The purpose of the living collection at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is to promote public understanding, appreciation and protection of the flora of the Rocky Mountains and other mountain regions around the world.
The botanical objectives of the living collection are:
- To establish a unique collection of the world's high mountain flora.
- To develop a comprehensive collection of the Rocky Mountain alpine flora, for the purpose of educating the public on the importance of protecting the biodiversity of the Rocky Mountains and other mountain ecosystems.
- To display mountain perennials together in dramatic, well managed displays to show the variety of plant material that thrives at 8,200 feet.
- To establish collections of threatened mountain plants for the purposes of ex-situ conservation, education and wild re-introductions
- To show the use of native plants in the landscape.
The plant collection will be comprised of
- Collections based on habitat type
- Collections based on geographic origin
- Taxonomic collections
- Collections for conservation
Material will be acquired from the following sources:
- Reputable nurseries
- Reputable seed collectors/companies
- BFAG sponsored collections
- Donated plants that meet the botanical objectives
Emphasis will be given to materials collected or originating from known wild sources.
To be accessioned into the plant collection the following must apply
- The plant supports the botanical objectives of the collection.
- The plant is accurately named with origin and date of collection if applicable.
- The plant is healthy and free from disease.
- The accession is in compliance with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES)
- For wild collections the plant must be in compliance with the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens wild collecting procedures. (see below)
Plants will be de-accessioned from the collection for the following reasons:
- If they do not support the botanical objectives of the collection
- If they cannot be identified (only if they are known to have no conservation value). Exceptions may only be made for materials that have an important aesthetic or architectural role.
- If they are diseased.
- If they prove to be invasive.
- It they fail to thrive.
The living collection will be maintained in good order in accordance with the gardens 'Operations Handbook'
- On an ongoing annual basis all plant materials will be entered into BGBase, including all known information about the plant and its origin. The Director of Horticulture is responsible for maintenance of the plant database.
- All plants in the garden will be labeled with botanical name and accession number. These labels will be fully inserted into the ground at 12 o'clock to the plant. By fully inserting the labels we can preserve the appearance of the bed and protect the print on the labels.
- Display labels with botanical name, common name (if known), family, habitat if known and country of origin (if applicable) will be used to label all the main plant specimens in the garden.
Wild Collecting Procedures
- Only species that support the botanical objectives of the collection will be collected.
- Only seed will be collected from the wild (an exception can be made for cuttings from material that is known to establish poorly from seed)
- All collections must be in compliance with legal requirements.
- Collections will not include species suspected to be invasive or harboring any kind of pest or disease.
The Director of Horticulture is responsible for implementing the collections policy.