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The 2020 Western Landscape Symposium is proud to present the following speakers.

Keynote Speaker: Panayoti Kelaidis
Panayoti Kelaidis is a plant explorer, gardener and public garden administrator associated with Denver Botanic Gardens where he is now Senior Curator and Director of Outreach. He has designed plantings for many of the gardens at DBG, he is particularly noted for the plantings of the Rock Alpine Garden.  He has introduced hundreds of native ornamentals from throughout the Western United States to general horticulture. He has taken seven collecting trips to Southern Africa researching the high mountain flora there, as well as travels to the Andes, Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Mongolia), the Himalaya (from both Pakistan and China) as well as travels throughout much of Europe from Spain to Georgia, Turkey and most recently, New Zealand. Many of his plant introductions are available through Plant Select®, (a plant introduction program he helped launch along with staff from Colorado State University and nurseries across America). He has lectured in over 140 cities in twelve countries, and has been featured in dozens of television, newspaper and magazine pieces. He has published widely in popular and technical horticultural journals.

In recent years Panayoti has been honored with the Boulder History Museum’s 60 Year Living History award in 2004, in 2003 by being inducted into the Garden Club of America as Member-at-Large, in 2002 he received the National Garden Clubs Medal of Honor and in 2000 he received the Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College. He has received four awards from the North American Rock Garden Society. In 2004 he was inducted into the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association’s Hall of Fame. In 2009 he received the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award of the American Horticultural Society.


Mike Kintgen
Since a young age, Mike has loved and worked with alpine plants.   Currently, Mike is the Curator of Alpine Collections at Denver Botanic Gardens where he is responsible for the management of one of the most significant living alpine plant collections on the North American continent.  His work has taken him to many parts of the globe studying alpine and steppe plants. Mike completed a masters in ecology in 2018 at Regis university studying how precipitation gradients and soil pH drive alpine plant species richness in Colorado’s alpine tundra. Mike also holds a BS in Landscape Horticulture from Colorado State University and hopes to blend more ecology in to horticulture to make it more sustainable.


Tammi Hartung
Tammi Hartung has been working as an ethnobotanical herbalist and organic grower for 41 years. She and her husband, Chad, own Desert Canyon Farms, a certified organic farm since 1996. They grow more than 1800 varieties of herbs, heirloom/heritage food plants, native and wildlife habitat plants, plus they raise perennial flowers seed crops for Jelitto Perennial Seed Company in Germany. Tammi speaks internationally and is the author of four books, including Growing 101 Herbs that Heal, The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Garden, Homegrown Herbs and Cattail Moonshine & Milkweek Medicine. Tammi blogs at


Catherine Moravec
Catherine Moravec works as a Senior Water Conservation Specialist for Colorado Springs Utilities. Her specialty is understanding how to create water wise landscapes that add beauty, usability, and livability to homes and businesses. Catherine especially interested in developing installation and maintenance techniques to use native grasses in urban landscapes. She has worked in landscaping for over 20 years and earned a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of California, Davis. She is also a 2019 graduate of Water Education Colorado’s Water Leaders Program. Catherine is dedicated to transforming creatives ideas about sustainability into real-world programs, incentives and resources that work.


Briana Wiles
Briana Wiles is a herbalist and wild plants expert. She teaches classes on foraging and medicinal plants. Wiles also runs Rooted Apothecary, which offers bulk herbs, herbal remedies, and her own line of body-care products made with foraged botanicals. Visit her online at


Ross Shirgley
Ross’s passion for horticulture and gardening began at Colorado State University. He earned his Biological Science degree in 1994 and went on to purchase, a small gardening business that he ran and operated for seven years. In 2004, Ross spent time in the field as a groundskeeper for the CSU Facilities Department. He then jumped over to Denver Botanic Gardens where he managed the O’Fallon Perennial Border, Dwarf Conifer Berm, Ornamental Grass Garden, and the Mordecai Children’s Garden. In 2012, Ross accepted a position with Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery serving as their Outside Sales Representative. He now serves as the Executive Director of Plant Select®-  a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens, and professional horticulturists. Additional certifications that round out Ross’s portfolio include becoming an Irrigation Auditor in 2005, a CNGA Certified Nursery Professional #652, and, most recently, earning his Sustainable Landscape Management Certification through ALCC in 2019.


+Charlie Kyger
Charlie Kyger is a Public Agency Account Manager for Rain Bird covering the Rocky Mountain Region. After working as a contractor in the Design-Build-Maintain field for the last 7 years he made the leap over to the manufacturing side. He has a passion for all things water and educating others on irrigation efficiency & water conversation. Charlie has been in the industry for 16 years specializing in Irrigation, Horticultural Science, and Landscape installation and maintenance. “Building intriguing, beautiful and water mindful landscapes is what we strive for.”

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