If you go
What: High Plains Landscape Workshop
When: 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, March 4
Where: The Drake Centre, 802 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins
Cost: $65-$75; proceeds benefit the Gardens on Spring Creek
More info: 970-416-2486 or fcgov.com
Approaching gardening in Colorado is no easy task. Transplants from other locales often run into frustration when taking up a shovel and trowel here, what with our semi-arid, windy, intense solar environment. And if you desire to have the lush, verdant look of a New England landscape and think you can bend the garden to your will, well, Colorado has some news for you: dream on.
If you want success, first you have to understand our environment. A good place to find that enlightenment is at the annual High Plains Landscape Workshop, March 4 at the Drake Centre in Fort Collins. With a lineup of three speakers well versed in the uniqueness of the steppes, you'll get a fast-track on gardening with our climate, instead of against it.
A fundraiser for the Gardens on Spring Creek, the event gets down to earth about real-world gardening with a mix of design, plant selection, and focus on worldwide plant ecology in steppe gardening.
Leading off the workshop is Mike Bone, curator of Steppe Collections at Denver Botanic Gardens. Co-author of " Steppes: The Plants and Ecology of the World's Semi-arid Regions," Bone is a renowned plant propagation expert who has traveled extensively in his focus on seed collection and the study of steppe plants and ecology.
Bone will introduce you to the new steppe garden installed at the Botanic Gardens, as well as share current research into this dynamic region's plants.
Following Bone is Panayoti Kelaidis, director of outreach for Denver Botanic Gardens and co-author with Bone on the "Steppes" book. A popular speaker, Kelaidis is passionate about connecting the high plains and foothills of Colorado with global steppe environs. His talks are always entertaining and full of valuable information on growing unusual plants that transcend everyday plant selections.
Kelaidis, building on the topic of steppe region gardening, delivers a deeper understanding of the climactic influences that make up this circumglobal area before taking you on a journey of plant choices derived from plant explorations in that area.
Lauren Springer Ogden, a garden designer, author and horticulturist, rounds out the day with her talk: "Sustainable, Beautiful, Creature-Friendly and Coloradoan: Design Inspiration and Plants for the New Undaunted Garden at the Gardens on Spring Creek." Springer Ogden, whose designs since 1985 have lifted landscapes in the Front Range to impressive standards, offers advice on tapping into the gardener within.
The popular event includes lunch and a chance to talk with other gardeners who revel in early season planning for beautiful landscapes. Registration is $65 for members, $75 for non-members, and it includes lunch (after Feb. 16 registration is $85). Workshop information and registration materials are available on the workshop page at fcgov.com or by calling the Gardens on Spring Creek at 970-416-2486.
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