By David Salman, High Country Gardens Founder and Chief Horticulturist
As a kid, I loved to buy the paint-by-numbers watercolor painting kits. I wasn’t a very talented artist but my canvases turned out pretty nicely and I was happy and encouraged to do more. So many years ago, when I first thought about offering our High Country customers a way to plant a professionally designed perennial garden, the paint-by-numbers concept came back to me.
I introduced our Pre-Planned Gardens, which come with Garden Maps that show you exactly where and how to space the plants to re-create the layout. It’s easy garden design, and the results are superb.
Designing A Summer Showstopper
The inspiration for our Summer Showtopper Pre-Planned Garden came from a planting at a local college where they redesigned and replanted their front entrance. I liked the designer’s core choice of plants and the fact that they planted the “inferno strip” between the street and sidewalk and the center median with colorful, waterwise perennials.
Working with the general design, I refined it with an expanded palette of plants so that the garden would bloom from late spring through fall and attract more pollinators.
The plants used in the Summer Showstopper Pre-Planned Garden are all:
- Recommended as easy-to-grow for beginning gardeners
- Waterwise (xeric) in areas with 30 inches or less of precipitation
- Pollinator-friendly, offering natural nectar sources to attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies
- Long blooming or repeat blooming, so they will come back into flower when the faded flowers are removed
- Brightly colorful, with bold color combinations of blue, yellow, red, and scarlet
- Resilient, thriving in a wide range of soil types including rocky, sandy, garden loam, and dry clay
- Resistant to browsing rabbits and deer