Colorado Master Gardeners: We’ll dig it |

Colorado Master Gardeners: We’ll dig it

Pat Tormey/For Steamboat Today

This garden was created using unwanted plants from other locations.

Have you seen the gorgeous new garden at the 443 Non-Profit Center on the corner of Fifth and Oak streets? It's filled with lovely perennials that will grow over the years and be a joy for all who walk by. United Way Day of Caring volunteers planted, weeded, pruned and mowed, and, thanks to them and the generosity of the gardeners who donated the plants, a new bright spot was created in our community.

This sort of project is a win-win-win. Think about it. Money that would have been spent to purchase bedding plants was able to stay with the organizations housed in the building, the savings remain available to support their missions in our community and unwanted plants found a new home.

A related project recently tackled by Master Gardeners involved helping a fellow Master Gardener re-home a number of perennials and shrubs that were scheduled to be destroyed during a remodeling project. In this case, four different entities — two charitable, one individual and one commercial — were the recipients of newly planted gardens, thanks to the planning and execution of some dedicated gardeners.

Based on the success of these and other recent activities, your local Master Gardeners are embarking on a program to relocate unwanted perennials and shrubs. We need your help.

Potential donors

Are you remodeling or building a house, building a garage, installing a sidewalk, thinning perennials or rebuilding your garden? While gardeners love to share favorite plants with friends and neighbors, these type of projects are usually small-scale and without deadlines. Larger projects will involve more time and energy and include additional tasks, such as planning, transporting plants from one place to another and, sometimes, even finding a "foster home" for a period of time. If you don't want to handle the additional work of relocating plants you no longer need, or if you feel unprepared to undertake the multi-step relocation process, contact Routt County Master Gardeners. We'll dig it.

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Potential recipients

Do you have empty planting beds or areas on your property that would benefit from re-homed plants and could act as a community demonstration garden? Are you a part of a nonprofit organization that needs a garden spruce-up and is willing to give newly planted perennials and shrubs a little TLC while they adjust to their new home? Can you provide a space to teach others how to care for perennials? If so, contact Routt County Master Gardeners. We'll dig it.

Routt County Master Gardeners are ready to work with donors and recipients, community members and organizations to re-locate plants to new homes and keep healthy plants out of our landfill. Not only will the program brighten our community with transplanted flowers and shrubs, it will also create new bonds between donors, recipients, and volunteer gardeners.

If you have questions about your garden, use your local Master Gardeners as a resource. Feel free to stop by the local extension office, 136 Sixth St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays, call 970-870-5241 or email us at

Contact us anytime. We'll dig it.

Pat Tormey retired and moved to Steamboat Springs in 2014, where she quickly learned that raising plants in this environment was very different than the decades spent raising vegetables in the Midwest.  She took the Master Gardener class in 2015 and has enjoyed learning more about gardening every year since.  Currently, Tormey is helping out with the project above, raising vegetables for LiftUp at the Community Garden and volunteering at a local farm-to-table project.