David Salman, Pioneer of Western-Climate Plants, Dies at 65

David Salman

David Salman, a pioneer of waterwise gardening, passionate plant explorer, and charismatic storyteller, handed away on Sunday, June 5, 2022. His dedication to cultivating a palette of lovely waterwise crops reworked gardening within the American West.

Founder of Santa Fe Greenhouses, High (*65*) Gardens, and Waterwise Gardening, Salman was an skilled within the subject of waterwise gardening and xeriscaping. He was a recipient of the 2008 American Horticultural Society Great American Gardeners Award. For many years, he inspired environmentally aware gardening practices, lengthy earlier than natural turned a family phrase. He was additionally an enthusiastic, extremely sought-after speaker on these topics. Gardeners who have been lucky sufficient to talk with Salman or hear his displays have been certain to be captivated by his information, expertise, and keenness.

Armed with a level in horticulture, a shovel, and a spirit of journey, Salman began in 1984 with a single greenhouse and introduced his revolutionary imaginative and prescient for the longer term of gardening to the group of Santa Fe, NM. Over time, by a dedication to waterwise, native, and habitat-friendly crops, his enterprise grew right into a model that impressed thousands and thousands of Americans to contemplate sustainability in their very own yards.

Salman had a present for searching for out and propagating distinctive plant species native to the wild landscapes of the Southwest. His a few years of intrepid explorations gathering seeds and specimens world wide led to the introduction of greater than 60 crops to the horticulture commerce. In 1996, his introduction of Agastache rupestris caught the eye of gardeners and plant breeders throughout the nation; the uncommon species with showy sunset-colored blooms and a scrumptious aroma turned an immediate backyard sensation. Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’, a variety of native blue grama grass with distinctive horizontal seed heads, was patented in 2010 and stays a mainstream staple for panorama designers.

A self-described “off the wall plant-nerd,” and “plant explorer with a present for speaking to crops,” Salman’s ardour began at an early age. Growing up in Houston, TX and La Cueva, NM, his playground included bayous, mountains, and arroyos. He noticed as growth encroached on butterflies, bugs, and the crops that assist them, and he turned decided to make a distinction. In 1979, he graduated from Colorado State University with a level in Horticultural Science. Five years later, he based Santa Fe Greenhouses with a give attention to cold-hardy, drought-tolerant crops. The enterprise rapidly turned a legendary vacation spot for gardeners.

Salman was additionally a founding member of Plant Select, a collaboration between Colorado State University and Denver Botanic Gardens. Founded in 1992, the group has united famend horticulturists, plant breeders, landscapers, and industrial plant growers with the aim of introducing crops that thrive within the Great Plains and Intermountain states. The group enabled David to introduce many of his 60+ plant varieties.

In response to ever-increasing demand for his crops, David and his spouse, Ava, launched High (*65*) Gardens in 1993. David centered on plant growth whereas Ava spearheaded the print catalog and web site. The catalog received 4 Silver Awards and one Gold Award for Best Gardening Catalog by Catalog Age Magazine and impressed many loyal followers.

After almost 30 years in enterprise, Salman was able to dedicate extra time to plant breeding, his residence gardens, and exploring the more and more scarce wild landscapes of the Southwest. In 2012, the Salmans closed their backyard facilities and offered their mail-order division to on-line retailer American Meadows. David stayed on as High (*65*) Gardens’ Chief Horticulturist, the place he performed an integral position in product growth and schooling. His ardour for crops persevered, and in 2013 he returned to the Santa Fe market with a brand new wholesale enterprise, Waterwise Gardens. There, and in his ongoing position at High (*65*) Gardens, Salman centered on the artwork of plant propagation, inspiring gardeners, and furthering his imaginative and prescient for sustainable gardening.

Though he typically claimed he was higher at speaking to crops than folks, he was an avid storyteller and spent numerous hours mentoring the subsequent generations of horticulturists and plant lovers. His legacy will reside on within the many gardens he impressed that develop extra lovely yearly.


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