Horticulturist's Bios

York Street Curators, Horticulture Specialists & Horticulturist's Senior Staff

Phillip Douglas, Director of Horticulture and Center for Global Initiatives – A native Kentuckian, Douglas began his career in horticulture working for the historical Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio, and most recently as the director of plant collections for the Chicago Botanic Garden. He received a Bachelor of Science in horticulture from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. As the director of horticulture at Denver Botanic Gardens, Douglas manages a team of esteemed horticulturists overseeing one of the world’s most diverse plant collections. Douglas is a member of the International Oak Society, International Plant Propagators Society, American Public Garden Association and International Dendrology Society. He currently serves as the chair of the Plant Collecting Collaborative, a group of public gardens dedicated to plant conservation through exploration expedition work around the globe. 

Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Director of Outreach – Since 1980, Panayoti has represented Denver Botanic Gardens in educational, professional and promotional endeavors as an expert in horticulture. He also acts as a liaison to botanical societies, professional horticulture organizations and green industry members. He helped create Plant Select®;  designed and implemented numerous gardens; and has led tours to Asia, Europe and South Africa. He works with rock garden, perennial, native plant and succulent societies nationally and internationally, and has served on the boards of horticulture societies. Panayoti has received numerous awards, including the 2000 Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from the Scott Arboretum and the 2003 Liberty Hyde Bailey medal of the American Horticultural Society, two of the highest honors in American horticulture.

Angie Andrade, Associate Director of Therapeutic Horticulture, has been at the Gardens since 2004. She earned a Bachelor of Science in horticulture from Colorado State University and is a Registered Horticultural Therapist through the American Horticultural Therapy Association. Although Angie has worked in many of the annual and perennial gardens, her passion is exploring and sharing the powerful connection people have with plants. She has built numerous therapeutic programs at the Gardens working with a diverse group of people in the Denver community.

Bridget Blomquist, Associate Director of Horticulture and Curator, joined the Gardens in 2014 focusing her horticulture skills on the Amenities Collection. Her creation of complex annual designs has provided inspirational backdrops for visitors. She spearheaded the renovation of the O’Fallon Perennial Walk which highlights Blomquist’s thoughtful and relevant design work. As a graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in landscape horticulture, she now is an Advisory Committee Member for the CSU Annual and Perennial Trial Garden. Blomquist is a member of the Perennial Plant Association and is a garden liaison for the All- America Selection program of North America. Her work in the industry was recognized by the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association as the 2018 Person of the Year. 

Cindy Newlander, Associate Director of Horticulture, has led the plant records team’s efforts of documenting the living collections through databasing, mapping, labeling and photo documentation since 2002. She maintains the Gardens Navigator website which shares collections’ information with the public. She is actively involved with the American Public Gardens Association where she was the Plant Collections Community Chair (2017-2019), Vice Chair (2015-2017) and has worked with the Plant Collections Network as the leader (2011-2014) and group inventory manager (2011–present) for the nationally accredited Quercus multisite collection. She received a Master of Science in public horticulture from the Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware and her Bachelor of Science is in horticulture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dan Johnson, Curator of Native Plants and Associate Director of Horticulture, has been at the Gardens since 1996. Though much of his focus is on xeric and native plants and naturalistic design, his work has included all corners of the Gardens. He has been involved with Plant Select since its debut in 1997. His horticultural exploration has included all four of the world’s Steppe regions and beyond, including the western U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Spain and Pakistan. Publications include the revised and expanded “Meet the Natives” wildflower guide, “Steppes” and many articles in gardening periodicals.

Mike Bone, Curator of Steppe Collections, is involved in many aspects of the Plant Select program. Mike has worked at the Gardens since 2002 where the majority of his tenure is in propagation and production. Mike has a passion for cultivating plants from and appropriate for the steppes of North America and has traveled and studied the flora of North America and Central Asia. Mike’s love of gardening and horticulture keeps him scouring the globe for great garden plants to bring people in contact with the living world far and near.

Mike Kintgen, Curator of Alpine Collections, has been with the gardens officially since 2004 and as a volunteer since the mid-1990s. While much of his work focuses on alpine and montane floras worldwide, he works with all aspects of temperate flora adapted to the Rocky Mountain region. His horticultural exploration has taken him to Argentina, Morocco, throughout western North America, and to most of the high mountains areas of Europe. Mike is a popular lecturer locally, nationally and internationally. Publications include "Steppes" and many articles in horticultural journals and gardening periodicals. Here is Mike's profile.

Nick Snakenberg, Curator of Tropical Collections and Associate Director of Horticulture, has worked at the Gardens since 1993. A graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in horticulture, he currently curates the Gardens’ tropical collections and helps manage the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory. He has taught many horticultural classes for the Gardens and is a frequent speaker for local garden clubs and plant societies. Nick’s affiliations with professional organizations add to his expertise and include membership in the Denver Orchid Society (having served as president), the Orchid Digest Corporation and the American Orchid Society where he serves as an accredited orchid judge for the Rocky Mountain Regional Judging Center.

Tamara Kilbane, Curator of Aquatic Collections, has worked at the Gardens since 2011. A graduate of Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in horticulture, she curates the Gardens’ aquatic plant collection and helps to grow and display many of the carnivorous plants in our collection as well. She has taught horticultural classes and led tours for the Gardens and is a frequent speaker for garden clubs and plant societies locally, nationally, and internationally. Tamara serves on the board of the Colorado Water Garden Society and is a member of the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society. She also serves as the International Nymphaeaceae Registrar - a position which ensures that new cultivars in the waterlily family are registered, and cultivar names adhere to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants.

Sign up for our e-newsletters!