Alpine Gardens hosts membership drive, plant sale
VAIL — Thanks to the recently opened Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Education Center, the botanical gardens are now able to host an annual membership drive and plant sale locally.
From Friday to June 5, the funds raised will go toward keeping the gardens in pristine condition and at the forefront of alpine botanical sciences.
“Membership supports the annual operations and gives us the ability to maintain and grow our collection of plants, expand our educational programming and undertake research to better understand our alpine environment,” said Nicola Ripley, executive director of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.
Membership includes access to more than 300 botanical gardens and museums across the country, an invitation for two at Breakfast in the Gardens, reserved seating for Chefs in the Gardens and priority seating for the Intimate in the Gardens speaking series.
“Memberships in the gardens provide benefits, but the biggest value I often hear members say is the gift they give the community,” said Liz Campbell, the alpine garden’s development director. “Members enable us to keep the gardens free and open for all to enjoy.”
Individual memberships start at $50 and family memberships start at $75. Members who pledge a sustaining membership of $250 or more are invited to the Donor Appreciation Garden Party prior to the New York Philharmonic show on July 24.
The gardens will also sell organic vegetables and alpine perennials from a variety of nurseries across the country that specialize in growing unusual plants.
The sale will focus on plants that work well in alpine soil, rock gardens, perennial borders and container gardens. Prices will range from $2 to $5 for vegetables and $5 to $10 for plants — many of which cannot be found around the valley.
All members receive a 10 percent discount on the perennial plants and new members will also take home a succulent plant.
As part of the drive, the gardens will host a presentation by Jeff Piper, of the Colorado State University Extension Office, on June 1. As an experienced botanist, Piper will share the secrets of growing vegetables in the unforgiving alpine ecosystem.
The Education Center is located west of the Ford Park playground in Vail. For more information, visit http://www.bettyfordalpinegardens.org or call 970-476-0103.
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