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Rocky Mountain Gardening

 

 

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations more than one week prior to a class are subject to a 15% cancellation fee. Cancellations with less than one weeks notice are non-refundable; please consider your payment a donation to the Gardens.

 

Beginning Rocky Mountain Gardening

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

This course is designed for the Front Range gardener beginner. The basics of what is needed to adjust gardening skills from other climates to the Front Range’s finicky climate are covered. If you have never gardened here before or are looking for more success, this is the class for you! Learn the skills necessary to become an enthusiastic gardener. Annuals, perennials and vegetables are discussed, along with trees and shrubs that thrive in our climate, elevation and varying soils. Plant selection, planting and troubleshooting is discussed.

Subsequent weeks focus on the elements, water needs, fertilizers and organic gardening.

 

Instructor: Patti O'Neal

Price: $90, $80 members

Special Instruction: Please bring a glass jar of soil to class. (Must be see through glass jar to study layers of your own backyard native soil)

 

Best Fall Planted Bulbs for Perennializing

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Want more than one year of spring bloom from your fall-planted bulbs? Come learn about the best bulbs and varieties for year after year of bloom in our area. Species from early blooming Galanthus, Crocus, Chionodoxa, Scilla and Narcissus through Tulipa, Hyacinthoides, Allium and Colchicum will be discussed. Whether for perennial beds or naturalized landscapes, you will learn planting and cultural tips for maintaining long life. Discussion includes how best to use bulbs and design considerations with other plants and elements in the landscape.

Sign up now to discover the best cultivars of tulips and other bulbs that perennialize on the Front Range before purchasing bulbs to plant this fall.

Instructor: Carl Wilson, Denver horticulturist, speaker and retired CSU Extension Agent.

Price: $31, $26 members

 

 

Conifers for Colorado Landscapes & Gardens

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group II

Urban tree diversity is becoming ever more critical in our local and regional landscapes which have relied on a limited tree palette. Did you know there are dozens of lesser-known yet proven species of conifers that deserve more consideration? Conifers offer year-round interest yet require little care once established. How do you choose from the wide array offered at local nurseries? This class introduces you to the diverse world of hardy conifers and reveals the secrets to their success in our local climate. From native species to exotic cultivars, we’ll discuss practical, cultural and design considerations. A morning classroom session will be followed by a walking tour and hands-on introduction to the Gardens' conifer collections. We’ll take a half hour break for lunch on your own (bring your own or eat at the Gardens’ café). Please come dressed for the weather. Landscape professionals are especially invited.

 

Instructor: Pat Hayward

Price: $105, $95 members

Converting Lawn to Xeriscape

Do you want to beautify your landscape and save water at the same time?

Prepare to go into detail about how to replace some of your Kentucky bluegrass lawn with water-smart perennial and ornamental grasses, discuss soil types and irrigation adjustment requirements, and dream up some design ideas in this exciting class.

 

Instructor: Curtis Manning

Price: $24, $20 member

 

Photo: Winger Photography

Follow-on Vegetable Gardening

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Do you plant start-of-season vegetables only to end up with vacant ground later in summer and fall? The late summer and fall/winter seasons can be productive for vegetable gardeners in-the-know for planting follow-on crops and for improving garden and soil health. This class will show you the possibilities including cut-and-come-again crops, quick maturing varieties, season extension, winter and cover crops, garden health improvement tips and more. Come learn what to plant in mid-summer and how to manage a Front Range vegetable garden through fall and winter. Presented by Carl Wilson.

 

Instructor: Carl Wilson, Denver horticulturist, speaker and retired CSU Extension Agent.

Price: $31, $26 members

Image: Courtesy of interchangeableparts (Flickr)

Gardening for Pollinators

Did you know that there are 963 species of native bees on Colorado’s Front Range? All require your help to provide food, shelter and water. In addition we play host to countless other beneficial insects, birds and bats; all that perform the huge task of pollinating a third or more of the crops we eat, repopulate plants and add great diversity to our environment. How do we make our landscapes hospitable for these creatures and provide the proper food and shelter that will bring them to your landscape? Come learn which pollinators are attracted to which characteristics in certain plants, how to attract the ones you specifically want and how to select the perfect plants to do so. We will also cover the best choices for dealing with the ones you do not want in your garden and how to accept a little “insect pressure”. This will inspire you to try new plants and watch your landscape come alive!

 

Instructor: Patti O'Neal

Price: $44, $39 members

Going Organic

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

We all have preconceived notions of what being an “organic” gardener means to us. That is how our grandparents grew their gardens and how many of us want to go back to growing gardens and eating our food. This class will prepare you for taking your garden back to the most natural state possible.

You will learn what to do to “clean up” your soil – especially if you do not know how it has been treated in the past – and to select the best possible products to use in the garden. We will discuss using organic products appropriately and the ways they can be harmful if not used correctly as well as the efficacy of “homemade” remedies and their safety. You will learn about toxicity and environmental persistence. All of this with the environment and pollinators as well as pets and humans considered. Come and learn what to do and how to do it right!

 

Instructor: Patty O'Neal

Price: $36, $32 members

How to Plant a Tree: Tree and Shrub Selection and Planting

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Trees and shrubs are one of the greatest property investments and can greatly increase a home’s value. Trees are also expensive, so learn how to determine what species is best for your yard, where and when to plant it plant and how to care for it. Evergreens, deciduous trees and shrubs have varying preferred planting times and care strategies.

This class also shares tips on what to look for when you go to the nursery, how to dig a proper hole to insure the best root spread in the appropriate amount of time and when and how to prune. Also learn how to properly care for your tree to avoid transplant shock or winter desiccation injury. This class can make homeowners more confident when choosing or planting trees and shrubs or when supervising contractors.

 

Instructor: Patti O'Neal

Price: $44, $39 members

In the Field - Plant Conservation and Monitoring

 

 

 

Mountain Food Growing

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

You can grow food in the mountains! Cord and Penn Parmenter are determined to say ‘yes’ to mountain gardeners. Wind, hail, deer, bears, extreme temperatures -- they’ve heard it all. The Parmenters have been growing organic food at 8,120 ft. elevation since 1992 and their techniques and experiences apply to all of Colorado’s elevations and hardships. The mountains have a long history of providing a large amount of food for the state. This class covers many great foods that thrive in the mountains’ cool weather, wind proof season extenders, hail covers, raised bed preparation, compost options against bears, crop rotation, companion planting, succession planting, vegetables for the shade, mulching, seed saving and more. Altitude doesn’t matter; this class is designed to help all gardeners overcome the wild, wild, west. The Parmenters also touch on their successful, totally sustainable water-storage solar greenhouses and vegetable seed starting using recycled materials.

Can’t you just taste those fresh, mountain grown succulent greens, beans, squash, bok choi, and yes, even tomatoes, sweet corn and pumpkins!

 

Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter are high altitude food growers. They live in the Wet Mountains in South Central Colorado and they apply a multitude of techniques to overcome the challenges of the high country. Their totally sustainable greenhouse provides food year round for them and their three boys.

Price: $59, $52 members

Mountain Tomatoes

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

We all know the tomato is the gate-way drug to gardening, the Holy Grail of the mountains is to grow a red tomato. Technically, the mountains and tomatoes don’t get along and this class explains why.

In 1991, Penn Parmenter was told she could not grow tomatoes in the mountains. Today, she is working with around 200 varieties of tomatoes at 8,120 ft. elevation in the Wet Mountains. Learn about tomato varieties from around the world, especially those grown in high, cold places. Learn how to find and adapt seed, create night-time protection, prepare soil, fight disease and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The world of tomato seed swapping is also explored.

Penn comes armed with high-altitude tomato seeds, plants, demos and tips for reaching success with the tomato. Join the addiction! No more green tomatoes! (Unless it's Green Zebra, or Green Doctors or Evergreen).

 

Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter are high altitude food growers. They live in the Wet Mountains in South Central Colorado and they apply a multitude of techniques to overcome the challenges of the high country. Their totally sustainable greenhouse provides food year round for them and their three boys.

Price: $32, $28 members

Passive Solar Greenhouse Growing

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Penn and Cord Parmenter have been growing food in their passive solar sustainable greenhouse for 12 years. Their expertise is shared in this class to help take some of the mystery out of something that should be easy and yet can seem so hard. Matching appropriate plants to the microclimates within the greenhouse is crucial. Often the plants are the best teachers in the greenhouse and together participants learn how to work within the unique greenhouse eco-system.

Favorite foods, herbs and flowers are discussed as well as forcing plants for seed production, over wintering potted plants and succession planting for a year round harvest.

The Parmenters share tips for keeping the greenhouse organically under control from bugs and disease. Preventative methods and what to do when an outbreak strikes are discussed.

Penn and Cord lead busy lives with three kids and a business and yet they manage to grow food year round in their greenhouses. When life gets in the way and you’re thinking of turning your greenhouse into a shed, don’t despair because there are answers for successful greenhouse growing.

 

Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter

Price: $31, $26 members

See also "Sustainable Greenhouse Design" - offered on the same weekend!

Putting Your Rose Garden to Bed

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Just about everyone grows a rose bush or two.Congress designated the rose as America s national floral emblem in 1986.The popularity of growing roses began thousands of years ago and continues today.The rose growing series offered by American Rose Society Consulting Rosarians and experts from the Denver Rose Society will cover how to grow healthy, easy care beautiful roses for years to come. The series covers secrets to successful rose growing, no pain pruning, versatile shrub roses, fragrant roses, and winter care. Choose one class or take them all and come away with confident rose growing skills and greater appreciation for the  Queen of Flowers. 

Preparing your roses for winter is the key to growing those fabulous flowers in the spring. Learn why fall and winter care keeps your roses healthy from year to year and how to prepare new rose beds for spring planting. Get tips on early transplanting or rearranging the rose bed. A recommended list of roses that do well along the Front Range and higher altitudes will be included to take home.

 

Instructor: Peggy Williams

Price: $32, $27 members

Seed, Soil, Sun and Water

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Seed, soil, sun and water are all that is needed to grow food in the Wild-West! In fact, the earth and all its systems already work perfectly and just by combining seed, soil, sun and water you can witness miracles.

If the Rockies can grow a giant Ponderosa out of a rock at 10,000 ft., we can certainly grow food in soil. This class focuses on what already works, how to work with what you have and to inspire you again in nature’s ability to feed people.

We’ve been told for years that we cannot grow food in the Rockies but we know that’s not true! Get back to basics and garden the way our grandparents did – using Earth’s amazing resources to produce clean, vibrant, mountain-grown food!

This class covers the topics in depth with Colorado’s challenges in mind. Saving seed, building soil, managing intense sun and conserving water all can give you remarkable results here in the west.

Penn and Cord Parmenter bring 21 years of experience to this approach and are passionate about emulating nature and chemical-free growing. Everyone can grow clean food and we intend to inspire you to look again, at what is all of ours to enjoy – the abundance and sustenance of nature!

 

Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter are high altitude food growers. They live in the Wet Mountains in South Central Colorado and they apply a multitude of techniques to overcome the challenges of the high country. Their totally sustainable greenhouse provides food year round for them and their three boys.

Price: $32, $28 members

Super Small Space Vegetable Gardening: In Containers

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Greenhouse Design

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Have you ever wondered if a greenhouse that needs NO supplemental heating or cooling could be made? The answer is yes!

No more over-heating and freezing in all-glazed greenhouses. The sustainable design balances the use of thermal mass, glazing, insulation and sun angles to achieve the stabilization needed in our extreme climate without the use of fossil fuels. Learn how to design a sustainable greenhouse from the ground up, using salvaged or new materials to achieve the look and performance you want. You can also use these techniques to improve an existing greenhouse.

This class is a comprehensive look at how passive solar greenhouses work and covers topics such as how to orient the building, basic principles of passive solar design including the use of stored water as thermal mass, simple math formulas to help guide your design, a materials list and drawings and calculations for a 13’ x 15’ greenhouse.

In 2000, the Parmenters built their first greenhouse out of 90% recycled materials on top of an 8,120 ft. elevation decomposed granite mountain. Since then, they have designed and built many more and are ready to share what they have learned about state-of-the-art materials and cost-saving strategies. Lose yourself in a year round garden sanctuary.

 

Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter are high altitude food growers. They live in the Wet Mountains in South Central Colorado and they apply a multitude of techniques to overcome the challenges of the high country. Their totally sustainable greenhouse provides food year round for them and their three boys.

Price: $160, $150 members

Troubleshooting in the Vegetable Garden: If A Tomato Could Talk

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

If your vegetables could talk, they would tell you exactly how to care for them properly to prevent disease or insect invasion. The next best thing is for you to participate in this class and learn what insects and diseases attack your vegetable gardens and containers and what you can do about it.

Learn about organic and inorganic management strategies, how they work and how to correctly apply them. This class stresses integrated pest management, a concept that uses the least invasive methods of pest control first to keep food safe and delicious.

 

Instructor: Patti O'Neal

Price: $31, $26 members

Vines and Groundcovers

 

 

 

 

What Made My Good Plant Go Bad?

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Did the glorious beauty promised by the garden catalog, nursery salesperson or garden designer fall flat? You may be surprised that insects and diseases are NOT the main cause of problems in the garden. Gardeners have more control thank they may think over how many plant problems. This provides an overview of the most common plant challenges and what you can do to prevent their annual recurrence. The course focuses on the root causes that attract pests and disease to your garden and what to do about it.

 

Instructor: Patti O'Neal

Price: $44, $39 members

Special Instructions: This class is a lecture and hands on lab. You may bring a sample of a plant or turf you want diagnosed to class. Registration confirmation includes info on how to collect a good sample.

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