Biography | Chief Horticulturist, David Salman

David is a 1979 graduate of Colorado State University with a  degree in Horticultural Science. He is the founder of Santa Fe  Greenhouses retail nursery and greenhouse (1984) and the  High Country Gardens mail order catalog (1993). He is  currently Chief Horticulturist of High Country Gardens.  He is  a founding member of the Colorado Plant Select®  introduction program.

Through thirty plus years of hands-on experience, David has acquired expertise in a wide range of horticultural endeavors including greenhouse production, perennial propagation, ornamental plant seed production, rock gardening , xeriscape design and commercial tree farming. 

David is a specialist, propagating and growing waterwise plants. He has introduced more than 50 improved hybrid, Old World and native plants sold through High Country Gardens over the past 20 years. His new company, WATERWISE Gardening is where David is continuing to focus on the breeding and improvement of cold hardy, xeric (water-wise), ornamental and habitat improving plants.  


Invite David to Speak at your Conference or Symposium

David is a garden/landscape photographer and a well traveled speaker who gives lectures on Xeriscaping and gardening throughout the US with a special focus on WATERWISE gardening , habitat gardening and other important  landscaping topics.  Please use the form below to inquire about honorarium cost and expense requirements.  Click here to invite David to Speak at your next event!

Lecture topics include:

  • Hummingbird Gardening

  • Xeriscaping

  • Gardening for pollinators

  • Cold-hardy Cacti and Succulents

  • Ornamental Grasses

  • Landscaping with native plants

  • Season long color with flowering perennials

Top Plant Introductions

Photo credits: @ Waterwise Gardening, LLC

David is a specialist, propagating and growing WATERWISE plants. He has introduced more than 50 improved hybrid, Old World and native plants sold through High Country Gardens over the past 20 years.

David's most important plant introductions are included in the list below:

(Or View List with Pictures)

  • Agastache aurantiaca 'Shades of Orange' (2003)

  • Agastache hyb. 'Ava' (2004)

  • Agastache cana 'Rosita' (2008)

  • Agastache hyb. Desert Sunrise® (2000) 

  • Agastache hyb. 'Desert Solstice' (2010)

  • Agastache rupestris (1996)

  • Agastache rupestris Glowing Embers® (2002) 

  • Aloinopsis hyb. 'Psychedelic' (2007)

  • Aquilegia aff. longissima Swallowtail® (2000)

  • Berberis fendleri (Taos Co., NM collection) (2005)

  • Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition PP#22,048 (2011)

  • Delosperma dyeri Red Mountain® Flame 

  • Hesperaloe parviflora 'Coral Glow' PP#29,626 (2018) 

  • Hesperaloe parviflora 'Straight Up Red' (2016)

  • Lavender angustifolia ‘WWG02’ FlowerKisser™

  • After Midnight English Lavender(2019)

  • Lavandula angustifolia 'Wee One' (2014) 

  • Monardella odoratissima ‘WWG04’ FlowerKisser™ Arizona Beauty (2019)

  • Muhlenbergia reverchonii (2008)

  • Salvia greggii ‘WWG03' FlowerKisser™ Coral Pink Sage (2019)

  • Salvia x 'WWG01' FlowerKisser™ Dark Shadows Sage (2019)

  • Salvia greggii ‘WWG05' FlowerKisser™ Royal Rose Sage (2020)

  • Salvia hyb. Raspberry Delight® (2000)

  • Salvia pachyphylla (2004)

  • Salvia pachyphylla Blue Flame' (2006)

  • Salvia sylvestris 'Little Night' PP#28,925 (2016)

  • Scutellaria hyb. 'Dark Violet' (2010)

  • Sorghastrum nutans 'Thin Man' PP#28,923 (2014)

  • Sporobolus wrightii "Windbreaker' (2006)

  • Veronica hyb. Blue Reflection® (1998)

  • Zauschneria garrettii Orange Carpet® (1998)

  • Zinnia grandiflora 'Gold on Blue' (2012)


We’ve had David present during events at Conservation Garden Park on two occasions. He highlighted water wise plants in a very engaging and knowledgeable way. His treatment of attendees was respectful but authoritative in a way that kept the discussion moving while allowing some questions. Best of all, he was easy to coordinate with and was not demanding on our schedule but was flexible. We really appreciate David and hope to ask him to come present for us again. 


Clifton Smith | Garden Manager

Conservation Garden Park