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Beginning Rocky Mountain Gardening

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective


This is a course for the beginner or for newcomers to the Front Range Gardening Community. We will hit all the basics of what you really need to know to adjust your gardening skills to our climate or to begin your gardening success here on the Colorado Front Range.

If you have never gardened here before or are looking for more success, this is the class for you!

Learn the basics of gardening in our finicky climate and the skills necessary to become an enthusiastic gardener. Annuals, perennials and vegetables will be discussed, along with trees and shrubs for our climate, elevation and varying soils.


We will discuss plant selection, planting and troubleshooting. Leave with the knowledge and resources you need to plant the garden you have always wanted.


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


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


$80 member, $90 non-member.


Instructor: Patti O'Neal


Colorado Ecosystems and Native Plants Field Trip

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

The ecosystems of Colorado range from plains grasslands to the alpine tundra, mountain meadows to sub-alpine forests and all the points in between.

This field trip allows students to study the amazing diversity of plant and animal life that co-exist within these ecosystems and be able to identify each community by physical appearance and other site characteristics.

The class starts and ends in Morrison and we will survey the majority of ecosystems in the state.

The reference text for this course is From Grasslands to Glacier by Cornelius Mutel and John Emerick. The text is currently out of print, but used copies can be found online for purchase.


$72 member, $82 non-member.


Instructor: Sheridan Samano

The carpool will meet offsite and gas expenses for drivers will be shared.

Offsite meeting location for carpool will be be determined no later than 2 weeks before trip. Students will be notified via email.



Conifers for Colorado Gardens

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group II

Dwarf and unusual conifers add year-round garden beauty, yet require little attention once established. How do you choose from the fantastic array now offered at local nurseries? This class introduces you to a world of exciting options and reveals the secrets to conifer success in our local climate. From native species to exotic cultivars, we'll discuss practical, cultural and design considerations.

This Saturday class will include classroom time followed by a walking tour with a hands-on introduction to the Gardens’ conifer collections. Please come dressed for the weather. There will be a 30-minute break; please bring a bag lunch.


$95 member, $105 non-member.


Instructor: Pat Hayward


Converting Lawn to Xeriscape

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


We will address some design ideas and go into detail about how to replace some of your Kentucky bluegrass lawn with Water-Smart perennial and ornamental grasses. We’ll get into soil types and irrigation adjustments requirements as well.


$20 member, $24 non-member


Instructor: Curtis Manning


Photo: Winger Photography

High Consequence Pests and the Sentinel Plant Network

Learn about the Sentinel Plant Network and Denver Botanic Gardens’ efforts to limit the spread and impact of high consequence plant pests and pathogens. The headline-making Emerald Ash Borer is one such pest, and a recent arrival to our state. Learn how you can get involved and help protect trees by becoming a National Plant Diagnostic Network “first detector.”

John Murgel began working at Denver Botanic Gardens in 2008. He oversees several outdoor gardens, the micropropagation lab, and co-chairs the Gardens’ outdoor Integrated Pest Management effort.


As part of Denver Botanic Gardens participation in the Sentinel Plant Network all training sessions are free and open to the public, registration is required!


Image: Courtesy of David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org


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