Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session 1

Native Plants for Western Slope Gardens by Nick Daniel

nickdheadshotGardening on Colorado’s Western Slope can be challenging and uniquely rewarding. This talk will highlight suitable native plants from Western Colorado for the high desert landscape. The focus will be on xeric, low-maintenance natives that may be used to create an aesthetic and sustainable garden.

Nick Daniel is a Horticulture Specialist at the Denver Botanic Gardens. He curates the Cactus and Succulent Collections as well as several native gardens. Nick speaks regularly about Colorado’s native flora, especially that of the Western Slope and Four Corners area. Nick is currently co-authoring a field guide to the flowers of the Rocky Mountains.

Designing With Native Plants by Susan J. Tweit

Are you wondering how to fit native plants into your landscape? Or stumped by how natives work in formal design? Join plantswoman and passionate native-plant designer Susan J. Tweit for a primer on design that covers the basics of how to know your site, both pluses and minuses; learning the “terroir,” the unique flavor of your locale; how to determine your preferred design style and favorite plants; and designing welcoming species for humans and wildlife. NOTE: This session is a talk with digital presentation and audience interaction; you’ll take away plenty of ideas and inspiration, but we will not be drawing actual designs.

susan-j-tweitAward-winning writer Susan J. Tweit is a plant biologist who began her career studying wildfires, grizzly bear habitat and sagebrush communities in Yellowstone National Park. She has written twelve books about nature and life, including The Rocky Mountain Garden Survival Guide, hailed as “the instruction book that should have come with your yard.” Tweit’s work has appeared in magazines and newspapers ranging from Audubon and Popular Mechanics to High Country News and the Los Angeles Times. She writes the popular “Whole Life” column for Rocky Mountain Gardening magazine, is Rocky Mountain Native Plants columnist for the home and garden design website Houzz, and co-founder of the Habitat Hero project. Her landscape designs and habitat restoration projects have won recognition from The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Rockies, and the North American Rock Garden Society. Tweit spent 20 years restoring a blighted industrial property and its block of urban creek in Salida, Colorado.

Creating Native Plant Landscapes – Can Do Ideas for Beginners by Anne Clark (continued into Session 2)

View More: how to create and maintain a native plant garden in Colorado. This class will cover how and where to start, simple design ideas and basic tools for success. Participants will be inspired and empowered to start integrating native plants into their landscapes.

Anne Clark is the owner and principal landscape designer for Anne Clark Design. She specializes in native and drought tolerant plants adaptable to Colorado, and has over 25 years of experience creating beautiful and successful Colorado Gardens.  Anne holds a certificate in Landscape Design from FRCC, is a Certified Nursery Professional and a Colorado Native Plant Master.

Breakout Session 2

Southeast and Plains Area Natives by Don Barnett

Establishing Natives: Native Plant Whisperer by Jim Borland

jim-borlandHaving grown western native plants from seed and cuttings for more than 35 years in a university, garden centers, botanic gardens, and home settings, the art and science involved has been reduced to only the bare requirements for establishing these plants in the landscape.  Selecting the right plants from the appropriate natural landscapes means that you can have trees, shrubs, evergreens, perennials, biennials, annuals and spring bulbs that require no organic amendments, no mulches and no supplemental water.

Jim Borland has had a varied and diverse career involving writing (300+ articles), lectures, workshops and tours (100+), plant breeding, rare plant activities, managing horticultural research center, garden center management, botanic gardens propagator, Colorado Native Plant Society President and Board member, consultant and radio talk show host.

Creating Native Plant Landscapes – Can Do Ideas for Beginners by Anne Clark (continued from Session 1)

Breakout Session 3

Mountain Gardening with Natives – Firewise and Waterwise by Irene Shonle

august-20-2012-005-ireneMountain gardening comes with challenges, and fire and water issues are some of the most important.  In this talk, we will discuss native plants that are cold-hardy and well-adapted to mountain soils and precipitation levels.  We will also discuss design considerations for firewise landscaping that is attractive and brings in pollinators and birds to enliven the garden.

Irene Shonle is the Director of Gilpin County Extension and is involved in the Native Plant Master program. She is a popular teacher and has taught at many venues around the state.

kelly-grummonsDryer Plants for a New Landscape Era by Kelly Grummons

Kelly Grummons will discuss his work looking for new, more drought tolerant plants for the Great Plains landscape.

Over the last 30 years, Kelly has devoted his life to discovering, breeding and introducing many new plants to the market.

Landscape Restoration – Native Plants on a Bigger Scale by Amy Yarger and Jim Tolstrup (aimed at professionals)

Vast acreage in Colorado is owned by HOA’s, Schools, Businesses, and other Public and Private entities. Often these areas, out of a profound lack of imagination, become irrigated turf grass that offers little ecological benefit while consuming huge amounts of natural resources, as well as enormous water bills. This presentation will explore strategies for restoring and managing native vegetation and habitat, the associated economic, environmental, and social benefits, and strategies for building consensus within communities for creating native open space. amy-yarger

Amy Yarger has worked in the public horticulture field since 1996. She received a bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine and then went on to study plant-animal interactions at the University of Michigan. Her master’s thesis concerned the effects of noxious weeds on pollinator-plant relationships. Her work at the Butterfly Pavilion, where she has worked since 2000, touches on many of her passions: plants, insects, habitat conservation and science education.

Jim Tolstrup works to promote the conservation, restoration and landscape use of native plants and is the Executive Director of the High Plains Environmental Center in Loveland, CO, a unique model for preserving native bio-diversity in midst of development. Jim’s past work experience includes serving as Land Stewardship jim-head-shotDirector of Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, CO and running his own landscape design business in Kennebunkport, Maine where he installed gardens at George and Barbara Bush’s “Summer White House.” Jim holds a Certificate in Gardening Arts from the Landscape Institute of Harvard University and the Arnold Arboretum, he has written numerous articles on gardening and environmental stewardship for various publications, and is a past recipient of Denver Water’s Xeriscape Award and ALCC’s Excellence in Landscaping Merit Award and ASLA Land Stewardship Award. Jim is personally committed to bringing together people with diverse points of view; environmentalist, business people and other community members in an inclusive dialogue about preserving the natural world for future generations.

Breakout Session 4

Gardening with Native Plants of the Front Range by Deryn Davidson

Gardening along the Front Range of Colorado provides ample opportunity to use native plants that can handle our varied soils, low amounts of natural precipitation and often unpredictable weather patterns. This talk is geared specifically for people who live and garden along the Front Range. We will highlight some of the best native plants to try out in your landscape and cover their growing requirements along with fun plant combinations. deryndavidson

Deryn Davidson holds a B.S. in Horticulture from Colorado State University and a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona. Her passion for native plants and pollinators grew during her time as a horticulturist at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX. Currently, Deryn is the CSU Horticulture Extension Agent for Boulder County, a position in which she is able to help educate the public about the importance of pollinators and their habitat, good design, and responsible horticulture practices.

Plant This, Not That: Colorado Native Plant Alternatives to Common Garden Plants by Jennifer Bousselot

Now that you know the benefits of using Colorado native plants in your landscape, how do you choose which ones to use? Selecting Colorado native plants can be challenging for gardeners because they are not familiar with their ornamental characteristics. Therefore, this session will list well-known non-native plants and then feature ideal Colorado native alternatives.

View More: Bousselot is the Colorado Native Plant Society (CoNPS) Membership and Marketing Coordinator and teaches classes at Colorado State University in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Jen completed her doctorate research studying green roof species selection, including Colorado native plants, and substrate compositions at Colorado State University in 2010. Jen has taught both homeowner and college-level horticultural courses and managed Master Gardener programs in two states over the past 15 years.

Creating Homes for Native Plants by Alison Peck (aimed at professionals)

Alison_Peck[1]Native plants offer unique beauty, as well crucial ‘ecosystem services’ such as habitat for native insects.  Successful native plant landscapes work with microclimates and specific soils along with an intimate knowledge of the aesthetics and maintenance requirements of each plant. We will explore how this was done (successfully and not!) in several local landscapes incorporating native plants.

Alison Peck founded Matrix Gardens in 1984, and is a landscape designer practicing, teaching and writing about Xeriscapes, Permaculture, native plants, habitat gardens, edible landscaping, sustainable landscaping and drip irrigation. She teaches Landscape Design and Sustainable Horticulture at Front Range Community College.

Breakout Session 5

Water Conservation and Water Requirements for our Native Plants by Dan Johnson and Mary Hattendorf dan-johnson

So many native plants thrive in our drier Western gardens, how will you decide? They can stand on their own, or blend with plants from around the world. Here are some of the best native perennials, shrubs, trees, and grasses that you won’t want to be without. This session will also focus on native plant water requirements, drought mechanisms, and how to irrigate native plants in your landscape.

Dan Johnson has spent nearly 20 years with DBG, currently as Curator of Native Plants and Associate Director of Horticulture. His work in design and maintenance is focused on xeric and native plants, and naturalistic design. Horticultural exploration with a focus on Steppe climates has included the western US, South Africa, Argentina, Spain, and Pakistan. Publications include the revised “Meet the Natives” wildflower guide, “Steppes”, and many articles in gardening periodicals.

Dr. Mary J. Hattendorf’s background is in plant water use, water stress, and drought tolerance. I have managed Northern Water’s Conservation Gardens in Berthoud, Colorado for 7 years. Our mission is to demonstrate appropriate irrigation technology and plants, and to manage both irrigation and plants for effective water conservation in the urban landscape.

Propagation of the Native Plants of the Interior West – Secrets Revealed by Scott Skogerboe (aimed at professionals)

Learn some tricks of the trade on propagating our native plants. Beginning with seed collecting and then how to treat the seed to get the best germination rates. Learn which plants can be grown from Hardwood cuttings and the proper way to make them. Advancing to more difficult techniques such as softwood cuttings, budding and grafting.

Scott Skogerboe has been the Propagator at Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery for the last 21 years where he grows 300,000 trees and shrubs every year for sale to nurseries from Casper to Albuquerque. Prior to going to work with his current employer, Scott was the owner of a small Nursery specializing in Fruit Trees and berries adaptable to the rigors of growing on the high plains of our region.