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April Meeting: Nicola Ripley - Bringing the Mountains Home
Bringing the Mountains Home
In a colourful presentation, Nicola will reveal twenty years of experience developing the alpine collection at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. From international collections, Rocky Mountain collections grown in the gardens and exchanges with other institutions, Nicola will share her experiences in the field of public horticulture.
Nicola Ripley originates from the British Isles. She learned a love of alpine plants as a mountain climber in the Scottish and Welsh Mountains, first working for the UK Nature Conservancy studying the flora of limestone pavements in Yorkshire and then in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Nicola came to the United States twenty years ago to work for Colorado Alpines, a mail order nursery involved in the development of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Nicola is now Director of the Gardens. She is Immediate Past President of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) and has travelled to many parts of the country giving talks, including the APGA national conference and the NARGS national conference. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is in Vail, Colorado and at 8,200 feet claims to be the highest botanical garden in the world. It has 100,000 visitors a year, over 3000 species in the collections and now is home to the National Colorado Alpine Collection, part of the North American Plant Collections Consortium. Development of the collections has taken Nicola to many of the mountain ranges in North America as well as the European Alps and the Andes of South America. Nicola lives in Eagle, Colorado with her husband, Danny and two children.