March 1, 2012
Rudbeckia 'Henry Eilers'
Photo by Jessica Walliser
In the past, I’ve ordered Rudbeckia Henry Eilers from High Country Gardens.

I was elated when I opened the mailbox the other day to find the spring catalog for High Country Gardens, a company in Santa Fe, N.M., that specializes in “Beautiful Plants for the Waterwise Garden.” The catalog is inspiring and filled with a huge variety of native plants, many of which have low water needs and are perfect for my front perennial border.

High Country Gardens also has lots of hard-to-find botanical treasures that I’m not likely to get at my local nursery. I really enjoyed dog-earing the pages and circling my wish-list items. I love that they’ve added design tips for water-efficient gardens and now have several plant “samplers” that offer a collection of plants for a reduced price. There are samplers for lavender, gaillardia, columbine and others.

I also like their kit for creating an “Inferno Strip” garden—you know, that narrow strip between the street and the sidewalk or the garage and the driveway. The collection includes a planting plan, care instructions and 27 plants that are hardy from USDA zones 5 to 8. They offer several other pre-planned gardens for smaller spaces, as well, including a pollinator garden, a xeric aroma garden and a summer color garden, to name a few. And there are plenty of grasses, groundcovers, shrubs and succulents toward the back of the catalog to really get your mouth watering. Not to mention the eco-friendly low-mow/no-mow lawn grass-seed collections they’re known for.

My wish list contains a mere 21 different plants. (Mind you, it was exceedingly difficult to narrow it down from my initial count of 40!) Although I know I won’t be able to get them all, I do plan to purchase several of them this season. Here are a few of my must-haves if you want to check them out for yourself:

  • Origanum libanoticum (Cascading ornamental oregano)
  • Agastache cana Rosita (Rosita Hummingbird mint)
  • Three different Penstemons: Mersea Yellow, alamosensis and Tall Orange Mix
  • Digitalis obscura (Sunset foxglove)
  • Buddleia alternifolia (Spring blooming butterfly bush)
  • Helianthus maximiliana Dakota Sunshine (Maximillian’s sunflower)

If you are interested in getting a catalog, your can order one by calling 800-925-9387 or you can visit their website. And no, they didn’t pay me to say any of this. I just love their mission—and their plants!

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