About Us

David Salman - The Founder

David Salman, Founder and Chief Horticulturist at High Country Gardens has spent over 26 years in pursuit of better plants for eco-friendly landscapes. He is a recognized expert in the field of waterwise gardening and xeriscaping and a sought-after speaker on these subjects throughout the United States.

David is a distinguished recipient of the American Horticultural Society (AHS) 2008 Great American Gardeners Award and writes the award-winning High Country Gardens catalog which has won four Silver Awards and a Gold Award for Best Gardening Catalog by Catalog Age magazine. He has written two in-house publications Waterwise Garden Care and Spectacular Seasons of Color, and has a series of planting and informational videos.

David contributes weekly to the High Country Gardens Waterwise Gardening Blog as well as his personal blog The Xeric Gardener, and has written numerous articles for Fine Gardening, American Gardener and Horticulture magazines.

The High Country Gardens Story

A native New Mexican, David Salman opened Santa Fe Greenhouses in 1984. It was his first retail store and he set out to transform western gardening by cultivating and growing beautiful blooming perennials, native and ornamental grasses and unique cacti and succulents. These waterwise/xeric plants attracted a loyal fan base and David changed the face of western gardening from rocks and cactus to lush, blooming eco-friendly garden habitats.

As his retail operation grew, David realized that many of his customers were driving to Santa Fe from other states, as his unique plants thrived in moderate to extreme climates and altitudes. Being waterwise perennials, they were a garden value saving customers both money and time.

With the demand for his plants extending far beyond northern New Mexico, in 1993 David started High Country Gardens, the mail-order division of Santa Fe Greenhouses. A few years later his wife Ava joined the company. David focused on product development and Ava spearheaded the marketing and e-commerce operations. With the High Country Gardens catalog and website, the Salman's not only pioneered mail-order gardening, but have given hundreds of thousands of customers across the country eco-friendly landscapes that come back more beautifully year after year.

In late 2012, the Salman family made the difficult decision to close their garden centers and sell the High Country Gardens division. In looking for a new partner, it was critical to the Salman’s that they find a company that shared their passion for high-quality products while having a reputation for nothing but the best customer service with a real focus on providing the information and support that gardeners have come to expect from High Country. They found that partner in American Meadows, a long-standing leader in mail order gardening. The Salman’s look forward to working with American Meadows for years to come and continuing to build upon the High Country legacy. David will continue as Chief Horticulturist with a focus on continuing to develop unique and award-winning plant varieties.

The Plants

David Salman has spent years perfecting his growing methods for the wide variety of new and unusual garden-tested perennials, grasses and shrubs that ship from High Country Gardens. David will continue to propagate High Country’s proprietary products in his Santa Fe greenhouses. Common varieties are be sourced from trusted growers all over the West and orders ship from a partner in Denver, due to their central location and extensive greenhouse facilities. Our custom-designed mailing materials ensure High Country Gardens' plants are safe and healthy when they arrive ready for your garden.

2010 marks High Country Gardens first plant patent, Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' PPAF (Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass) was discovered and introduced by High Country Gardens' founder and chief horticulturist, David Salman and was the 2011 Plant Select® winner. 'Blonde Ambition' is native to 26 states and is expected to perform well across the country, particularly in hardiness zones 4-9.

Take a look at David's beautiful award-winning plants. High Country Gardens has won 9 out of 9 consecutive awards for best new plant introduction from the Mail Order Gardening Association.

Sign up - Stay in the Know

Be the first to know about special and exclusive products and promotions when you sign up to receive High Country Gardens' emails. Also, each month you will receive our Ezine, a valuable newsletter rich with seasonally relevant content from our Founder and Chief Horticulturist David Salman.

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