Sunday, September 30, 2007

Salutations from Santa Fe!

Finally, I was able to fulfill my dream of visiting High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have ordered plants from them for years and have wanted to visit their demonstration gardens, but family matters have kept us from traveling for the last three years. So, you can see why this was such a treat for me last week.

Their "official" tours had ended for the season, however, I had just as much fun (although not as informative) wandering around on my own. My first impression was how much shade there was in the Xeriscape garden. One thinks of a xeric garden as baking in full sun all of the time (like my hellstrips), but that's not the case. It was amazing to see how many of the plants were flourishing in filtered shade from the many trees.

My very next impression was how close together everything was planted...just the way I love it! This time of the year most of the plantings were quite large and some were lodging (a nice way to say falling over). And there was NO staking that I could see! Everything is so close that neighbors were holding up neighbors and looked very happy and secure having each other to lean on. The downside of visiting this time of the year is that there was no one around to answer questions or identify plants, many of which had long ago covered up their signage. Not wanting to disturb them I chose to just enjoy most of them for their beauty without knowing their identities. For example, there were many different varieties of beautiful salvias blooming. Many of these are not perennial in my part of the country so I just walked by and let my mouth water.

The amount of shade at the time of morning we were there, coupled with the bright sunlight, drove my camera crazy on it's automatic setting. I love the blue cast it put on the next photo.

I expected more of an arid look, so was surprised by the lushness of this setting.

Here I was delighted to find the plant that has been haunting me for the last couple of years as I tried unsuccessfully to grow it. That's Salvia Pachypylla, Flowered Purple Sage. You can imagine how I oohed and aaaaw'd all over the place! The light silver-green foliage complements the lovely pink-blue blossoms. These photos did start me wondering though...what kind of companion would you put with these colors? Would they clash with my other plants? We'll see. I do have one trying to hang on with it's dear life. I planted it with a Sunset Hyssop with it's lavender and salmon blooms. I hope it makes it through the winter.

I've never seen so many different Agastaches and Hyssops. I'm sorry that I can't identify them, but I sure did enjoy seeing them.

Now, HERE was a very interesting plant! The "bluest" I have ever seen! It's so blue that it almost hurts your eyes and wow, does it stand out! It's Salvia Pitcher's Sage. One thing, as you can see, is that it really flops. I noticed that they usually paired it with yellow. They told me that the one above that is completely on the ground "probably should be staked" and that the reason it was so "floppy" was that this area is not watered often. I sure would love to have this plant, but have made a vow not to get any more "floppy" plants because of all the wind we have. Who knows though, maybe next year it will be on my order list as it is difficult to resist this beauty.

Here is one plant I did purchase. A Serbian Yarrow, which is a ground cover. I loved the color of the foliage and they had only one left. So, I had to get it, the poor, lonely little thing.

Off into the sunset (well... sunrise, really) for now. Next post I will show the perennial sales area, the annual greenhouse and the cottage garden. There was so much to see that my eyes couldn't take it all in! Believe me, they tried though. And just wait and see the plants I got. Just hope I can finish getting in the ground VERY soon before it cools any more.


Pam/Digging said...

I've been to Santa Fe a few times, but that was before I really got into gardening. Now I know, the next time I go, to stop at High Country Gardens. And even though the signs may have been overgrown and the tours nonexistent, you sure did get to see a pretty garden.

Sue Swift said...

Hi – this is an invitation to join the Garden Bloggers Retro carnival. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across the concept of a Blog carnival – if not I’ve explained it in detail on my site today (Oct 1). But basically the idea is to revive an old post which you think is worth rereading, or which you think new readers might enjoy. Send me the link to the post, and in November I’ll publish a series of posts describing and linking to all the posts people have nominated.
I hope you’ll join in and we have a fun carnival!

Bev said...

Pam - Same here. I always loved to go to Santa Fe but that was before I was into gardening. Did the gift shops, etc., and never knew there was such a treasure just waiting for me there.

Sue - I'll check out your blog and learn more about it. My blog is new this year so don't know if there is anything worth repeating, but I'll sure take a look. Thanks!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Well Bev, you enjoyed yourself a lot in Santa Fe, that much is clear. Wow to that gorgeous Salvia Pachypylla, it is beautiful, to put it mildly. ;-)

Tis a pity that the Salvia Pitcher's Sage is so floppy the blue colour is wonderful. In the Netherlands it's very windy so floppy is not of the good. :-)

Can't wait to see what plants you bought!!!

Gotta Garden said...

Hello: Enjoyed reading about your visit to Santa Fe and High Country Gardens/Santa Fe Greenhouses. Visited myself a few years ago in October, so it's especially nice to see how it looks earlier. Loved, loved the shopping in Santa Fe! Unfortunately, I had to fly out and so could not take back the things I would really have liked to. Lucky you!

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing! What a wonderful place to many beautiful plants, which I have only been able to admire on the catalog pages.
I enjoyed seeing the Tennessee Coneflower picture....I winter sowed this one last year, so hoping for some flowers next summer. I love the look of the upturned petals.

Bev said...

Connie, thanks for identifying the Tennessee Coneflower. I couldn't read the tag from the photo and thought it was a beautiful plant, very different from other coneflowers. And thanks to all of you for enjoying my tour with me.

guild_rez said...

What a wonderful trip to this garden centre.
The pictures are great..
I am confused about the "Salvia Pitcher's Sage" also know as Hummingbird Sage. Wikipedia shows a different plant with pink/red flowers. Question I have always have: can I grow this palnt in Zone 5?
Please respond, Gisela