SMHC Conference

Denver Botanic Gardens and Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farm, September 10-13, 2019

The Garden Club of Denver and Denver Botanic Gardens will host the 2019 Shirley Meneice Horticulture Conference in September. This will be a tremendous opportunity to display the beauty and horticultural significance of the Gardens and our region.

The jam-packed schedule will run as follows:

Monday, September 9, 2019
The GCA Horticulture Committee will tour private gardens in Boulder.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 Delegates arrive and attend the opening dinner at the Denver Country Club with Brian Vogt welcoming the group.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 The conference begins with meetings in the morning at DBG with the chair of the GCA Horticulture Committee and GCA president welcoming the group. Delegates will meet by GCA Zone to learn about GCA initiatives and share ideas.

After lunch, everyone will board buses to go to Chatfield Farm for an afternoon of tours of the many gardens, CSA, and butterfly house. We will see the restoration of Deer Creek, hear from members of the Veterans to Farmers program and have dinner at the Stables.

Thursday, September 12, 2019 A full day of workshops after a presentation on the importance of native plants in private and public landscapes by Lauren Springer Ogden. There are four blocks with more than forty different presentations, including: Gardening for the Senses, What Made My Good Plant Go Bad, Crevice and Rock Gardening Coast to Coast, Plants for Pollinators, Organic Practices, Practical Permaculture, Guerrilla Gardening, and Pressed Flowers, just to name a few. Most will be led by the talented DBG horticulturists. The last block will be tours of specific gardens or the Ponzi art collection to give delegates a chance to see the gardens.

Our final speaker is Dr. Cary Fowler, the former head of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the person instrumental in developing the Svalbard Global Vault seed bank in Norway.  Coincidentally, both Dr. Fowler and our own Brian Vogt are GCA medal recipients this year, so we are going to be inspired by truly accomplished people.

Friday, September 13, 2019 The post trip for approximately 50 delegates will go to Ft. Collins, with a stop first at the High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC) in Loveland. Participants will explore the connection between sustainable living and ecological processes that foster personal and community well-being.

The group will then go to Ft. Collins to see the Gardens at Spring Creek, an 18-acre community botanic garden that Lauren Springer Ogden has helped developed with the City of Ft. Collins.  She will meet guide the group through her gardens and give an overview of the project.
The final stop will be at the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery, which conducts research on urban forestry to provide sustainable and healthy urban forests.  CSFS propagates approximately 850,000 seedlings annually and provides low-cost, adaptable native species for landowners, for reforestation projects, soil erosion prevention, and habitat enhancement.  Panayoti Kelaidis will accompany the group to give color commentary – a wonderful benefit for those attending because he knows High Plains ED Jim Tolstrup and Lauren Springer Ogden and their work so well.
As you can see, the conference will be chock-full of horticulture demonstrations and learning opportunities for delegates to take home to their respective clubs.  We will share more information as the agenda becomes finalized and we start recruiting all of you to help out!


Brian Vogt
Denver Botanic Gardens

Brian Vogt has been CEO of Denver Botanic Gardens since April 2007. Under Vogt’s leadership, Denver Botanic Gardens has raised more than $113 million and completed more than 60 construction projects including the Mordecai Children’s Garden, a parking complex, the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center, the Greenhouse Complex, the Science Pyramid, Ellipse Garden, Steppe Garden, Sensory Garden and the Hive Garden Bistro. The Freyer Newman Center is currently under construction. During Vogt’s tenure, attendance has grown to 1.3 million visitors per year.  Vogt is responsible for launching programs to address access to food in urban areas, and integrating a comprehensive diversity and inclusion project into daily activity.

DBG established the Center for Global Initiatives, which focuses on plant research and crop genetics. Numerous collaborations and initiatives have begun or expanded. An exhibit program has flourished, with curated works by legends such as Henry Moore, Dale Chihuly and Alexander Calder.

Previous professional experience includes three Cabinet positions for the State of Colorado and President of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce. Vogt serves as Vice President of the Board of the American Public Gardens Association and as Board Treasurer for Plant Select. He is an active participant with many civic organizations in the Denver area and speaks frequently on intentional culture, adaptation and leadership. He holds a BA in Classical Antiquity from the University of Colorado.

“When I’m at the gardens, I’m not thinking about the five-year plan,” he says. “I’m thinking about the 50-year plan or the hundred-year plan, the 150-year plan… what makes an institution endure.”

Lauren Springer Ogden
Author and Garden Designer
Lauren Springer Ogden is a landscape designer and plantswoman extraordinaire who advocates plant diversity and ecological attunement in her designs.  She has authored several books, including The Undaunted Garden, which is the mountain region’s all-time best-selling garden book. The American Horticultural Society named The Undaunted Garden one of the 75 great American Garden Books of the twentieth century.

Lauren and her husband Scott Ogden have designed gardens and gardened professionally, spanning Zones 4-10, in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming as well as England, Ireland, and Austria. Public projects include gardens at Naples Botanical Garden, Denver Botanic Gardens, Callaway Gardens, and San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

She has introduced numerous plants to the nursery trade, and Lauren and her work have been featured in national and international publications, and on radio and television. Lauren has undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Latin American literature from University of Pennsylvania, a degree in Agriculture, and a Masters in Horticulture from Penn State University.

A pioneer in water-wise gardening, she seeks to create beauty that serves wildlife. “If you are a gardener, you have a relationship with your plants,” Springer Ogden believes.  “You have a relationship with nature. You notice cycles, insects, birds. You can’t help but be connected to nature.”

Dr. Cary Fowler
Cary Fowler, Ph.D., an American agriculturalist and global advocate of crop diversity and conservation, has dedicated his professional life to protecting the world’s plant genetic resources. Fowler led the United Nations’ team to produce the first global assessment of the state of the world’s plant genetic resources, drafting and negotiating the Global Plan of Action on the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources, formally adopted by 150 countries in 1996.

In 2005, Dr. Fowler was chosen to lead the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, an organization that successfully implemented a global project to rescue 90,000 threatened crop varieties.  He is best known, however, for his leadership in establishing the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2008. The Vault is located in an abandoned mine on an island off Norway and serves as the ultimate backup for seed banks around the world. It now stores more than 200,000,000 seeds and 930,000 unique crops, representing 13,000 years of agriculture. In current and future efforts to combat insects, disease, and changing weather patterns, the diversity of genetic material protected int eh Seed Vault is essential.

Dr. Fowler is the recipient of many awards, the subject of an award-winning documentary, “Seeds of Time,” and the author of numerous books. His most recent book, Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault, won the Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal.