Founder’s Day Recap:Contribute to the “Web of Life”  — Plant Natives 

by Pam Hamamoto, HAS Member

Photo Credit:   René Bittner from Pixabay 

The Founders’ Day Lecture held April 2nd at General Palmer’s Glen Eyrie estate, was no snooze. David Salman, known to a lot of us for his many contributions to horticulture in the West, talked on “Gardening with Native Plants to Benefit Pollinators and Songbirds”. Pollinators often rely on natives for their sustenance, but Salman stressed that some of the plant introductions he has made to our market over the years (non-natives) have been natural offspring of natives and do support the pollinators and thus the songbirds that depend on them to feed their young. 
The pollinators and birds that we so enjoy in our gardens need water, shelter, space and a diversity of food–the flowers that provide nectar, pollen and small insects to munch for the entire season. Salman said that we are planting to attract the beneficial insects and that systemic pesticides, especially the neonicotinoids, poison the pollinators. A healthy, living soil grows better and more resilient plants.

The time for us to make a significant contribution to help in the “Web of Life” is now, through our gardens. Pesticides kill bugs. Bugs are a very important part of the garden ecosystem. And Salman did get passionate about healthy soil, healthy bugs and healthy plants. The soil needs help, but don’t dig up your plant, rework (dig) the soil, and replace the plant. That harms the microscopic arthropods and beneficial fungi that improve your soil. Put your organic additions on top and let them work into the soil. It may not be fast but it will be effective.

One of the sources that was mentioned multiple times was ‘Nature’s Best Hope’ by Doug Tallamy. High Country Gardens, a source of plants and information that many of us use, was started and nurtured by David Salman. He is currently the chief Horticulturist for High Country Gardens and the owner of Waterwise Gardening, LLC, where he breeds and propagates waterwise plants. 

Many of the plants, trees to shrubs to herbaceous perennials, that Salman picked out for his presentation are available at the HAS Gigantic Plant Sale this year. Some of them are: Pawnee Buttes Sand Cherry, Cheyenne Mock Orange, Kannah Creek Buckwheat, Fernbush, Salvia Pachyphylla, Rabbit Brush, Giant Sacaton grass, Claret Cup cactus, Banana Yucca, Penstemons, Evening Primrose, Wild Four O’Clocks, Beebalms, Purple Prairie Clover, Agastaches, Salvias, Goldenrod, and Zauschneria.  

“Gardening with Native Plants to Benefit Pollinators and Songbirds”



Presented by David Salman
Saturday, April 2, 2022

Where: Carriage House at Glen Eyrie, 3820 N. 30th St. Colorado Springs

When Saturday, April 2, 2022, 10:00am-12:00pm

HAS members:  $12 in person or live stream, payable through the Eventbrite link (deadline: March 31, 9:00pm)

Non-members: $25 in person or live stream, payable through the Eventbrite link (deadline: March 31, 9:00pm)

The HAS is excited to host David Salman at Glen Eyrie Conference Center to celebrate our 60th Anniversary! David will discuss how native plants are integral to a healthy urban/suburban ecosystem that supports pollinating insects, hummingbirds and songbirds. He will also talk about the basic design principles for planting as well as which native woody plants, perennials and ornamental grasses to plant in the Colorado Springs area.

David is a 1979 graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in Horticultural Science. He is the founder of Santa Fe Greenhouses (1984-2012) and the High Country Gardens mail order catalog (1993-present). He is currently Chief Horticulturist of High Country Gardens online ornamental plant catalog and owner of Waterwise Gardening LLC, a small wholesale greenhouse and ornamental plant breeding business.

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, commercial tree farming, and xeric landscaping. 

David is a specialist, propagating and growing water-wise native and Old World plants and devoting much of his time to the breeding and improvement of water-wise, ornamental plants for the Great Plains and Intermountain West. He has been a leading spokesperson/advocate of xeriscaping (water-wise landscaping), use of native plants and planting to feed pollinators through habitat-focused gardening.

Important Event/Ticket Information—Please Note: If you prefer not to attend in person, there will be a livestream option on Eventbrite (same price as in-person tickets). After you purchase your ticket, we will send you the link on April 1st.

All tickets must be prepaid online, and you will need to show your tickets at the door. We have a limit of 100 in-person tickets and 100 online livestream tickets, so it is recommended that you purchase yours ASAP.

  • Individual HAS Memberships are limited to 1 member and 1 guest (non-member) ticket for purchase.
  • Family, Patron & Lifetime HAS Members are limited to 2 member and 1 guest (non-member) ticket.
  • Non-members may purchase single tickets to the event.

Tickets are non-refundable.

“Purchase your Tickets from Eventbrite Here”

Glen Eyrie will be offering water as a beverage. You can come early and purchase coffee or tea in their coffee shop located in the Carriage House (coffee shop opens at 9:00am).