she yelled at me that she would refund my account and HUNG UP ON ME. Good bye High Country Gardens . It has been nice up until this year.
Company representative comment on May 3, 2019:
On May 3, 2019 7:34 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Gina, I'm very sorry for your negative experience. I'll send you a direct email addressing some of your concerns, although I'll assure you that Amy's been with us for multiple years and is a very conscientious, knowledgeable and customer-friendly representative.

Ethan Platt | President

Positive BostonPlanted
Boston, MA (Zone 5b)
(8 reviews)
May 1, 2019
Ordered 12 plants. All arrived healthy and in good shape. Packaged well.
Negative quarkuud
Silver Spring, MD
(2 reviews)
April 25, 2019
I've not been very happy with my experience thus far.
I placed an order in January, and asked to delay my shipment by two weeks from the first week for my zone. They agreed, but when it came to that week, I didn't get a shipping notification nor did any shipment arrive.
When I called 10 days later, they had had a billing error on their end for part of the order (I had paid 100% of the order by CC in January, so it was all on their end). Rather than fixing the issue themselves or even contacting me, they just silently sat on the order. Once I contacted them by chat, they fixed the issue and shipped the order. Despite their error causing a significant delay, they shipped standard speed, and I didn't receive the plants for another week.

When I got the plants, one had ordered had not been shipped. There was again no communication with me to say that a plant was back-ordered. I had to contact them and ask why I was missing a plant to get communication that it was back-ordered for another 2 weeks. I asked for a refund on that plant since it would likely be too late to plant in my zone, and while the customer service agent said he would do it, he closed the chat before confirming it was done. I had to open another chat to confirm that there was a request to refund my card, which would also take 14 days to get through the queue.

This is on me, but I thought the company would be shipping from Vermont since that was the address I saw. They definitely ship from out west and took 8 days to get to my location. Three of the plants I got arrived looking pretty sad. Two had yellowed leaves, and one had leaves with black spots that had fallen off the plant. I assume this was because of the long shipping time. I figured since they weren't dead I'd put them in the ground and see if they made it. I do have pictures of the plants but it doesn't look like I can post them here.
Company representative comment on April 26, 2019:
On Apr 26, 2019 10:01 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Kathleen, I took a few minutes to look at your order and contact history and I can see why you're frustrated - for that I sincerely apologize.

Although not an excuse, we implemented an entirely new tech backbone for this year, largely to ensure that we can better handle the complicated nature of our business (shipping orders from various locations based on your growing zones in a highly seasonal business!). In certain cases, like yours, we clearly don't have all the bugs worked out.

Again, my sincerest apologies and I hope that we have the chance to earn your trust again in the future.

Best, Ethan Platt | President

Positive calebstroh
Kaysville, UT
(3 reviews)
April 6, 2019
Ordered about a dozen plants in late winter; they arrived well packaged, healthy and as advertised. We added another flower bed a couple weeks ago and I decided to place a second order for more 7 perennials. I received the plants in good form only three days later!

Very positive experience and a nice selection of western specific hardy perennials that might be hard to find in your local garden center. Also a fair selection of cacti/yucca/succulents.

Plants are sized accordingly (5 in. pots so they're not going to be huge) but had healthy root systems. Bottom line, the plants got to me safe and sound...the rest of it is up to me...including keeping them alive! A dead plant is NOT the responsibility of the nursery unless it arrives that way.
Positive aimeej
Albuquerque, NM
(10 reviews)
April 6, 2019
Posted on March 29, 2019, updated April 6, 2019
Posted on November 9, 2015, updated March 29, 2019
This year I took advantage of the Fall sale with High Country Gardens. I was a little hesitant at first because I live in New Mexico and High Country Gardens was started in Santa Fe and I had ordered from them with good results, but when American Meadows bought them I noticed that their availability and number of varieties decreased. However, this year they had everything I was looking for at nice prices and very reasonable shipping. The plants that arrived were very large, very healthy, well rooted and wonderfully packed. I will definitely order from them again and I recommend them highly.
On March 29th, 2019, aimeej changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

I placed three new orders this year and received the first today. What a disappointment. The plants were not secured in the box and had very little packaging. Even though each plant was in a plastic bag with a rubber band around the top, a lot of the soil around them had spilled out. The Phlomis cashmeriana had all of its two leaves broken off and looked bad. None of the plants were in any shape to be planted out in the garden and will have to sit in my unheated greenhouse until they recover, if they do. I am lucky to have a plant infirmary. If i didn\'t most of them would die. A second order is due to arrive tomorrow, I do not have high expectations for it.
On April 6th, 2019, aimeej changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

I called customer service and spoke to an agent about the issue.She was very pleasant and had a replacement for the Phlomis sent out in 2 days. It was packed a little better and will survive. The second order arrived with much better packaging and the plants are all doing well while waiting to be planted out. The remaining plants from the first order are recovering slowly, but look like they will make it. I have one more large order coming so my fingers are crossed.
Neutral hardyinokc
Oklahoma City, OK
(27 reviews)
April 1, 2019
Posted on May 22, 2013, updated April 1, 2019
Posted on October 25, 2012, updated May 22, 2013
Posted on July 20, 2012, updated October 25, 2012
Posted on June 14, 2012, updated July 20, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 14, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Posted on May 29, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Posted on July 23, 2010, updated May 29, 2012
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Posted on July 12, 2010, updated July 23, 2010
Posted on July 2, 2010, updated July 12, 2010
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated July 2, 2010
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
Posted on April 9, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
Posted on March 9, 2005, updated April 9, 2010
A few years ago, I ordered 6 different ornamental grasses from this company. 6 plants arrived in fine condition; however, a year later, it became apparent that one of the grasses was not a grass I had ordered. They had sent me two of the same grasses, but I was not able to determine this til the grass bloomed. When I attempted to get a replacement grass for the duplicate they sent, I received absolutely NO help from their customer service. Since all 6 plants were labeled according to what my order had been, I had no way of knowing that one of them was labeled incorrectly til the year later when it finally bloomed. I have no problem with their quality of plants, but I have a BIG problem with their poor customer service and attitude.
On April 19th, 2005, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

Customer service supervisor contacted me and offered to sent replacement plant. Was very friendly. Am looking forward to receiving the replacement grass. Customer service appears to have improved dramatically. Would definitely order from High Country Gardens again in the future.
On April 29th, 2005, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

My replacement plant arrived yesterday. It was a very healthy specimen and was well packed. The only problem is it was STILL not the correct plant; which is why I\'ve changed my rating from \"positive\" to \"neutral\". I do appreciate their effort, but it would have been nice to receive the plant I was expecting.
On June 2nd, 2006, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

Well, I decided to try placing an order with HCG again. Big mistake. They sent my order in mid-April, but failed to send the plant I most wanted (ipomea leptophylla). Have spent the last 1 1/2 months attempting to find out when I might possibly recieve this plant, but to no avail. No one can tell me if it has or has not shipped, or when it might ship. I am very disappointed in HCG\'s lack of communication, and their customer service seems to have deteriorated. I do not understand why all of the communication has been up to me. They should be willing to let their paid customers know what is happening with their orders. Although their customer service reps have stated they would return my calls, I have yet to receive a single call from them.
On June 2nd, 2006, hardyinokc added the following:

Well, I decided to try placing an order with HCG again. Big mistake. They sent my order in mid-April, but failed to send the plant I most wanted (ipomea leptophylla). Have spent the last 1 1/2 months attempting to find out when I might possibly recieve this plant, but to no avail. No one can tell me if it has or has not shipped, or when it might ship. I am very disappointed in HCG\'s lack of communication, and their customer service seems to have deteriorated. I do not understand why all of the communication has been up to me. They should be willing to let their paid customers know what is happening with their orders. Although their customer service reps have stated they would return my calls, I have yet to receive a single call from them.
On June 29th, 2006, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I admit I have had some problems with HCG, but after receiving my most recent plant order (their end of spring shipping sale), I just HAD to change my rating. They may have some problems, but the quality of the plants just cannot be questioned in my opinion. The plants I received were well-packed for shipping, extremely healthy and definitely ready to be planted. Good Job HCG!!!!
On April 29th, 2008, hardyinokc added the following:

I ordered from HCG again this spring. My order arrived as scheduled, and all of the plants were in great shape. There was a small problem tho: 1 of the agaves I ordered had a ID tag with it that stated hardy to zone 8; on the HCG web-site when I placed the order, the web-site description stated this agave was hardy to zone 5. I called HCG to check which zone was correct for this plant. They apologized about the mess-up (the on-line description gave the wrong zone) & sent out a replacement plant almost immediately. I really appreciated their prompt attention to the situation. THANX & GOOD JOB!!!!
On April 2nd, 2009, hardyinokc added the following:

I placed an order early 2009. The order shipped/arrived as expected. All plants were well packed. In the HCG catalog, they frequently comment (and show pictures) about how well-rooted their plants are, but I think that only applies to the plants in the large 5\" pots (they show pictures of well-developed root systems in the 5\" pots ONLY). I had ordered a Yucca Radiosa; it arrived in the smaller 3\" pot and had very little root system (it seemed to be a very small seedling with only three little leaves). I contacted HCG about the poorly rooted yucca; they responded, and sent me a replacement yucca. I have left the new yucca in the 3\" pot because I\'m afraid of what I\'ll find if I check out the roots. I am keeping the \"Positive\" rating because they did respond and send a replacement plant, but I must admit, I\'m very hesitant to order anything from HCG that does not come in the 5\" pots, as the smaller pots may or may not have well-developed root systems. I do appreciate the prompt response, good communication, and replacement plant.
On April 9th, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

On 12-4-09, I placed an order for the Agave neomexicana \"sunspot\"; I ordered this extra early with the hopes that I would receive a nice-sized specimen. This was the only item I ordered because the catalog indicated that it came in the 5\" deep pot. I received this plant yesterday (4-8-10); it did arrive on the correct week & it is alive, but I am greatly disappointed in the size of the plant (less than 2\" across). I thought that the 5\" pots would have well developed root systems. WRONG! Even though the agave did arrive in a 5\" pot, it appeared that the plant had actually been grown in the small cactus pot & was transferred to the 5\" pot just before being shipped. All of the root system was in the top inch of soil (why have the other 4 inches of soil in the pot if there are no roots in it?), and the root-ball was still shaped into the small square shape of the small cactus pot. I spent the extra money on this plant because it was supposed to have the well-developed root system that they claim all of the 5\" pots have. NOT TRUE. Just because they state the plant comes in a 5\" deep pot, do NOT expect the roots to be any better developed than if they were in the small cactus pots. I would really like to place another order with HCG because they do have some plants that I cannot find elsewhere, but this recent experience causes me to hesitate in placing further orders.
On April 12th, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:

I have emailed HCG customer service.....no response yet.
On April 12th, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:

3:26pm....2nd e-mail sent to customer service
On April 12th, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Spoke with Victoria at HCG customer service. She offered to file a claim for a refund. Since the plant is actually still alive, I did not feel right expecting a refund. I just hope HCG improves their quality control to ensure that their plants are adequately rooted prior to being shipped out (ESPECIALLY their 5\" Premium pots since they like to stress how well rooted the plants in Premium pots are supposed to be).
On July 2nd, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:

well, I\'ve done it again.....I placed another order with HCG .... Hope I don\'t end up regretting it...I really hope the plants arrive well-rooted and in good shape.... will up-date after the plants arrive
On July 12th, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

Well I received my latest plant order on Friday, July 9th. Plants arrived well-packed and were healthy with nice root systems.
On July 23rd, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

Well, I was afraid this was going to happen. On 4-9-10, I had left a comment about the tiny agave neomexicana \"sunspot\" I had recieved from HCG (the one with the practically non-existent root system in the so-called \"premium\" pot). After struggling for the past 3 months, the poor little thing died this week (exactly what I was expecting because of the lack of root system it had when it arrived). It cost me $15 plus shipping for this extremely tiny agave, & now it\'s dead. What a waste of money.
On July 23rd, 2010, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Just got off the phone with HCG customer service. On 4-12-10, Victoria offered a refund, but I had declined the refund at that time because the plant was actually alive. Today, HCG informs me that a refund had been issued for that plant on 4-26-10. Last I knew, I had declined the refund offered on 4-12-10, but I guess they issued a refund anyway. It would have been nice if HCG could have notified me that a refund had been issued back in April; now I feel like a FOOL for calling today about a refund on a plant that they say has already been refunded. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS PLEASE.
On May 29th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:

Well, done it again...just placed another order with HCG. Guess we\'ll see what shape the plants arrive in...hoping they are better rooted that my previous orders.
On June 11th, 2012, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

well, when my most recent order arrived on 5-31-12, one plant had a pot full of roots & was very healthy; however, the other plant arrived droopy and completely wilted; upon removal from the \"Premium\" 5inch pot, the roots were all in the top inch of soil. I filled out the \"Plant Claim\" form on on the HCG site on 6-1-12 & received an answer back that same day that my replacement plant would ship on 6-4-12. Today, 6-11-12, I have not received my replacement plant (I really hope it hasn\'t spent a week in some post office or something...that certainly won\'t help the plant do well), & I have heard nothing more from HCG.
On June 11th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:

Well, I just received an email from HCG which gives the tracking info for my initial order (which was delivered on 5-31-12) and indicates that 5-31-12 was the delivery date of the Replacement plant. How could 5-31-12 be the delivery date for the replacement plant when I did not submit the Claim Form for replacement until 6-1-12?. So, I guess my replacement plant STILL has not shipped (a week after HCG said it would ship).
On June 11th, 2012, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Just received another email from HCG that states they are now shipping out the replacement plant. Hoping for the best!
On June 14th, 2012, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

My replacement arrived looking great! Just wish the initial plant had been this good so I would not have had to request a replacement.
On July 20th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:

just received an order from HCG yesterday. 2 of the 3 plants were well-packaged and seemed healthy. the little cactus I received in this order had good color but did seem rather small & had lost most of the dirt around the very small root system.
On October 25th, 2012, hardyinokc added the following:

Received plant order yesterday...plant seemed to be healthy, but it appeared that FedEx had been very rough with the box during shipping; most of the dirt was out of the pot and the box was about half-smashed. Perhaps HCG should consider changing to UPS or something as FedEx seems to care less and less about how their packages arrive.
On May 22nd, 2013, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

remember when HCG was one of the top 30 companies? most of the feedbacks left since American Meadows took over have been negative...certainly makes me hesitant to order from HCG OR American Meadows...
On April 1st, 2019, hardyinokc added the following:

I finally decided to give HCG another chance to earn my business. Upon receipt of my order, I opened the box to inspect the plants. The aloe was very impressive in size (i think it's about the most impressive plant I've EVER received from HCG). The euphorbia's pot did not travel well; it took me several minutes to even find the plant because it was very small and buried in potting soil; it did not appear to be rooted in the pot. We will see how my 3 new plants do & post an up-date later.
Company representative comment on April 12, 2010:
On Apr 9, 2010 12:46 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Have you contacted Customer Service? We would like to help resolve this issue. Customer Service is available Monday through Friday 9am-5pm MST. You can contact us toll free 1-800-925-9387 or email [email protected].

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta
Customer Service Supervisor
High Country Gardens
[email protected]


On Apr 12, 2010 9:53 AM, High Country Gardens added:

I have searched the emails at [email protected] and have not come across an email regarding the Agave. Please email me directly at [email protected] and I can assist you.


On Apr 12, 2010 2:49 PM, High Country Gardens added:

As of 02:47pm MST I checked both my email [email protected] and checked [email protected], I check the in-box and the spam box and did not find an email for you. To resolve this please contact me toll free 1-877-811-2700 ext. 3023.

Sincerely,
Victoria Peralta

Positive jclapp99362
Walla Walla, WA
(1 review)
June 5, 2018
I am a first time gardener and with advice from a friend, ordered several plants from HCG. A majority of them arrived in great shape. The ones that looked suspicious, HCG walked me through how to make sure they were viable or not.

The more important topic is the speediness and efficiency of their customer service response time. They were very polite and swift with the responses and sent out replacement plants for the questionable ones in a timely fashion.

A very pleasurable experience for this nervous gardener!
Negative vossner
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
(114 reviews)
May 26, 2018
HCG mission seem to change when sold to American Meadows. But even before change in mgt, not one Plant that I got from them survived—not a one! Additionally, they are so darned proud of their 5” pots, suggesting that their plants are stronger, when all they seem to do is take a 1” cell plant and stuff it in soiless mix upon shipping. Highly deceiving. I placed a call a week ago to ask horticultural related questions and still waiting. This company is undeserving of my patronage.
Company representative comment on May 28, 2018:
On May 28, 2018 12:18 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear vossner, I'm sorry to hear that you were not pleased with your plants. We up-post into 5" pots from smaller cells in the late summer or fall the year before. When that happens depends upon each variety and how quickly it grows. Getting plants at the perfect stage for shipment is not easy - plant too early and they'll become root bound in the pot and not do well. Too late and they won't have time to root to the sides/bottom of the pot. This timing is all based on "typical" growing seasons and this winter/spring the weather threw us some real challenges.

As for contacting us, this time of year we get over 1,200 contacts (phone+email+live chat) per day, which is a crushing load for our small team. We're doing all we can to keep up, but appreciate your patience in the meantime.

Best, Ethan Platt | President

Positive MuggleGardener
Reno, NV
(1 review)
May 1, 2018
We’ve purchased nearly everything in our yard from High Country Gardens, and are huge fans. Starting with the Bird Watcher’s Garden, we’ve found the products to be hardy, fast-growing, and beautiful. We have Dog Tuff grass that looks great and requires almost no care. Right now our Juniper Leaf Thyme is in full purple bloom (about 25 plants in a solid mass) and it is stunning. All the neighbors have commented positively! The one issue we had was with some Veronica Speedwell, and those plants were replaced promptly. I do wish they still produced a catalog, as I prefer to dream over a page rather than a screen, but HCG is great for me.
Positive brianaucuba
PEQUEA, PA (Zone 6b)
(20 reviews)
April 29, 2018
I had wanted to try hardy Agapanthus for a while. High Country Gardens had both white and purple hardy varieties available so I placed an order. I received large healthy divisions in five inch deep pots. They were packed very well and arrived in great shape.
Negative joip
Wheat Ridge, CO
(1 review)
March 9, 2018
Posted on April 20, 2017, updated March 9, 2018
What has happened to HCG?? Here\'s what I received
3 Zauschneria Canum Sky Island Orange - all wilted & yellow
2 Penstemon Strictus - tiny - 2\" wide x 1 1/2\" tall
2 Digitalis Honey Trumpet - decent
2 Agastache Acapulco Deluxe Yellow - decent
1 Agastache Rupestris Apache Sunset - didn\'t order this one as I already have it. The Rupestris is pathetic; I wish I could post a picture. There are 12 leaves on 3 sticks coming out of the pot. I ordered Agastache Acapulco Deluxe Peach for my border because, like the Deluxe Yellow, it only grows to 10\" tall.
To top it off, some of these plants were replacements for plants that I received last year. Well, I\'m not sure there was anything planted in the pots as they were labeled \"Don\'t worry I\'m sleeping. These plants have been dormant but the roots are healthy & ready to grow.\" Never saw
anything grow.
What happened to your quality High Country Gardens?

On March 9th, 2018, joip added the following:

Well I took Ethan's advice & planted the twig looking plants I was sent at outrageous prices from HCG. I've spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars with this company & while their plants USED to be unique & beautifully grown the quality has plummeted since American Meadows took over & HCG moved to Denver. I'm done - I've lost enough time & $$
The plants they offer are now widely available, at better prices, lower shipping costs & much better quality. Don't spend your dollars here.
Company representative comment on April 21, 2017:
On Apr 21, 2017 1:39 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Joip; I'm sorry that it's taken a few days to get back to you and that you were not happy with your order. I took a look at your account and am confused as the web order you're referring to did have the Apache Sunset on it. As for the varieties that we ship dormant, each plant is different - that's what makes our High Country selection so unique. Some wake up later than others and based on our experience, some transplant more successfully in one form or another. We do all that we can to make sure our customers are successful with our products and as always, guarantee your satisfaction. The credit we issued you that you used on this order is an example of how we stand behind our products. Please plant and care for your order and let us know how they turn out once they've acclimated to your garden and once ground temperatures in your area of Denver have warmed a bit more. As always, we want you to be happy. Best, Ethan Platt, President

Neutral dduff
Fort Collins, CO (Zone 5b)
(4 reviews)
January 30, 2018
Several years ago I would have rated HCG positively, but many of my more recent purchases have been less than positive. Their promotions do not seem to be as good now as they were several years ago, making their prices quite high, and many of the plants I receive from them are incredibly small and frail. I've also had at least one instance where I received a plant which was correctly labeled, but a different plant was growing dominantly in the pot and before I realized the issue it had choked out the plant I purchased.

I have also noticed, over the years, that they tend to have a lot of exclusive or near exclusive varieties which are touted as superior to the species and I am unable to notice any superior characteristics or they actually DO seem to be superior, but they stop offering them.

On the bright side, they do have a very good guarantee and have honored it for me on more than one occasion. They also have good customer service, allowing order modifications. And they really do have some plants you may not be able to easily find elsewhere. Fortunately for me I have found many of their exclusive plants offered at Digging Dog Nursery and at an excellent local nursery. I wouldn't recommend against using them for plants you are unable to find elsewhere, but if you have other options available I would probably go that route instead.
Negative ArlynnG
Urbana, IL
(1 review)
October 4, 2017
Last year, in September, I ordered three poppies, which I planted. In the spring, only two had survived. I called the company, and they told me that it was too early for the poppies to come up in my zone. When I explained that the other two had several sets of leaves, they still required me to wait a month to call for a replacement. I did so, and they sent me another poppy plant, which did not survive the summer. My other poppies thrived. I gave up, found a poppy at a local nursery, and it is doing fine in the same location.

So, I am unhappy with both the plants and the customer service.
Company representative comment on October 4, 2017:
On Oct 4, 2017 3:40 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

ArlynnG, I'm sorry that your poppies did not survive. They can be notoriously finicky to grow, but our customers generally have great luck with them.

As you mentioned when you contacted us, 4 of the 6 did great. I'm sorry to hear that the two replacements didn't thrive as well. We do all that we can to grow and ship plants ready to thrive in your garden, but at the end of the day, gardening has variables that are hard to control. That's why we offer our guarantee.

As for asking you to wait a month, you live in IL and as such, late March is too early to know if plants are going to emerge from dormancy. It's our policy to make sure that we give things time before giving up on them and sending replacements.

I'm sorry that you were neither satisfied with our plants or our customer service. We work hard to exceed customer expectations and in your case, we clearly failed. I hope that we have a chance to win your business again in the future.

Best, Ethan Platt | President

Negative AmberWave
Oklahoma City, OK
(2 reviews)
September 27, 2017
The current HCG experience leaves me longing for the HCG of old. Like 10 years ago when the plants you received in the mail were large and healthy. Back in the day, customer service was top notch and the representatives had personality.
Nowadays, the plants are scrawny at best and representatives answer the phone with a negative tone of voice like I've taken away their texting time.
They sent me an email coupon back in August for $10 off a $50 order. I tried to place an order with the code they sent me and it was refused. So they emailed me another code. And guess what...it didn't work either. I tried calling them; after being on hold for 10 minutes I hung up and emailed them going into detail my disgust with them for giving me the runaround. They referred me to American Meadows who owns HCG. At last!--I got someone on the phone who had the power to make things right!!
Currently, I'm in limbo with HCG trying to cancel an order placed in July. The order hasn't been shipped yet but the girl on the phone, Courtney, said she had to reach out to someone else to see if this can be taken care of.
Here we go again with the runaround. I am done with HCG.
Company representative comment on September 28, 2017:
On Sep 28, 2017 8:10 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear AmberWave, Thank you for the multiple orders you've placed with us and I'm very sorry for your frustration.

The root of your issue was that we had a typo in a coupon code we sent you. With multiple people proofreading, those mistakes still slip through from time to time. When we tried to rectify that, our rep sent you an expired code. Again, apologies.

As for your phone call yesterday, your order had already been printed and was in the greenhouse being packaged. Courtney was simply trying to convey that she might not be able to catch it before it shipped.

We work very hard to provide a level of service that's difficult to find these days. I see that all of your emails and live chats were answered promptly and I'm sorry you had to hold on the phone - predicting phone volume is an inexact science and as a small business, we can't afford to have too many people sitting around waiting for the phone to ring! It's a tricky balance.

I hope that your plants thrive and that we'll have a chance to earn your business again in the future.

Best Wishes,
Ethan Platt | President

Positive zoernerl
Nampa, ID
(5 reviews)
September 4, 2017
This spring I tried an order with High Country Gardens, ordering a shrub "Desert Willow". When it came, I was initially disappointed at the small size of the plant (about 5-6" tall), but it was green and healthy. I discovered the 5" pot, is 5" tall, not wide, so I had mis-read their description. I planted it in a large barrel planter with some annuals, and very quickly it gave me buds that produced very beautiful flowers. It seems to have thrived with our very hot 100-degree summer here in Idaho, and about 4 weeks ago came up with another set of buds that again produced beautiful flowers. Its now the end of the summer, the plant has about doubled in size, and I am encouraged enough that I've put in another order with this company for fall planting, a little bigger order this time (and including another of their "desert willows", but in a different color). This company does not offer much "discount", but they offer plants that I've not seen before at other on-line nurseries or in some of my area's top-of-the-line nurseries (not box stores). I am very much looking forward to my fall order arriving.
Positive lsjogren
Vancouver, WA
(2 reviews)
August 28, 2017
I have done several orders with HCG and have had good results. They offer an excellent variety of cold hardy hummingbird flowers. I get some from local nurseries and also Digging Dog, but HCG seems to have the best selection. Shipping is very reasonable priced, I guess because the plants (at least the ones I have bought) are fairly small and compact. But they have been healthy and packed well.

My only negative is it can be a bit hazy exactly when the plants are going to show up, and I don't recall being able to track them, they just show up on my porch at some point.

Overall I am positive because they have some really great plants.
Company representative comment on August 28, 2017:
On Aug 28, 2017 12:02 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Isjorgren, thanks for your kind words! We work hard to offer the kind of unique and hard-to-grow plants that you simply can't find at big box stores!

Just to clarify your comment: When you order, we assign you a ship week and communicate that to you both at checkout and in our confirmation emails. We also send emails the week before your order ships as a reminder as well as tracking emails. Depending on your email settings, sometimes those get caught in spam filters.

Thank you for your continued business.

Best, Ethan

Positive flowermaiden2
Saint Maries, ID
(19 reviews)
June 2, 2017
Posted on April 4, 2017, updated June 2, 2017
Posted on April 3, 2017, updated April 4, 2017
Posted on September 8, 2014, updated April 3, 2017
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 April 3rd, 2017, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

As of this date, I don\\\'t know what to think.

Every year until now, I have received their print catalog in the mail, but I haven\\\'t gotten one this year. I\\\'ve noticed a post here on Dave\\\'s Garden Watchdog that is dated February 2017, so they must still be in business.

I have e-mailed them asking about their catalog, and haven\\\'t yet received any reply..

Could it be they\\\'re only doing business online, now? Since I don\\\'t shop online, if that\\\'s the case, they\\\'ve lost me as a customer.

I would just like to hear from them to learn why I haven\\\'t received their printed catalog and when or if I can expect one soon.


On April 4th, 2017, flowermaiden2 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

I managed to find out that while High Country Gardens is no longer publishing a printed catalog, they will still take phone orders from their website. While I won\'t order directly online, I am happy to still be able to order over the phone. I just did. A very nice and courteous lady took my order for Veronica groundcovers, two varieties, which they\'ll ship in late May.

Glad they\'re still in business, and glad I now know why I didn\'t receive a printed catalog. I\'m happy to still be able to do business with them.

On June 2nd, 2017, flowermaiden2 added the following:

This is nice. Although my order was a week late, my Speedwells arrived in very good shape today. Their pots were secured tightly inside of little clear plastic bags so none of the soil escaped and nothing could fall out. An added bonus is that I can now use those empty little bags to store other things in.

High Country Gardens has come through with good quality plants and good growth on them.

My rating remains positive.


Company representative comment on April 4, 2017:
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


On Apr 4, 2017 3:03 PM, High Country Gardens added:

Flowermaiden2 -

Good to hear from you again. Yes, we're very much still here, as a matter of fact, stronger than ever! This spring we have dozens of unique new introductions and have invested heavily in our on-site resources including how-to guides and lots and lots of videos.

Although we are still mailing post cards and other inspirational pieces, we did not publish our full 80+ page catalog this year. The reality is that the catalog business model is very, very hard to be profitable with. You mail 100 books for every +/- 4 orders you receive. In addition to that being financially challenging, it's also environmentally ugly, something we take seriously.

You still can call us and place your order and for those who don't feel comfortable paying online, we do take paypal. Thanks for your continued interest and we look forward to serving you for years to come.

Ethan

Negative PinkRoses7
Oklahoma City, OK
(2 reviews)
May 27, 2017
The Butterfly Bush I ordered arrived dead in dry soil, had not been watered or even moistened before shipping.
In addition to it being dead & dry it was nothing more than a rooted cutting, could not have been 8 weeks old, that I paid nearly $13 for.
I was sent a replacement & requested a PLANT ready to be planted in the ground, not a cutting pulled from a tray.
I received the second plant - 6" long from top to bottom of root, minimal root system ---- yes another rooted cutting. Again not watered, soil all over box & little cutting laying on top of some soil.
One little twig with 3 very small leaves near the bottom of cutting.
Customer service "insists" it is only 1 year old plants that they ship out.
I will never purchase plants/cuttings from this company again, & want others to be aware of what you will get if you order from them.

Company representative comment on June 5, 2017:
On Jun 5, 2017 9:40 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Anne,

I'm sorry that you were not happy with your plants. I see from the notes that we honored our guarantee and issued you a refund.

The Buddleia category is late to "wake up" in the spring. They were in fact year-old plants, but require patience. I certainly hope that you planted them and are caring for them as I'm confident that you'll be pleased with the results. When they do take off, please let us know - we always enjoy those emails!

Best, Ethan Platt | President

Negative Nobody
Frankfort, KY
(8 reviews)
May 26, 2017
I have to concur with negative reviewers on quality and size of plants I received. I received three very, very small plants in 2 1/4 pots with dry medium. I am just glad that I did not spend more than I did.
Company representative comment on June 5, 2017:
On Jun 5, 2017 9:36 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Sorry you did not feel as though you got good value. We sell our plants in 2.5" or 5" pots, as noted on each product page. Our watering cycles are designed to ensure that your plants arrive in the best possible shape for transplanting. I hope that you planted and care for your plants as directed and that you have great success.

Best Wishes, Ethan

Negative texascondor
Buchanan Dam, TX
(1 review)
May 15, 2017
I recently ordered about $700 worth of plants from High Country Gardens. I have used them in the past, and knew the plants would be smaller than at a nursery, but they were always healthy and grew well.

This last order contained some of the worst plants I had ever seen. If I had been able to see them in person, I would not have brought any of them home. One plant was dead, and several more are probably not going to survive. Some of the plants appeared to have been just transferred to the 5" pots because the planting compost did not have roots in it, and most of it had come out of the pot and was floating around in the plastic bag. The plants are so small I am not able to mulch around them. A lot of the stems had been broken in the packaging process. I would never use them again, and would never recommend them to anyone

Alan Hastings
Company representative comment on May 15, 2017:
On May 15, 2017 3:25 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Alan, I see that you reached out to us via email on Saturday regarding your order - sorry we have not gotten back to you. It usually takes us a day to get through the weekend's emails during the busy season. But most importantly, I'm very disappointed to hear that you were not happy with the quality of your order.

I've asked our greenhouse QC manager to take a look at the specific plants on your order. All of our plants should have full root systems and be ready to transplant and thrive. Some have limited top growth and at this time of year, we have to carefully monitor our watering as we don't want the plants to 'cook' in transit. We use plastic bags to maintain the dirt and moisture in the pots, but too much water is also a problem.

Please plant the varieties and care for them as instructed and our customer service team will be in touch. As always, we want to see you succeed.

Best, Ethan

Positive Bigfeet
Los Alamos, NM
(4 reviews)
May 1, 2017
Placed an order late summer 2016. Got a shipping confirmation quickly, and plants arrived a few days later. Healthy plants in 5" deep pots, great roots. This spring, they are already spreading and putting up flower stalks, despite night temps in the 40s... we even had 9" snow in the last 4 days. Great vendor for southwestern native xeriscape plants.
Negative CarolMcKenzie
Irvine, KY
(7 reviews)
April 28, 2017
I had placed two orders with High Country Gardens. They shipped just fine, on time, and very quickly. However, they shipped barely live plants. I find the irony here that they tout xeriscaping, but come on. They should have been watered before they were sent.

In totally I spent over $200. I received plants that were stressed and yellowed, unwatered, and in two instances, dead. Nada. Zilch.

The company did respond to both my phone calls. The first will replace my plants free of charge. I expect four more stressed plants. The larger order they refunded me $50.

The overall advice given is plant them, they'll do fine. Also, they suggested that the plants were stressed from shipping. Over the past five years I have ordered hundreds of plants online and only one other company has sent such pathetic plants. This is not stress from shipping; these are just neglected plants from the get go. By comparison, I received an order from Bluestone Perennials a few days earlier and those plants, by comparison, are full and lush and already flowering. They're ready to go, came to me plump and watered and were obviously well cared for before shipping.

I'd like to plant what I have from High County in the beds I have prepared for them, but I'm not interested in having a limp yellow thing in my flower bed, nor in having to babysit it in hopes it survives out in the wilds of my yard.

I will pot them up in a shady corner by the back door and keep an eye on them, in hopes of getting something in return for my money. I hate to give up on a plant, but it should not be my job to nurture a mistreated plant back to health. Nor should I have to pay for what High Country should be doing on their end; growing healthy plants.
Company representative comment on May 1, 2017:
On May 1, 2017 8:58 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Carol, sorry that we took a few days to reply. I wanted to make sure that our greenhouse manager took a look at some of the specific plants you purchased before getting back you.

I'm sorry that you felt that the quality of our plants didn't meet your expectations. As you discovered when you called, we just want you to be successful. Each of our varieties ships in different forms - some with a lot of lush top growth, some in more of a dormant phase. What matters is that they all have vibrant root systems ready to acclimate to your garden. When we looked at the varieties you ordered, they all seemed to be well-rooted and ready to take off.

As you discussed with our team, please plant and care for the plants you received per our planting instructions and videos and I'm certain you'll be quickly pleased with the results. If you're not, we stand by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Thanks for your business.

Ethan Platt | President

Positive Morrhys
Sherman, TX
(1 review)
April 26, 2017
On January 21st, 2017 I ordered a bag of 40 hardy gladiolus bulbs from High Country Gardens. On March 9th, the company shipped them to me. They actually sent me two bags of 25 bulbs, all but one bulb of which was in excellent condition. I look forward to watching them come up this spring!
Negative Mid12nt
Stone Mountain, GA
(14 reviews)
April 24, 2017
I placed an order back in March, and a month later I still have not received my plants, nor a response to my email asking about my order. Also despite the fact I placed an order and am (or was) on their e-mail list, I am unable to login to their site to check the status of my order nor have I gotten an email providing assistance with my "forgotten" password.
Company representative comment on April 25, 2017:
On Apr 25, 2017 9:43 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Mid12nt: I'm very sorry for the confusion over our order. In the live plant business when you're growing over 400 varieties, it's very challenging to hit your planned ready date on 100% of them. In your case, one of the plants on your order (Panicum Ruby Ribbons) was not ready to ship on your promised date. Since it is impractical for us to call each order that's influenced in a situation like this, we have to rely on email. You (and all other orders with Ruby Ribbons) were sent an email on 4/11 notifying of the order delay and asking that you call us if you wanted to discuss other options. Unfortunately, it gets harder and harder to ensure that our emails arrive in peoples' inboxes. In your case, it appears as though our communication was lost in cyberspace!

As for the other elements of your review, we strive for 48 hour response time to emails in our busy season. I see that you emailed us Sunday afternoon and again Monday night at 11 pm. I'm sorry that we hadn't gotten to your request yet. And finally, you chose to checkout as a guest when you placed your order, thus there's not an account for you to view online. I apologize if that messaging is not clear online.

Our Customer Service team has reached out directly to try and find a suitable solution. Thank you for your business and happy spring!

Ethan Platt | President

Negative Alonza
Charlottesville, VA
(1 review)
April 23, 2017
I purchased $367 of garden perennials...order 300100180 on April 9th.
I emailed through their website with a request if the order had not shipped to exchange one of the plants. I heard no response and then called customer service. Yes the email had been received and they were checking into it. I called later with a response that the order had not shipped and they could make the exchange. I heard nothing from April 12- April 18 and called again. I was assured that the order would arrive around April 21st. On April 22nd I received 2 boxes of plants bone dry and brown and shriveled up with the original order in the boxes and a tracking number that does not exist on USPS. It readily appears that the packed plants sat in a warehouse from April 11 to April 20 then shipped. The site states the recipient will receive an email with tracking number that never occurred. I am beyond displeased with this company. In the beginning, if the exchange could not be done, then fine but now I have the original shriveled up of dead plants.
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 8:15 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Ohhh Alonza, there are days where despite our best efforts, we just can't win!! Your order was one of those cases. You placed your order on Saturday the 8th and called us to make the plant change on Tuesday the 11th. Unfortunately, your order had already been printed and sent to the greenhouse for fulfillment. We were able to catch it before it shipped, but that's where we slipped. I don't need to get into all the technical reasons as to why swapping out one item was complicated and why it delayed your order, but ultimately we messed this one up.

As for your comment about the plants being in a warehouse from the 11th to the 20th, that's never the case. Our plants go from greenhouse to shipping the same day and our order confirmations go out the same evening (although they often end up in spam filters). Your order was delayed due to technical reasons - the attempted exchange and resulting credit card balancing caused your order to 'hang up' in our system. Again, we're very sorry for the frustration. Please plant and care for your items per the instructions included and we know that they'll thrive and our customer service team will reach out to make sure you get the right products.

Best Wishes, Ethan Platt | President

Positive no_regrets
San Diego, CA
(7 reviews)
February 24, 2017
Posted on January 7, 2017, updated February 24, 2017
I don\'t order live plants online very often, as we have so many wonderful nurseries in this area and it is not too difficult to find even rarer plants if you have the patience to hunt them down. However, High Country Gardens was running a great sale and they had a few types that really caught my attention, so I gave it a try. I ordered 6 different varieties, a few bags of bulbs, and a couple wildflower seed mixes.

The plants are mostly in extra-deep pots that allow for more room for roots, but a few aren\'t, so definitely check the product pages. They seem to ship them heavily pruned. They also tend to come rather dead-looking with a \"I\'m asleep!\" tag, but so far they\'ve all grown new leaves after planting. The bulbs gave me mixed results, but I certainly can\'t hold the company accountable for the late-season heat/drought waves that baked our ground into brick when it was supposed to be autumn. Lastly, I spread the wildflower seed mixes as directed, but then those cursed Santa Anas blew through, evaporating irrigation before it even had the chance to moisten the parched soil. I saw 0 germination. The company was actually kind enough to ship replacements even though it wasn\'t their fault. I waited until right before a winter rainstorm to spread the seeds again, and they seem to be popping up now... still very small but enough to know the seeds are good! I might sow the last of it in some pots to see how it goes.

Overall, my lessons learned were:
1. Great service. Their willingness to ship replacements even when things aren\'t their fault puts them head and shoulders above many others. They answer any questions you have quickly, too.
2. Order their plants with confidence, but perhaps only if you can\'t find them locally. Something in the shipping process requires them to cut them back to almost nothing above ground, so you won\'t get the immediate gratification you would with a nice big plant from the store.
3. Bulbs are a big question mark. I have had amazing bulbs from other sources, so probably won\'t need to order them from here again, but wouldn\'t be afraid to try.
On February 24th, 2017, no_regrets added the following:

Once the weather was more cooperative, the windflower mix seed did much better, and I'm absolutely over the moon at the pockets of gorgeous color all over my yard. There are still a few bare patches, but I have no doubt they'll fill in with this dreamy winter weather we are having in SoCal this year. Perhaps if I had actually gone to the trouble of removing all the existing sod, tilling the soil, etc. it'd be even better, but that is work beyond my capability.

HCG is always super-responsive, very helpful, and stands behind their products.
Positive BlackDogKurt
Seymour, CT
(26 reviews)
October 18, 2016
I ordered some allium bulbs, a couple of perennials (Agastache) and a Caryopteris shrub from High Country Gardens this fall. I've ordered from High Country Gardens in the past, having always found their prices to be very good compared to others, and their selection of different or unique items to be excellent.

As with my past orders, everything arrived promptly and when promised, and in very good condition. I would not hesitate to recommend them.
Negative KDonovan
Lyons, CO
(1 review)
October 12, 2016
I was very excited to have found High Country Gardens and ordered Dog Tuff grass plugs from them on Oct 6 for planting in zone 6. I was impressed by the website and its statement that they ship when it's appropriate for the zone being shipped to. The transaction posted in my account on 10/7. High Country Gardens called me to verify my shipping address within three days after placing my order. I called today (10/12) to check on the status of shipping and because one portion of their website stated the plugs could be planted in the fall while another states planting in the spring. I was told today that the plugs would be shipped to me next week ( 2 weeks after the order was placed and my account was charged). I asked about the fall/spring planting question and was told that they apologized and it was too late for planting this year. It was only because I phoned and raised the question about planting times that the shipment was stopped despite the website's statement that they ship when appropriate for the order. I've recently paid to have my existing lawn cleared in preparation for planting this fall, money I will now have to eat. My only experience with this company has been negative.
Company representative comment on October 12, 2016:
On Oct 12, 2016 4:16 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear KDonovan,

I'm sorry about the confusion over your order. Due to the size of our typical grass plug orders and the prep work that needs to go into shipping them, we send them to our greenhouse on Thursdays for preparation for Monday shipment. (We only ship grass plugs on Mondays) You placed your order on the 6th (a Thursday) and our address verification software kicked it back as an undeliverable address. By the time we confirmed the address with you, we'd missed that week's shipping cutoff. Your order was ready to ship on the 17th. With Lyon, CO being right in the foothills, you're on the edge regarding planting at this time of year. In situations like this, it's hard for us to have rules on our website down to the zip code level. Therefore, we have manual checks in place before we ship an order such as yours. Rest assured that your order was being evaluated from our end when you called and we discussed a spring planting with you. I apologize if you got any confusing information at any step. From your post, it appears as though we could have communicated better.

Ethan Platt | President

Positive DaveEgbert
Carpenter, SD (Zone 5a)
(3 reviews)
July 10, 2016
Posted on July 10, 2016, updated July 10, 2016
Posted on November 24, 2013, updated July 10, 2016
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.
On July 10th, 2016, DaveEgbert added the following:

Received two orders this Spring. One had Penstemon, marrumbium, Geum, oenothera, Yucca, and Tanacetum. Plants overall were in good shape except for Penstemon and Tanacetum. Both were in bad shape but I thought the Tanacetum would come back. Contacted customer service and received a prompt reply with both some advice and later, an offer to provide a refund. Although the Geum and Tanacetum also passed I am still pleased overall with the selections, service and support.
On July 10th, 2016, DaveEgbert added the following:

Received two orders this Spring. One had Penstemon, marrumbium, Geum, oenothera, Yucca, and Tanacetum. Plants overall were in good shape except for Penstemon and Tanacetum. Both were in bad shape but I thought the Tanacetum would come back. Contacted customer service and received a prompt reply with both some advice and later, an offer to provide a refund. Although the Geum and Tanacetum also passed I am still pleased overall with the selections, service and support.
Positive Stevec1224
Santa Rosa, CA
(1 review)
July 6, 2016
I was looking for a grass that didnt need much water as I live in Northern California and we are in a severe drought. I talked to a person at High Country Garden and because we have 3 dogs he recommended Dog Tuff Grass. I ordered the grass in May but they wouldn't be able to ship till middle of June. While I was getting my ground ready, which was very easy, I called them up many times. Each person who I talked to was very knowledgeable and service friendly. I got 5 trays of Dog Tuff Grass and the process to put in ground was very easy. The grass has been in a little over a week and its spreading a lot faster than I thought it would. Looks GREAT and so happy! I would recommend this company to my friends. FIVE *****+
Negative Adrienneny
Staten Island, NY (Zone 6b)
(5 reviews)
May 24, 2016
I dislike writing a negative review but my experience with High Country Gardens was negative in multiple ways. I’m disheartened to read how they respond to some of the negative reviews here too.

* They sent an email about some plants ordered not being in stock AFTER they shipped the order.

* They substituted the plants which were not in stock for plants I was not permitted to decide upon.

* When I politely inquired about this, I received zero replies in five days.

* Two of the plants were missing plant tag names.

* Every plant was tiny and harshly pruned even to the base on many of them. This is unnecessary and does not benefit the customer. Other plant sellers ship the same species of plants without doing that.

It is a shame when a business cuts corners like this. Excuses and bidding farewell to longtime customers isn’t the answer. Busy? Hire more employees. Employees not doing an adequate job? Increase the wage/training and hire better ones. Other plant sellers manage to run their business very well therefore it’s disingenuous to claim they can’t.

I’m glad there are other plant sellers out there providing better service and an equal or greater variety of plants.

Company representative comment on May 25, 2016:
On May 25, 2016 8:25 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Adrienne,

I'm sorry that you were not happy with your experience with you. In looking at our communication history with you, I see that we did in fact send you an email after the order shipped. That was a technical mistake.

As for your other concerns, we work hard to set customer expectations and send plants with healthy root systems, ready to thrive in your garden. Often we cut back the top growth before shipping to ensure the plant transplants well.

Once again, sorry that we failed to live up to your expectations. We strive every day to get better - that's the only way small companies like ours can survive these days!

Best Wishes,
Ethan Platt | President

Negative utahxericman
Provo, UT
(3 reviews)
May 24, 2016
Posted on May 24, 2013, updated May 24, 2016
Posted on May 17, 2013, updated May 24, 2013
Well I have ordered for years from High Country Gardens, I had good success with their plants and customer service, until recently. I had a replacement plant order that was going to be shipped to me in April. I waited for my plants to arrive as promised, they did not show up. I have basically had the same experience as Magnolia92. When the plants didn\'t arrive I e-mailed and callled them (tried to call them) as they never answer their telephone. I finally got a response from my e-mail saying that due to cold weather in Denver the plants haven\'t grown like they should and that I would receive my shipment two weeks later. Well it is now almost three weeks later and of course still no plants. As in the first case no one called/e-mailed me to let me know that my plants would not be shipped to me. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, if I can\'t make my promised dates of shipping I let my customers know. I don\'t rely on my customers to keep calling me and e-mailing me asking me where my order is. I communicate with them. Terrible service nothing but excuses as to why I am not receiving my plants.
On May 24th, 2013, utahxericman added the following:

Well more time has passed, finally received an e-mail stating that a plant was missing and that they would ship soon (whatever that means) have waited again this week, still no plants, still no phone call or e-mail saying I would get my plants this week, still no idea when I will get my plants. I am thinking about asking for my money back, I initially asked to get High country gardens credit for the plants they didn\'t have and then plant replacements on the ones they did, but I think I am wasting my time, and that I may have to eat the 100 dollars worth of plants. Nothing seems to be going right for them and the customer service after all these complaints hasn\'t improved a bit.
On May 24th, 2016, utahxericman added the following:

It has been a while since I ordered from High Country Gardens, last time I ordered they were going through a change of ownership. So I decided to give them some time to work through the process. I had some store credit with them so I placed a small order 4 plants (2 of the plants I ordered I can't find locally, one of the plants is an HCG exclusive plant) the other two plants that I ordered I can find locally, I just wanted to use up my credit with them. I received an e-mail saying the HCG exclusive plant wasn't ready to ship and wouldn't be ready this year to ship, so they replaced it with another Agastache --bummer, I didn't want the other Agastache, that is why I ordered the other one..I can find the Agastache they sent me locally for 5.50-6.50 in a much bigger pot and plant. The gayfeather I ordered in a 2.5 inch pot again I could have found a much bigger plant for $5.50 locally, it really is a tiny plant about as much leaf growth on it as a .50 cent piece I would be embarrassed to send something out like that to my customers. The other two plants I received were small, but it is to be expected of the type and size of plants HCG sends out, maybe they sent me their crap plants because I used my store credit, who knows, it is too bad, this company has some neat xeric plants, but I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
Company representative comment on May 25, 2016:
On May 17, 2013 11:38 AM, High Country Gardens responded with:

utahxericman,

You\'re correct in saying that there\'s no excuse for not providing better communication about order statuses. I can assure you that at American Meadows, we have both the people and systems to do just that. Unfortunately the systems we inherited from High Country have proven challenging. We have tried to send email updates where applicable and make out-bound calls as well. We have not been able to stay on top of everyone.

I apologize for the poor communication and can assure you that we are working around the clock to improve the situation.

Sincerely,
Ethan Platt
President
American Meadows & High Country Gardens


On May 25, 2016 8:34 AM, High Country Gardens added:

Utahxericman,

I'm sorry that we were not able to deliver your preferred plant. Many of our varieties are tricky to grow, which is why they're not available at big box stores. Sometimes, despite all of our efforts, the plants don't reach a quality that we're pleased with. In those cases, we have found that most customers prefer that we choose a replacement. Otherwise, we need to contact those customers and the resulting back-and-forth delays the shipment. It's a no-win situation.

In looking at your history, it appears as though you ordered from us last year as well. I hope those plants are doing well and we encourage you to plant the varieties that you received. If you would still like exclusive agastache, just let us know and we will set up a replacement for the next season that it's available.

Again, my apologies.

Best,
Ethan | President

Negative donsch
Random Lake, WI
(6 reviews)
May 14, 2016
The plants that I received were small and not worth the price that I paid for them. I contacted the company and mentioned that one of the items received was pretty small and probably would not survive if planted and requested a bigger replacement and/or refund. Two days later I still have not received an email response to my inquiry. It appears that their customer service is not very prompt when it comes to answering emails.
Company representative comment on May 14, 2016:
On May 14, 2016 9:06 PM, High Country Gardens responded with:

Dear Don, I'm sorry that you were not pleased with the size of your plants. We work very hard to set customer expectations through our product details, "how your plants will ship" photos and our videos. As always, everything we sell comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and we always want to see our customers happy.

We strive to reply to all emails in 48 hours but the reality of this time of year is that we don't always maintain that level of desired turnaround. I see that your email came in late on Thursday night. Our customer service department is here Mon-Sat and works through the emails oldest first. We will be in touch early this week to talk about a resolution.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and best of luck in the garden.

Ethan Platt | President

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