David Salman, High Country Gardens chief horticulturist, in a greenhouseDavid Salman, High Country Gardens chief horticulturist, in a greenhouse

Meet David Salman, High Country Gardens Founder and Chief Horticulturist

“Plants are my life. They are the integral starting point of the circle of life.”

- David Salman

David Salman is the founder and Chief Horticulturist at High Country Gardens. For over 25 years, David’s commitment to cultivating a beautiful palette of waterwise plants has helped gardeners save water without sacrificing on a stunning display of flowers and foliage.

For decades, he has encouraged using environmentally friendly practices when gardening, long before organic became a household word. As a self-described “off the wall plant-nerd,” he graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Horticultural Science in 1979, but his passion for plants started at a young age, as a child exploring plants and animals in nature. Watch the video below to learn more about David, in his own words.


Over his career, David has introduced more than 50 plants - and counting! His introductions include a special focus on native plants and cold-hardy xeric plants from western Asia and South Africa – plants that are adaptable in the harsh climate of the American West. Showy, waterwise, and pollinator-friendly Agastache are some of this horticulturist's favorite plants to develop. Other introductions include cold hardy Cacti, Lavender plants, Hesperaloe (Texas Yucca), Salvia plants, and many more. In David's FlowerKisser™ plant line, perennial introductions are especially nectar-rich to nourish bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. David continues to develop exciting new plants for the High Country Gardens catalog, and each year, waterwise gardens across the country benefit from his innovations.

Plant Introductions From David Salman

David is a founding member of Plant Select®, a regional plant introduction organization founded in 1992. As a collaboration between Colorado State University and Denver Botanic Gardens, the organization has brought together many of the region's best horticulturists, plant breeders, landscapers, and commercial plant growers with the goal of introducing regionally suitable plants for the Great Plains and Intermountain states.

David is a recognized expert in the field of water-wise gardening and xeriscaping, and a distinguished recipient of the 2008 American Horticultural Society Great American Gardeners Award. He is also an enthusiastic, highly sought-after speaker on these subjects throughout the United States. Gardeners who are fortunate enough to speak with David or hear a presentation are sure to be captivated by his storytelling and passion for plants.

Fortunately, High Country Gardens is home to a large number of articles and gardening videos, where curious gardeners can learn more from our Chief Horticulturist! See additional resources below to learn more.