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My last post regarding my new garden coaching services brought an interesting comment from fellow garden blogger, Aiyana, at Water When Dry; she mentions a certificate program in her area for garden coaches. That got me thinking about the large number of educational programs available here in the Denver area for all kinds of gardening (although not garden coaching, yet!). Many of them are geared towards those who don’t hold a professional degree in horticulture or landscape architecture but are actively working in the green industry. Other programs are aimed at serious hobbyists who have a passion for gardening, or are for those who really just want to get a clue about how to take care of their home landscapes.

For those in the latter categories it can create a wonderful sense of achievement and confidence to complete the Master Gardener program (available through the local Cooperative Extension offices of most land grant universities in the US) or Denver Botanic Gardens’ Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Program. Many garden centers and nurseries also offer great one-time, one-topic classes for a quick hit of information.

Programs for professionals are also abundant. Front Range Community College offers an associate degree in Urban Horticulture. The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado has the Certified Landscape Contractor (CLT) program that has some real teeth. It combines rigorous testing in both classroom and field in areas of construction, irrigation and maintenance. (In fact, the program is so good that they sell their training manuals to other landscape groups across the country.) The Garden Centers of Colorado and the Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association also have a certificate program geared for plant growers and retail sales professionals.

What is your favorite way to learn about gardening? Classes? Magazines? The web?

What are some of the educational resources in your community? I'd love to share them here.

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