How to Plant Your High Country Gardens Pre-Planned Garden

Butterfly Paradise Pre-Planned Garden
Butterfly Paradise 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.
  • When preparing new flower beds, mix in organic fertilizer and good quality compost to add nutrients. Use Yum Yum Mix and a high quality compost at recommended rates to prepare the soil. Inoculate the plant roots with Plant Success Granular Mycorrhizal Root Inoculant.

Prepare Your Soil

  • 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 June
Pre-Planned Garden: Growth in June
Pre-Planned Garden: Late June In The Second Season

High Country Gardens Pre-Planned Gardens For Fall 2019

  • Our Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden will allow you to grow more flowers while using less water with this arresting combination of long-blooming, easy-care perennials. Their bright, clear colors are a delight to your eye, but their inedible foliage will keep the rabbits and deer at bay. Perfect for that hot, sunny spot in your yard. Available in two sizes, as well as Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden For The West Coast.
  • Summer Dreams Pre-Planned Garden offers big, easy-care color designed for a small, sunny space. The garden comes into bloom in mid-summer and finishes in early fall. The flowers in Summer Dreams are the favorites of butterflies and honey bees! 
  • The Fabulous Flowers and Foliage Shade Pre-Planned Garden provides season-long interest with a superb combination of plants with colorful foliage and beautiful flowers in pink, yellow and white. An easy-to-grow garden for planting in shade, dappled shade or morning sun. 
  • The Serene Shade Pre-Planned Garden uses a bright, blooming assortment of perennials to color-up the shady areas of your yard. Our expertly designed garden will help you easily create an oasis in the shade.
  • The Summer Showstopper Pre-Planned Garden will provide low care, season-long color in hot and dry planting areas and uses a selection of durable, long blooming perennials. It’s ideal for those difficult Inferno strips found between the street and sidewalk, or edging front walks.
  • The August Afternoons Pre-Planned Garden will wake you up with its engaging display of pinks and blues when the rest of your garden is taking a late summer snooze. This hummingbird and butterfly-attracting garden combines a pleasing mixture of grasses, flower forms, and colors.
  • Our Butterfly Paradise Pre-Planned Cottage Garden creates a high impact cottage-garden look with masses of beautiful flowering plants. The bold groupings have with late spring to late summer bloom times, and is available in two sizes. 
  • The Pollinator Paradise Pre-Planned Garden has beautiful, summer-blooming perennials are full of nectar for our bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. You'll enjoy this colorful perennial garden as much as your pollinators.
  • The ‘Habitat Hero’ Birdwatcher Pre-Planned Garden will delight gardeners who enjoy watching birds feed and flit from plant to plant. Carefully selected, this collection of plants will draw and benefit both songbirds and hummingbirds, as well as butterflies and other insect pollinators.

Shop Pre-Planned Gardens

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!