There are many ways to find out more about the plants that thrive in our area and gardening methods that work best for our climate and soils. Many local garden centers and nurseries hold gardening classes on various topics. Denver Botanic gardens has an extensive course catalog ranging from basic to advanced and including specialty topics such as botanical illustration and horticultural therapy. Some community colleges throughout the state have horticulture classes and degree programs. Colorado State University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in horticulture and landscape architecture. The University of Colorado at Denver also has a masters degree program in landscape architecture.
Most counties in Colorado have Extension offices. Look in your telephone book under “Colorado State University Extension” for a local number. The Extension trains Master gardeners who will answer your questions on the phone. There are Plant Diagnostic Clinics in Jefferson County and at the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins, soil testing is available at Colorado State University and short courses on specialty topics are available though several counties. Contact your local Extension office for complete information.
There are display and botanical gardens throughout the state where you can see which plants do well in your area and which unusual plants are possible. Some examples are Denver Botanic gardens, Betty Ford Alpine garden in Vail, the Pueblo Zoo and the Western Colorado Botanical Society in Grand Junction.
The Helen K. Fowler Library at Denver Botanic gardens is the region’s largest library devoted solely to plants. The collection contains over 25,000 books, magazines, videos and slides all about the plant world. The librarians are available for reference at 303-370-8014.