New to gardening at altitude in the inter-Mountain West? – Estes Park Trail-Gazette

How about a walk in the park? No, not “Rocky.” I mean Estes Park.

Mountain gardening is fraught with perils both large (elk & deer) and small. Erratic weather and drying winds, nutrient-poor soils, and seemingly limited plant options all conspire to discourage mountain gardeners. Featuring trees, herbaceous plants, shrubs and vines, I will draw upon 40 years of professional experience and close collaboration with Colorado nursery and landscape professionals to help you become a successful mountain gardener.

Beginning in Mrs. Walsh’s Garden on West Elkhorn Avenue, and ending at the Estes Park Visitor Center, you will learn about plants, native and non-native-adapted, that grow and thrive in local gardens. Choosing appropriate plants, properly placing them on the site, nurturing them to get them established, and properly maintaining them once established will all be observed and discussed. Pruning dos and don’ts, insect problems to watch out for, seasonal attributes of the plants observed, and other tips for gardening success will be covered during the two-hour walk along the river and through town parks and landscapes.

These walks are sponsored by Mrs. Walsh’s Native Plant Garden Advisory Committee. Each walk is limited to the first 15 participants to show up, and they are scheduled on various days and at varying times to accommodate working folks as well as retirees. Walkers will meet at Mrs. Walsh’s Garden directly across the street from Patterson Glassworks Studio & Gallery (323 W. Elkhorn Ave.) and the Performance Park free parking lot. Wear a hat, put on sunscreen, bring a water bottle, and join me on a walk of discovery and practical gardening information. Walks will begin promptly at the scheduled time. Save the schedule below for the dates and times of the walks scheduled for June and July.

Monday, June 20, 8 am – 10 am

Thursday, June 30, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday, July 2, 10 am – 12 pm

Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Sunday, July 17, 3 pm – 5 pm

Merle M. Moore came to Colorado in 1978 as Assistant Director of the Denver Botanic Gardens; in 1980 he became its Executive Director and remained in that position until 1989. In 1990 Moore was hired by the Denver Zoo where he worked until his retirement in 2005. He developed and guided the horticulture and landscaping program of the Denver Zoo as Director of Horticulture & Grounds Maintenance. He was responsible for plant selection and landscaping of three of the zoo’s landscape-award winning exhibits: Tropical Discovery, Primate Panorama and Predator Ridge. Moore served for over 20 years as a member of the Colorado State University Annual Bedding Plant and Perennial Plant Trial Garden Committee. In January 2007, he was honored by the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association when he was inducted into the CNGA Hall of Fame. He is now retired from full-time horticulture management work and has lived in Estes Park since 2005. He currently serves as Liaison between the Town Parks Advisory Board and Mrs. Walsh’s Native Plant Garden Advisory Committee.

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