A new rock garden graces Fort Collins' Gardens on Spring Creek

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Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-03
A new rock garden graces Fort Collins' Gardens on Spring Creek

Fort Collins is a modest sized University town about an hour north of Denver on Interstate 25: Colorado State University is our "ag" college, and has spawned a great number of really first rate garden centers, two fabulous University "Plant Environmental Resource Centers" open to the public (spectacular displays in summer), and the city has created a botanic garden on ten acres in the heart of the town which promise to be a must see destination for visitors to the town. "The Gardens on Spring Creek" are still embryonic: some fine groundcovers and trees near the entrance including a sizeable Sequiodendron giganteum, a charming Children's garden (with some awesome alpines) and a large vegetable garden ("Garden of Eatin'" or something dreadful like that). And now a rock garden. The rock garden http://www.botanicgardensblog.com/2011/10/20/birth-of-a-new-rock-garden-at-the-gardens-at-spring-creek/ has surprised me: botanic gardens are rarely successful in cities of less than half a million people. Few American botanic gardens have ambitious rock gardens (Colorado has eight!): here the stone and much of the labor were donated, as were many of the plants. I figure that this garden probably cost about 1/20 of what it would cost to build it privately. And best of all, they have a young staff member of real horticultural talent: the garden is utterly weed free and beautifully maintained (no mean task for such a vast area). I am embarrassed to have forgotten the name of the young man in charge: he is a keeper! (Incidentally, Colorado may be the only state with at least 3 full time professional staff dedicated to maintaining 3 large, institutional rock gardens: the third is Vail) I know with the supervision of Michelle Provasnik (CEO of Spring Creek) and Kirk Fieseler's proximity (he is co-owner of www.laporteavenuenursery.com and sparkplug (and engine) of this garden, that this will be of great interest to all of us for years to come. I am thrilled to give you all a sneak peak at this perfect storm of excellence! The first picture shows Michelle and the second Kirk, who joined me on a stroll through the garden last Wednesday.The large mats of ice plants are Delosperma Gold and White Nuggets. the little one blooming a few images later is Delosperma luckhoffii. Astonishing to see how everything is growing already! There is still lots of room, but thousands of plants will surprise us next spring already! Welcome aboard, Spring Creek!1

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

What a great addition to our gardening comunity. I wish them good luck and good growing!!

From the High Desert Steppe of the Great Basin and the Eastern Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/ John P Weiser

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Magnificent

David Nicholson in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

I've been in communication with Malcolm and will be doing a more in depth piece on this and a number of other institutional rock gardens that seem to have popped up almost unbeknownst around here: exciting times for our art!

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

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