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Rocky Mountain Gardening

Denver Botanic Gardens' Certificate in Rocky Mountain Gardening is a comprehensive study of specific gardening practices for Front Range gardening practices. Instructors for the program are Denver Botanic Gardens' staff members, authorities in the Green Industry, and other regional experts in horticulture and natural sciences. The program is endorsed by the Colorado Nursery Association. Classes can be taken as part of the certificate program or individually.


Students may enroll in the program at any time. There is no program fee, but course fees and materials will apply. Courses may be taken concurrently.


Students have up to five years to fulfill all requirements.

Certificate of Completion

  • Complete 13 required courses and three elective courses.
  • Students must pass a self-graded test at the end of each required group course. Elective course group tests are optional.

Certificate of Merit

  • Complete all of the above requirements for a Certificate of Completion.
  • Score 70 percent or higher on a final comprehensive exam administered once all requirements are fulfilled.
  • Perform 40 hours of hands-on internship work at Denver Botanic Gardens.


Students in either certificate program must take all classes in Required Course Group I and at least six classes from Required Course Group II. Track your completed courses, electives and other requirements on this checklist.


  • Required Course Group I
    - Botany for Gardeners - Gardeners Ecology - Principles of Pruning - Rocky Mountain Horticulture I - Rocky Mountain Horticulture II - Seven Principles of Water-Smart Gardening - Understanding Front Range Soils
  • Required Course Group II
    - Conifers for Colorado Gardens - Tree Identification and Selection - Vines and Ground Covers - Bluegrass and Other Lawn Grasses - Colorado Ecosystems - Never-fail Perennials - Water-Smart Flower Garden - The Year-round Garden
  • Elective Course Group - Students must complete any three elective courses. 

Upcoming Classes

Saving and Adapting Seed to High Altitudes (5,000-10,000 feet)

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 10 a.m.
York Street

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Historically amateur gardeners and farmers have been responsible for the vast bio-diversity we’ve enjoyed over the decades by saving and developing their own food seed.

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Passive Solar Greenhouse Growing

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 1 p.m.
York Street

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

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Sustainable Greenhouse Design

Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 9 a.m.
York Street

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Have you ever wondered if it could be done? Can you create a greenhouse that needs NO SUPPLEMENTAL HEATING OR COOLING YEAR ROUND? The answer is yes!!

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Seed, Soil, Sun and Water

Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 10 a.m.
York Street

Seed, soil, sun and water are all you need to grow food in the Wild-West! Great news - it still works!

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Growing Roses in Colorado - Planning a Rose Garden

Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 10 a.m.
York Street

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Secrets of Growing Beautiful Roses

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