Schedule of Events


7:30 – 8:00 a.m.     

  • Check-in and enjoy coffee, a yogurt fruit bowl & pastries             

8:00 – 8:15 a.m. 

  • Welcome & Plant Select Updates with Ross Shrigley, Director of Plant Select

8:20 – 9:10 a.m.       

  • Designing for Botanic Gardens with Emmanuel Didier, Landscape Architect, Didier Design Studio, Faculty at CU Denver 

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.     

  • Pioneering Colorado Botanists with Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Director of Outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens 

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.  

  • Break

10:05 – 10:50 a.m. 

  • Water-wise Horticulture & Design for the West with Annie Barrow, Manager of Horticulture Outreach Programs at Denver Botanic Gardens

10:55 – 11:45 a.m. 

  • Tough Trees for Colorado with Greg Morgenson, North Dakota University, NDSU Woody Plant Improvement Research Specialist

11:50 – 12:30 p.m. 

  • Plants, Production, and Your Project Timeline with Matt Edmundson, Owner of Arbor Valley Nursery

Thank you to Arbor Valley Nursery, CPS Distributors, Trees of Corrales Denver Botanic Gardens & CSU for sponsoring this event!

Speakers and Sponsors

Ross Shrigley

Panayoti Kelaidis

Emmanuel Didier


Ross earned a Bachelor of Science degree from CSU in 1994, then purchased a small gardening business which operated for 7 years. In 1999 Ross invented the RAINcane watering wand, a tool for gardening which a business during the winter months. In 2004 he worked at CSU Facilities department as a groundskeeper; 2005 he was hired on at Denver Botanic Gardens as a horticulturist managing the O’Fallon Perennial Border, Dwarf Conifer Berm, Ornamental Grass Garden and the Mordecai Children’s Garden. After commuting to Denver from Fort Collins for 7 years, he took an Outside Sales position at Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery in 2012.  In the spring of 2017 he became Executive Director of Plant Select®. As a professional gardener in 1990’s during the conception of Plant Select®, Ross can honestly say that a large part of his confidence to try new plants was built on using Plant Select® plants

Emmanuel Didier

Panayoti Kelaidis

Emmanuel Didier



Emmanuel Didier is the founding principal of Didier Design Studio and a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver. Over the past 15 years, Didier has established a landscape architecture practice focused on place + making: a creative process that enhances communities while revealing relationships between ecological systems and cultural patterns of a given site. Operating at the confluence of site and values, his studio investigates how analysis and ideas are merged to create dynamic spaces where people become closely connected to the natural environment, inspiring stewardship and further appreciation for biodiversity, water conservation and health within our cities.

Emmanuel holds a Master of Architecture and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia as well as a Fine Arts degree from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in his native country of France. After moving to the United States, Emmanuel expanded his passion for landscape architecture with Child Associates in Boston, Nelson Byrd Woltz in Charlottesville, and EDAW/AECOM in Colorado before opening his own practice. His recent projects include Master Development Planning for Chatfield Farms, sustainable planning and design guidelines for the future Konza Tech City located south of Nairobi in Kenya, and a new Steppe Garden hosting an international center for research on the Steppe flora at the Denver Botanic Gardens. 

Panayoti Kelaidis

Panayoti Kelaidis

Panayoti Kelaidis


Senior Curator and Director of Outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG). Panayoti began his career as curator of the Rock Alpine Garden, which is a signature garden at DBG: the showcase of thousands of plants from around the world, many introduced to horticulture by Panayoti through Plant Select of which he was one of the original architects. Panayoti has discovered many plants, including Delosperma sphalmanthoides Hammer, Spiranthes diluvialis Scheviak, Moraea vigilans Goldblatt, and Manning. Plant exploration has taken Panayoti through much of North America, including Mexico, the Andes in Chile and Argentina, and Eurasia from Spain to Mongolia. He has traveled six times to South Africa—concentrating on the Drakensberg mountains and the Karoo. He has lectured in over 120 cities in 10 countries. He has received numerous honors, including the Scott Medal of Swarthmore Arboretum and the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award of the American Horticultural Society, both top honors for horticulturists in the United States. 

Annie Barrow

Greg Morgenson

Panayoti Kelaidis



Manager of Horticulture Outreach Programs at Denver Botanic Gardens. Annie promotes water-wise horticulture for western regions, with an emphasis on plant selection, planting design, and best horticultural practices. Annie has a B.S. in Horticulture & Landscape Design from Purdue University. While obtaining her M.B.A. at Ball State University, she also studied in B.S.U.’s Master of Landscape Architecture program. Annie has worked in almost every field of horticulture, including landscape design & construction, retail nursery management, interior horticulture and medical plant research. She is a LEED accredited professional and has worked in Solar P.V., Solar Thermal, and Energy Efficiency. Before joining Denver Botanic Gardens, she was a full-time musician in Houston, TX. 

Greg Morgenson

Greg Morgenson

Greg Morgenson



 Greg Morgenson is a horticulture graduate of the University of Nebraska and is entering his 45th year in woody plant trial and selection, wholesale nursery plant production, and urban forestry. He has been with the NDSU Woody Plant Improvement Program since 2012, where his interests are woody plant trial, selection, and adaptability to the Northern Plains environment. 

Matt Edmundson

Greg Morgenson

Greg Morgenson



  President of Arbor Valley Nursery since 2010.  Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Finance starting in 2001. I have served on the Landscape Distribution Board of ANLA for six years and as President for the board, GreenCo Legislative Committee member for two years, a board member for the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association for four years, and am President of the Colorado Horticultural Research and Education Foundation (formerly CNREF since 2011). I attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and hold a BA in Economics (1998). I have overseen much of the evolution of Arbor Valley Nursery from primarily a distribution (rewholesale) operation to one of the largest container growers in the region. The company’s market focus is largely landscape contractors where designers and landscape architects are the “market makers.”   


We are a fast, responsive, wholesale nursery distributor dedicated to innovative partnerships with landscape contractors that differentiate us among the competition.

We maintain consistent quality in a large scale operation across a depth of variety intended to meet demand and maximize value for the landscaper, their customers, and the public.

Dedicated to service, quality, value, and innovation! 


  At CPS Distributors, we partner with professionals to provide the very best in product selection, financing, and customer service. We exist to help our customers succeed in business. We believe the success of your business is directly related to the success of our business. This is why we provide the very best people, training, and inventory to help your business succeed. 



TOC Wholesale Nursery, is a private, family owned, wholesale nursery and growing operation that sells exclusively to the nursery and landscape industry. We are located in the village of Corrales, New Mexico, north of Albuquerque.

All of our plants—both field grown and container grown—are acclimated to the harsh climatic conditions of the arid southwest.  We are uniquely situated in the Rio Grande river valley, bordered by a high desert environment exceeding 5000 feet in elevation.  As a result, our plants transplant readily, even in locations with cold winters, hot summers, and minimal rainfall.  We ship our plant material throughout the Rocky Mountain region to widely diverse hardiness zones. 


 Living plant collections form the core of any botanic garden. Knowledge about the collections is gained through research. Horticultural research seeks to improve the quality, sustainability and aesthetics of designed landscapes. The core of the research includes identifying and promoting sustainable horticultural practices such as integrated pest management and use of plants with pest and disease resistance, use of drought tolerant plants for reduced water use, use of climate-adapted plants, using plants attractive to native wildlife, plants for green roofs, etc. 


 The faculty, staff, and students of our department work to feed people body and soul in Colorado and around the world. The challenge is great with population growth, urbanization, and climate change setting the context in which we work. Our goal is not just to meet people’s minimal caloric needs, but to provide nutritious, safe food and beautiful environments that contribute to all aspects of individual and community health. 


  Plant Select® is the country’s leading brand of plants designed to thrive in high plains and intermountain regions, offering plants that provide more beauty with less work so gardeners of all levels can achieve smart, stunning and successful gardens using fewer resources and with a more positive environmental impact. 


Plants chosen for program exhibit these eight attributes:

  • Flourish with less water
  • Thrive in a broad range of conditions
  • Habitat-friendly
  • Tough and resilient in challenging climates
  • One of a kind/unique
  • Resist disease & insects
  • Long-lasting beauty
  • Non-invasive 

FRIDAY, MARCH 20TH- Register for another educational event!

Tree Diversity Conference

Make this a two-event by registering for the 7th Annual Tree Diversity Conference at Denver Botanic Gardens on March 20th!  Find out more and register below!