About Us

The High Country Gardens Story

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 plants, ornamental grasses and unique cacti and succulents. These waterwise/xeric plants attracted a loyal fan base and David helped to change 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.

Development greenhouses and test gardens in Santa Fe, NM.Development greenhouses and test gardens in Santa Fe, NM.

In late 2012, the Salman family closed their retail garden centers and sold High Country Gardens to American Meadows, a company that shared their passion for high-quality plants, while having a reputation for superior customer service and a focus on providing information and support to gardeners. David Salman continues as chief horticulturist and focuses on developing unique and award-winning plant varieties, which High Country Gardens introduces each spring and fall.

Ethan Platt, president of High Country Gardens and American Meadows, with Founder David SalmonEthan Platt, president of High Country Gardens and American Meadows, with Founder David Salmon

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 continues to propagate High Country’s proprietary products in his Santa Fe greenhouses. Common varieties are grown by trusted western growing partners and orders ship from Denver greenhouses. Our custom-designed mailing materials ensure High Country Gardens' plants are fresh and ready to thrive in your garden.

2010 marked 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 has performed exceptionally well across the country, particularly in hardiness zones 4-9.

Learn More About High Country Gardens: In The News

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 Gardening Blog as well as his personal blog The Xeric Gardener, and has written numerous articles for Fine GardeningAmerican Gardener and Horticulturemagazines.

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 Direct 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.