Nick Courtens: The Rock Gardens at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Date: 7:30pm-9:30pm, Apr 12, 2023


Nestled in the ski town of Vail, Colorado at 8,200ft, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is home to many alpine and rock garden plants from North America and beyond. Curator of Plant Collections, Nick Courtens, invites you on an exclusive tour of the various rock gardens that have been built throughout the past 30 years including several crevice gardens, trough gardens, rock walls and even an alpine house full of rare and unusual alpine plants. Learn about the construction of these rock gardens and the plants that grow in this 4.5-acre public botanic garden through stunning pictures and in depth stories.

A passion for skiing and mountains brought Nick Courtens to Vail, Colorado in the spring of 2010 after completing the Professional Horticulture program at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Alpine plants and rock gardening quickly became Nick's new passion after a summer internship at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Since then, Nick has become the Curator of Plant Collections at Betty Ford where he oversees the maintenance, design, propagation and curation of the living collections. In recent years, Nick has been responsible for building several new rock gardens, perennial gardens and an alpine house while also  participating in seed collecting in the rocky mountains and travelling abroad to learn about alpine environments and gardens.bfag.jpg