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WLS Schedule | WLS Presenters | WLS Session Topics | WLS Committee Members

The 2019 Western Landscape Symposium is proud to present the following speakers.

Keynote Speaker: Rob Proctor
Garden Writer and Lecturer

Rob Proctor has been informing and entertaining gardeners for more than three decades. Former Director of Horticulture at Denver Botanic Gardens, he’s a prolific writer who has published 17 award-winning books.

His twice-weekly “Proctor’s Garden” segments have appeared on 9 News (KUSA-TV) in Denver for the past 15 years. His private garden, which he created with his partner David Macke, is open to the public one weekend each summer to benefit Dumb Friends League; the tour has raised over $60,000 in the past six years.


Mike Bartolo
Dr. Mike Bartolo was born and raised on a small farm east of Pueblo, Colorado. He attended Colorado State University, receiving his B.S. degree in Bio-Agricultural Science in 1984 and his M.S degree in Horticulture in 1986.  In 1990, he received his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology at the University of Minnesota.

For the past 28 years, he has conducted research and outreach activities at CSU’s Arkansas Valley Research Center in Rocky Ford to support commercial vegetable crop production in southeastern Colorado and other parts of the state.  His research has concentrated on developing improved production practices to conserve water, enhance the yield and nutritional quality of vegetable crops, develop novel pepper varieties, and extend the growing season.


Richard Hansen
With a MLA from the University of Colorado and a BA in Art from the College of William and Mary, Richard Hansen is exploring the potential of fine grain design elements to reveal the flow of larger natural systems.

Richard is a professor of art at Colorado State University– Pueblo.



George Miller
George Miller received a masters in botany and zoology at the University of Texas, Austin, and is president of the Albuquerque Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico.

As a botanist and environmental journalist, he wrote the popular book Landscaping with Native Plants of the Southwest and companion books Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas, and Landscaping with Native Plants of Southern California. He also wrote “A Quick Guide to Wildflowers of Colorado,” and Quick Guides to wildflowers of Texas, Arizona, and California.

He has published five smartphone app wildflowers guides, written a “Plant of the Month” feature for New Mexico Magazine, and published in Cornell University’s Living Bird Magazine and the Colorado AAA magazine.


Richard Murphy
Richard Murphy is the Executive Director for Veterans to Farmers (VTF).  VTF is a Colorado based non-profit that provides military veterans the opportunity to connect with agricultural training. 

Richard has helped teach and mentor around 140 veterans over the last 5 years through the veteran program. It is his hope that some of these veterans will be Americas next farmers.  When Richard is not talking about or playing with plants, he likes to spend time with his family and dog on their 35-acre homestead in Ft. Collins, CO.


Mark Salay
Mark Salay is the owner of a licensed nursery, wholesale and retail business, in Pueblo West, “Cactus Haven”. 

Along with earning a B.S. in Geology and a minor in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, he is currently employed by the Department of Interior, the US Geological Survey Water Resources Division.

Mark is all too aware of how important water is and the concern of diminishing water supplies. His goal is to implement xeric gardening to the fullest extent by the use of cacti, yucca and other drought tolerant plants. He has been growing over 30 different types of outdoor cacti and yucca for over 10 years for the xeric enthusiast. He has tried various varieties of cacti and yucca that will survive Colorado’s environment. Mark, together with his knowledge and experience, demonstrates that cacti and yucca can be both rewarding as well as beautiful.


Kenton Seth
Kenton J. Seth is an aimless plant nerd who pays the bills as a grower and garden designer based in Fruita, CO, right next to Utah. His micro-nursery supplies plants for his professional garden,

meadow, and crevice garden work: He had a five year stretch manically making purely unirrigated native landscapes, but is known for crevice gardens lately, of which he’s built over thirty and about which he is currently co-authoring a book due out in a year or so. He’ll do anything to play with perennials, documenting novel horticulture news and travels at

The Western Landscape Symposium Planning Committee would like to thank all of our speakers for sharing their expertise, enthusiasm and vision.