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Echinacea, Lavender, Russian Sage

How to Plant Your High Country Gardens Pre-Planned Garden

Pre-Planned Gardens are the perfect way to bring professional garden design to your home. We first introduced our "Gardens in a Box" over a decade ago and despite our efforts, we sell out every season. Our Pre-Planned Gardens have been professionally designed by some of the biggest names in horticulture, including David Salman, founder and chief horticulturist for High Country Gardens. Each Pre-Planned Garden includes reliable, easy-to-grow plant varieties, care instructions, and a convenient Pre-Planned Garden Map to make planting easy.


When You Receive Your Plants

  • Remove plants from the shipping box and bags immediately.
  • Water plants thoroughly if they’re dry.
  • For best success, plant right away.
  • If you can’t plant right away: place the plants outdoors in a spot with morning sun only. Water when needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Plant no later than 7-10 days after plants arrive.

Lay Out Your Pre-Planned Garden

Each Pre-Planned Garden comes with a Garden Map that will provide you with a layout for the optimal planting arrangement. It accounts for the space needed for each plant at maturity.

  • Find the right spot in your landscape for your garden’s light and soil requirements.
  • Measure out the area needed in your yard – see your garden map for square footage.
  • Give your garden at least 12” of additional space on the front and sides.
  • Using your garden map, measure enough space for each plant, and lay out your plants. Each circle represents a mature perennial plant – resist the urge to place young plants too close together!
  • If you need to make adjustments for your unique garden space, that's not a problem! Generally, the best strategy for designing a garden is to plant your tallest plants in the back, and transition to lower plants in the middle, and lowest plants and groundcover in the front. That way, you’ll be able to see all of your plants in bloom.

Prepare Your Soil

  • Great gardens start with great soil. We recommend using natural and organic ingredients to prepare healthy soil.
  • Loosen soil in the planting bed 8-12” deep. You can dig up the entire garden area, or you can dig individual holes for each plant.
  • For existing flower beds, mix a small amount of organic fertilizer and good quality compost in each planting hole.
  • When preparing new flower beds, mix in organic fertilizer and good quality compost to add nutrients. Use Yum Yum Mix and high-quality compost at recommended rates to prepare the soil. Inoculate the plant roots with Plant Success Granular Mycorrhizal Root Inoculant.

Plant Your Garden

  • Dig a hole for each plant that’s about the same depth, and twice as wide, as its pot.
  • Remove each plant from its pot by holding the plant in place, turning upside down, and tapping or gently squeezing to loosen the root ball.
  • Gently rough out the sides and bottom of the root ball with your fingers or the plant tag to encourage root growth.
  • Plant with the top of the root ball level with the ground.
  • Fill in soil and gently press down with your fingers.
  • Be sure to place the plant tag close to the plant for reference. Repeat until your whole garden is planted!
  • After planting, water each plant and the surrounding soil thoroughly.

Learn More about planting perennials from David Salman in our Gardening Videos

Watering & Care

  • Watering: Watering will depend on your local weather, so check soil moisture often. Generally, perennials do not need daily watering. Less frequent, deep watering will encourage deep roots for a resilient plant.
  • Mulch: Adding a layer of mulch, leaving 1” around each plant, will help conserve soil moisture and prevent weeds.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize your plants with a low-nitrogen-and-phosphorus mix, once a year in the fall, when plants have started dormancy.
  • Dormancy: Perennials will die back over the winter, and regrow from their roots the next spring.
  • Spring: After winter, remember that not all plants wake up from dormancy at the same time. You can expect blooms in the second season (though you may see some in the first season).
  • Growth: Perennial plants take 2-3 years to mature to full size.

What To Expect In The First & Second Seasons

Here is an example of the progress of an employee's Pre-Planned Garden from planting, through the first season, to the second season.

Pre-Planned Garden: Planted in May
Pre-Planned Garden: Planted in May
Pre-Planned Garden: Growth in June
Pre-Planned Garden: Growth in June
Pre-Planned Garden: Growth In Late Summer
Pre-Planned Garden: Growth In Late Summer
Pre-Planned Garden: Late June In The Second Season
Pre-Planned Garden: Late June In The Second Season

Garden Maintenance

  • At the end of the season in late fall/early winter, when you start to see killing frosts, the stems and foliage of perennials will die back. 
  • Shrubs will leave their stems and branches, but lose their leaves. Most dead leaves can be cut back. 
  • However, you can leave Echinacea and Black Eyed Susan seed heads through the winter to help feed birds, especially finches, and to promote re-seeding. Cut back in early spring. 
  • Ornamental Grasses also provide winter interest in the garden and shelter for birds and other wildlife. Cut back 2/3 of the plant in early spring.

Companion Planting For Your Pre-Planned Garden

To create a great backdrop to your garden, consider planting additional groupings of ornamental grasses or shrubs behind your garden for four-sesaon structure and visual interest.

Since most perennials flower in summer, you could plant spring-blooming flower bulbs in your garden bed. These will flower in spring and die back in summer when perennial plants bloom!

Enjoy Your Garden

Perennial plantings are a satisfying, colorful, and low-maintenance way to beautify your landscape. So don't forget to take time to sit in your garden when the chores are done, to enjoy the beauty of all your efforts.

If you have any questions about your garden, please contact us!

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