Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A funny thing happened with my High Country Gardens order

Well, my High Country Gardens order finally came. FedEx left them in full sun despite the cautions all over the boxes to leave them in shade. Thanks for nothing, FedEx! There were three boxes, which seemed like a lot for 15 plants.

(That's the sound of foreshadowing you hear. It's similar to the Law&Order bong!bong! noise.)

The plants took a week to arrive so they were really sad and wilted. I opened up the first box and my 15 plants were there. I glanced over at the other two boxes, wondering what the hell was in them. Then I realized that the box I had just opened had a SECOND layer of plants beneath the 15 I'd already pulled out. American Meadows, who has been struggling under the weight of their new acquisition, had sent me someone else's order. A big order. I panicked and texted Scott and he told me that the plants would never survive the trip back to HCG and to unwrap and baby them along with the others. They were mine now.

The packing slip included only the plants I'd ordered. There was no note saying, "Sorry your order was so bungled and late, here's a couple of plants on us." And who sends 50(!) plants as an apology? I unwrapped and watered all the plants, which took over an hour. Then I started reading up on what they'd sent me.

21 Salvia sylvestris 'Blue Hill'. You read that right; 21 of the same salvia.



Dalea pupureum


Ratibida columnifera 'Yellow'


Gaillardia (two colors)



12 Stachys coccineus 'Mountain Red'


I've called and called HCG, trying to get a rep so I can alert them that a customer probably got a shipment notification and never received their plants. I would be so upset if that happened to me. As before, no one answers the phone and their voicemail box is full. I spent an entire day putting plants in the ground, hoping they'll survive. It's a good thing I have so much empty space in my garden. Have you ever received an order that wasn't yours?

17 comments:

  1. Wow. Sounds like the order got really messed up, but on the other hand...if you can save these plants, they are lovely!!! I wouldn't mind having them sent to me:) I haven't heard of some of these, and now I'm gonna go read up about them more :)

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  2. Just make sure not to order them from High Country Gardens. Someone else might get your plants! :P

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  3. I'm STILL shaking my head over this one...it's one of the most bizarre (no, strike that, it IS the most bizarre) plant boondoggle I've ever heard of. I'll be watching your Dalea purpurea with interest, though, I've been wanting to try that for years!

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  4. Oh, let me give you some, then! I wondered if that would be one you'd like.

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  5. I received a giant gift package of chocolate intended for our house's previous owner one year (and was told to keep it) but the only plant order mistake was the inclusion of a single extra plant by Annie's Annuals. Your story is incredible. I hope you can plant or give away the extras you received. (Too bad I don't live next door - I'd gladly accept a few.)

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  6. I've never had anything like that happen. It's sad to see such a once-great company go down the tubes like that! Hooray for lots of space and lots of plants!

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  7. WoodburngardengirlJune 4, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    This is a good opportunity for guerilla gardening!

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  8. OMG...that is absolutely amazing. Are you going to attend the fall HPSO program and let Mr.Salman know what the company he built is now up to? Fifty plants...wowza.

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  9. I know--they have such neat plants, it makes me sad that I don't trust ordering from them anymore.

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  10. I had a similar problem (although much smaller) with Seed Savers Exchange. But it was seeds, so they wanted them back. Which meant a trip to the PO. Annoying. Last year Jung sent me fewer raspberry plants than I ordered, and the wrong strawberry plants. How do these places stay in business?

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  11. Oh, that's so annoying! I can't believe they made you send them back.

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  12. I'm babying along a bunch of native crab apples and a cascara in hopes that someone at the next swap will want them. That was the result of a volunteer organization's screw-up, tho, so understandable.

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  13. Those native lovers are always pushing extra plants on people!

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  14. Well, those are some great plants. Do you have a place to put them if they live? Lots of Salvia can make a great visual impact. Have you ever seen the River of Salvia at Chicago's Lurie Garden? So beautiful, and blooming right now actually.

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  15. Galloping Horse GardenerAugust 5, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    Hi Heather. Just came over here from Laurrie's blog after reading her post. Your situation sounds far worse than mine! It's a shame about High Country Gardens - I used to ogle all their listings but since our climates are so different, I've never felt it was a good idea to order from them. Apparently I was lucky! How is your order faring in the ground?

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  16. Hi Sarah! Most of my order has fared well, though I had three or four die on me. Most of them are just pitifully small and probably won't do much until next year. I still love their catalog and I read it cover to cover, even though it never changes and I'll never order from them again. Pretty plant pictures always get my attention. :)

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