Person Gardening

Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate

Denver Botanic Gardens' Certificate in Rocky Mountain Gardening is a comprehensive study of specific gardening practices for Front Range gardening practices. Classes can be taken as part of the certificate program or individually. Learn how to be a successful gardener in this region by choosing and caring successfully for plants and trees best suited to our climate and ecosystem. No horticulture background or experience is needed.

Instructors for this program include Denver Botanic Gardens' staff members, authorities in the Green Industry, and other regional experts in horticulture and natural sciences. This program is endorsed by the Colorado Nursery Association.


Register for Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Programs

Students may enroll in the program at any time. Individual course fees and materials will apply. Courses may be taken concurrently.

Email with any questions about the Rocky Mountain Gardening program.

Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Requirements

Candidates choose from the following required courses.


Required Course Group I (All)

  • Botany for Gardeners
  • Ecology for Gardeners
  • Pruning Basics for Beginning Gardeners
  • Rocky Mountain Horticulture I
  • Rocky Mountain Horticulture II
  • Seven Principles of Water-­Smart Gardening
  • Understanding Front Range Soils


Required Course Group II (Choose Any 6)

  • Bluegrass and Other Lawn Grasses

  • Colorado Ecosystems 

  • Vines and Groundcovers

  • Conifers for Colorado Gardens

  • Never-Fail Perennials

  • The Year-Round Garden

  • Tree Identification and Selection

  • Water-Smart Flower Garden

  • Water Wise Landscapes for Non-designers


Elective Course (Chose Any 3)

Electives cover a wide range of specific interests. Tailor your own program experience with choices that suit your particular needs and passions. Electives are part of the Rocky Mountain Gardening course list.  

Sample Elective Offerings:

  • Amazing Vegetables A to Z
  • Best Fall-Planted Perennial Bulbs
  • Growing Food at High Altitudes 
  • Mountain Tomatoes
  • Starting Your Garden From Seed
  • Sustainable Greenhouse Design


Who should participate?

Aspiring gardeners, hobby gardeners, gardeners looking to develop expertise, landscape maintenance professionals and other green industry individuals seeking a deeper knowledge of best Front Range growing practices. 

When and where are classes held?

All classes are offered on weekdays, weekday evenings and weekends. Most classes are held in person at Denver Botanic Gardens and other facilities in the greater Denver Metro area, and some are offered online via Zoom.

What are the class sizes?

Class size varies depending on the course and facility size.

How much will the certificate program cost?

Purchasing a Denver Botanic Gardens membership is highly recommended for cost-effectiveness. For the full certificate, course expenses average $1,385 for members and $1,600 for non-members. There is no separate program fee.

How long does it take to complete the certification?

Students have up to five years from the date of the first registered course to complete the certificate. We offer enough flexibility that students can pace themselves based on life, family and career needs. At any time, students my opt to take courses individually or as the full certificate path.

Where do I start?

Students may start with any of the required courses; there are no prerequisites. It is highly recommended to begin with Botany for Gardeners and Colorado Ecosystems to have a solid understanding of our growing region.

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