Carol O'Meara - Colorado State University Extension

Carol O’Meara – Colorado State University Extension

LOVELAND – Workshop and seminar planners have been busy this winter, planning an array of classes to expand gardeners’ minds and feed their souls. If you’re looking to change up your landscape by going back to natives, check out Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants, Saturday, March 12 at the Ranch Events Center in Loveland.


Presented by Wild Ones-Front Range Chapter, Butterfly Pavilion,
Colorado Native Plant Society, Colorado State University Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens and the High Plains Environmental Center.

WHEN: Saturday, March 12, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: The Ranch Events Center, Larimer County Fairgrounds
Thomas M. McKee 4-H, Youth & Community Building, 5280 Arena Circle, Loveland

COST: $90.
Student cost: $45 with valid student ID.
Contact the organizers for information on trading volunteer help in setting up for a reduced ticket price.



The first conference of its kind in Colorado, this workshop features design, construction, and inspiration for using natives in your garden.

Headlining the event is Susan Tweit, author and plant biologist, speaking on a grassroots change evolved in her small town via landscaping in her talk The Ditch and the Meadow: How Native Plants and Gardeners Revived a Neighborhood and Changed the Culture of a Town (

Participants can choose to attend three smaller breakout sessions, focusing education on what helps plan for success with native plants. Karla Dakin, of K. Dakin Designs in Louisville (, will speak on Designing with Natives, Alison Peck of Matrix Gardens in Boulder ( talks about Construction of Native Landscapes, and Jim Tolstrup of High Plains Environmental Center in Loveland ( will explore Creating and Maximizing Micro-Climates in Your Native Garden.

Edible and Medicinal Native Plants with Karen Vail and Mary O’Brien of Steamboat Springs and Hayden, offers information on personal use of your garden, while Susan Crick Smith of Front Range Wild Ones in Denver offers tips on how to help support pollinators, wildlife and our environment with her talk on Habitat Gardens.

Don’t miss Colorado State University Extension’s Dr. Irene Shonle for an overview of what you can do in her talk Native Plants for Every Situation: Irene Shonle. Director of the Gilpin County CSU Extension office, Shonle is a passionate advocate of native plants for mountain gardeners (

Adding to inspiration are virtual tours of five native plant gardens every participant is encouraged to view. Take a virtual stroll through: Carol English and Dave Elin’s rock garden in Morrison, Mimi and Larry Elmore’s Wild By Design garden in Lyons, Jan and Charlie Turner’s residential garden in Golden, Rick Brune’s prairie garden in Lakewood and Kenton Seth’s Paintbrush Gardens, a rain-powered landscape in Grand Junction.

Lunch, drinks and snacks are provided with your registration fee and vendor booths will be open during registration, lunch and breaks.

Colorado State University Extension, together with Boulder County Parks and Open Space, provides unbiased, research-based information about consumer and family issues, horticulture, natural resources, agriculture and 4-H youth development. For more information contact Extension at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd., Box B, Longmont, 303.678.6238.