How to Plant Your High Country Gardens Pre-Planned Garden
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 horticulturalist 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
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.
Each Pre-Planned Garden comes with a Garden Map that will provide you with a layout for the optimal planting arrangement. 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.
For existing flower beds, mix a small amount of organic fertilizer and good quality compost in each planting hole.
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.
Our ‘Swamp Milkweed Collection’ is the perfect start to your butterfly garden, rain garden, stream bed, or anywhere you want to see beautiful flowers and pollinators in wet soil. Pink and white flowers on tall stems with lovely long green leaves look beautiful in large plantings, or paired with other tall perennials. In fall, look for plentiful silky-haired seeds. Asclepias incarnata (also known as Rose Milkweed) is a native perennial, and the sole host plant of Monarch Butterflies. In time, this deer resistant plants will spread and naturalize to help your pollinator garden grow! Collection of 3 plants.
Our ‘All Star Penstemon Collection’ is a showcase of colors and forms that delivers more flowers every year. Enjoy warm red, pale pink, magenta, and inky purple flowers blooming early spring to early summer, followed by a lovely tapestry of evergreen foliage textures to complement later-blooming perennials. Penstemon, or Beardtongue, are easy-to-grow native perennials that will spread steadily, attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, but resisting hungry deer. Plant 10” tall Penstemon pinifolius with vivid scarlet flowers in front, and willowy 48-60” tall Penstemon palmeri with pale pink fragrant flowers in back. A must-have collection for waterwise gardens! Collection of 15 plants.
The Three-Tier Lavender Collection features three graduating sizes of lavender - compact, midsized, and tall varieties - that will bloom late spring through summer, and again in fall. Lavender’s soothing fragrance, sophisticated form, and visiting butterflies, bees, and pollinators make them some of our most popular plants. Perfect for a long-lasting fragrant container garden, or an inviting display in the front of garden beds or along pathways. These cold-hardy plants prefer full sun locations and well-drained soil. The lovely scent helps deter deer and rabbits. Collection of 3 plants.
Our Grama Grass Collection features three ornamental grasses, some of our very best garden plants. With their fine-textured foliage, attractive flowers and seed heads, and graceful movement in the breeze, they give us a remarkable visual contrast with flowering perennials and shrubs. Create a sophisticated mass planting, or create a backdrop to your flower garden. Even past the flowering season, you can enjoy their texture and beauty in fall and winter. These native grasses also provide habitat for birds and insects, and are host plants for several moths and butterflies. Collection of 9 plants.
Our Cold Hardy Rainbow Salvia Collection is an exciting array of Sage varieties featuring purple, red, pink, and coral flowers that bloom from summer through fall. The flowers look delicate, but these native perennial plants are tough! They’re waterwise, cold hardy, and easy-to-grow in even hot, dry conditions. Flowers with a sweet herbal fragrance provide nectar to attract hummingbirds and bumblebees, while fragrant resinous foliage is resistant to deer and rabbits. Plant in a large swath and enjoy watching them sway as pollinators fly from plant to plant. Includes varieties introduced by David Salman, High Country Gardens founder & chief horticulturalist. Collection of 9 plants.
The Rioja Spanish Red Bulb Collection features a trio of fascinating bold red flowers. Spectacular petals and dramatic patterns will grace your garden from spring through frost. This collection of Aztec Lily (Sprekelia formosissima), Red Tiger Flowers (Tigridia pavonia), and Nuit D'Ete Cactus Dahlia will thrive in warm, full-sun gardens. Collection of 19 bulbs.
The South African Citrus Bulb Collection dazzles with eye-catching colors, patterns, foliage, and flower forms. Abundant and exotic yellow, orange, pink, red, and purple flowers will be on display from late spring all the way to frost. Long-lasting cut flowers will make stunning bouquets. This colorful collection will thrive in warm, full-sun gardens, and can be planted in containers. A standout collection of unique flowers that’s not to be missed! Collection of 33 bulbs.
Our Rosy Trio Valerian Collection (Centranthus) features a trio of tough, waterwise perennials with beautiful red, white, and pink flowers. Centranthus, also called Jupiter’s Beard or Valerian, has clusters of flowers over deep green foliage. Durable, low maintenance blooms last for the whole summer, attracting butterflies while resisting deer and rabbits. Centranthus is easy to grow and will naturalize and spread, making them perfect for cottage gardens, meadows, or hard-to-reach hillsides that you’d like to fill with rosy colors and pollinators. Prohibited in CA, WA, or OR, where it is known to behave aggressively. Collection of 9 plants.
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!