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2018 CMG Conference: Garden Tours   Arrow divider image - marks separation between nested pages that are listed as breadcrumbs.

Evening Garden Tours: Thursday, July 26

Garden Tours will take off from the CMC campus at 4pm Thursday, July 26th and return around 9pm. The cost will be $45 per CMG, plus $50 if you bring an additional non-CMG guest. There are three Garden Tours to choose from – North Routt, Strawberry Park, and South Routt. Transportation, tour, and dinner included. Family-friendly drinks provided; bring your own adult beverage.

*Please note: all tour locations have variable terrain.  Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for walking at each location. Also keep in mind that all locations will be at 7,000′ of elevation or higher and that variable weather can be expected. Wear layers, hats, and plenty of sunscreen!

North Routt Tour

CSU Host: CMG State Coordinator Mary Small

Travel up the beautiful Elk River Valley to see two very different examples of mountain gardening.  A tour of the Kintgen Family Property near the base of Sand Mountain is followed by a dinner in the gardens at the Home Ranch, a premier guest ranch with stunning views of the Zirkel Wilderness.

About Mike Kintgen’s Garden:

I started gardening when I was 7 (1988) by planting a ponderosa pine and some sedum on my family’s property near the base of the Sand Mountain. Now 30 years later, my garden has over 500 species of plants adapted to high elevations from all corners of the globe. Alpine and rock garden plants are my favorites but I am big on any cool plant that stands a chance of surviving in North Routt Country at 8,000 feet. The garden is inspired by natural plant communities I have seen from my travels. Over the last several years, I planted mildly frost tolerant Cordyline, Phornium and various palms to give the garden a bit more structure and interest after most of my perennials bloom in May – August. I am big on texture and leaf color to extend the season of interest. I believe a garden should offer something 365 days a year.

My parents first started landscaping the gardens around the house in the late 1980s. My mom uses her creative eye to marry different perennials and annuals together for season long color. She especially enjoys classic plants such as Poppies, Lupines, Columbines, flax, and viola. Her gardens include some unusual plants as well. You will see some of the best alpines on the property in her Southeast facing garden in front of the house. Some of these plants are 20 years old.

About the Home Ranch Gardens:

My name is Allison Mecklenburg. I am a Master Gardener and took over the beautiful edible gardens and landscaping at the Home Ranch, a guest resort and restaurant, in late 2016. Colorado Master Gardener Adele Carlson started these gardens as part of an effort to get more fresh food to the Home Ranch in remote Clark, CO. What started out as a small “potager” garden has now expanded to over 3500 square feet of vegetable and small fruit production, two bee hives, a flock of 40 laying hens, and 6 full time employees to take care of it all! These gardens display what is possible when it comes to high country veggie production and landscaping. The outdoor kitchen adjacent to the greenhouse boasts a great view of Sand Mountain at sunset! We’re excited to share this garden and look forward to plant-nerding out with you all!

Strawberry Park Tour

CSU Host: CJ Mucklow, CSU Extension Western Regional Director

Strawberry Park was well-known early in the early 20th century for producing the Remington Strawberry and its amazing hot springs. Today, it’s home to some amazing gardens that we can’t wait to share with you!

NEW ADDITION (as of May 29): Elkstone Farm

Initially conceived as a strawberry farm to bring small-scale commercial production of strawberries back to Strawberry Park, plans for Elkstone Farm morphed when the owners were introduced to the design principles of permaculture. The farm began operations in the summer of 2009 with completion of the greenhouse. Constructed with a climate battery to help manage soil and air temperature, the greenhouse converted Steamboat’s 59-day growing season into a year-round growing season, where perennials such as citrus, figs, grapes, edible flowers and herbs could thrive. From that first summer until today, production has expanded both outdoors and inside hoop houses. Fruit trees, berries, herbs, flowers and annuals are planted in permaculture-inspired growing environments outside, while the bulk of annual production is concentrated in three hoop houses. Today, our Principal Grower, Mikinzie Moydell, oversees all produce and flower production, incorporating organic practices to build the health of our soil and, in turn, grow healthy, flavorful food.

In addition to our growing operations, Elkstone Farm operates a commercial kitchen where our chefs create delicious preserves, condiments and baked goods. They also offer cooking workshops and post-tour lunches so that we can enjoy their culinary talents and share our tasty produce. We welcome you to Elkstone Farm!

About Barb and Bill Sanders’ Gardens:

See how a beautiful garden can co-exist with wildlife in this amazing landscape where the deer and MOOSE play! Natives and ‘improved’ herbaceous plants mix to create spaces that encourage people and animals to relax. Stone bowls hold water for the four-legged guests while an adobe wood-burning oven bakes food for the two-legged ones. Roses, asters, monarda, lupine, flax, golden rod, hostas, ferns…color and foliage mix to create a beautiful scene.


After taking that in, take a walk down to the fenced vegetable gardens where wildlife is NOT welcome and are kept at bay by woven wire and electrified fence. Learn why Barb and Bill are regarded as the area’s raspberry experts and how they’ve kept the bears from their amazing crops.


About Cathy and Dean Vogelaar’s Gardens:

How do you transform the forest into a park?  Cathy and Dean have done just that, working with nature on their expansive property to create a private, yet welcoming landscape. Small surprises await guests around each corner and on the paths that lead you to your dining room under the forest canopy! Cathy was a professional florist in Steamboat Springs for years and shows her talent by combining color of native flowers and exotics to create a truly breath-taking sight.

South Routt Tour

CSU Host: Ashley Stokes, CSU Extension Deputy Director

How hard is it to grow vegetables and amazing flowers with only 59 frost-free days? Find out by heading up the Yampa River Valley! Visit Cloverdale Farm, managed by a Routt County CMG, which provides the vegetables featured at a restaurant featured in the New York Times! Afterwards,  enjoy dinner in one of South Routt’s finest gardens and if you’d like, take a walk to the local Agent’s home.

About Cloverdale Farm and Restaurant:

A view of the Cloverdale Farm from the west.

Cloverdale Farm and Restaurant is the brainchild of Chef/Owner Patrick Ayres, a Yampa Valley native, who along with his team, is working to create a locally based, farm-to-table restaurant business in northwest Colorado. The Farm’s inaugural season was in 2016, followed by the much-anticipated opening of the Restaurant in July of 2017. One of the first of its kind, this unique and special model intends to be the benchmark for Colorado fine dining in years to come, using the best ingredients that we can grow and source from our farm, as well as from other local and regional producers.

The team at Cloverdale shows off the bounty of the harvest.

The Farm is under the care and oversight of Principle Grower/Manager Britni Johnson (also a Routt County Master Gardener) on approximately one-half acre of field production, in addition to having several perennial gardens and a small, propagation greenhouse. Although not “certified organic,” our farm employs various permaculture ethics, biodynamic methods, and numerous other organic principles to plan and implement its growing operation, ever-striving to adhere to these standards and philosophies whenever possible. Soil health and land stewardship are of utmost importance to us; thus, no herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers are ever used. Instead, we find ways to work with nature, taking our cues from her innate wisdom, and doing our best to support and improve upon these processes with each passing season. Hand weeding, the use of beneficial plants and insects, application of annual soil amendments, crop rotation, cover cropping, an intensely spaced and diversified field crop plan, and minimizing the use of tillage techniques or large-scale machinery are a few of the practices we employ. Last season, we grew over 100 different types of crops, over 300 different types of varieties, and harvested just over 6500 pounds of produce for use by the Restaurant, and we look forward to growing our operation in seasons to come!

Optional Walk to Todd and Sarah Hagenbuch’s home :

Practical can be pretty!  We took a dilapidated yard and made it our own, with places for adults and kids to have fun. Slide off the deck to check out the chicken coop, or relax under the pergola with a drink by the outside wood-burning stove. Not fancy but fun, we hope the CMGs enjoying seeing that yes, CSU agents have yards like yours, weeds and insects included.



About Dan and Susann Allen’s home:

Hi, my name is Susann Allen and I’m a Routt County Native of 56 years. Our property on the South Routt Tour has evolved from neglected and forgotten to flora galore! Among the plantings you will see unique and funky art. We have a small greenhouse, vegetable garden, and a raspberry patch filled with 4th-generation plants. We refurbished three buildings into guest houses and created a sunken fire-pit which puts you in a world in itself!!! We look forward to hosting the CSU Master Gardener Conference dinner tour!