High Altitude Flower Gardening

It may seem impossible to grow flowers at our high altitude with the intense sun, a short growing season, wildlife, and less oxygen, but take a walk down Main Street Breckenridge during the summer and you’ll see otherwise. Our town goes from winter white to an explosion of color. All day long in the summer, we see visitors posing with and snapping pics of the flowers growing from the earth, in baskets and planters. Maybe you’d like to plant some of your own and have wondered what types do best in our climate and where to start.

Fire Resistance:

Adding flowers to the landscape of your home can help create a defensible space. Because plant choice and maintenance are critical in this regard, Colorado State University (CSU) has published a fact sheet about FireWise Plant Materials. Plants on the list must have certain characteristics like a high moisture content and growing close to the ground like wildflowers, succulents, and groundcover plants. The Columbine, Mariposa Lily, and Silver Lupine are just a few that make the list. Remember that all plants must be maintained to retain their defensible features. 


For an educational gardening experience, don’t miss the Breckenridge Alpine Gardens along the Riverwalk next to the Riverwalk Center just behind our office on Main Street. These gardens are owned by the town and tended to by the Summit County Garden Club. Among the wide variety of plants and flowers, you will see a demo garden that is grown in collaboration with Denver Botanical Gardens and CSU. Plants here are supplied by Plant Select and are tested for their growth and survival rate in our harsh climate at 9600 feet.

Where to Buy:

Just over Hoosier Pass, south of Breckenridge in Alma, most the of Breckenridge business flowers are nurtured all year long at the highest greenhouse in North America. Jessica Cope and her staff at Mountain Grown Gardens have mastered the nurturing process that grows flowers in baskets and containers that can almost be measured by the yard. Both locals and visitors can stop in and purchase some for their own homes. Their greenhouse is open 7 days a week 9-5 through Labor Day and accepts cash only.

You can also purchase flowers for your Summit County property online without leaving home. Check out HighCountryGardens.com or PlantSelect.com. Either site will help you choose the correct flowers based on the amount of sunshine, desired color and height, planting time and more. Seeds or bulbs will arrive with complete instructions on planting and care. Both sites have garden design ideas with water-wise suggestions.

Among the easiest to grow in our area include Columbine, Lamb’s Ear, Catmint, Winecups, Oriental Poppies, Lupines, Brown-Eyed Susans, Daffodils, and Pansies. Fall is the best time for planting here in the high country.

We will have our own beautiful hanging baskets on the front porch and flowers growing in the beds at our Main Street office. Please stop in to say hello and let one of our agents assess the value of your property or show you properties for sale in Summit County. It’s going to be one of those summers that will make you want to stay forever!

Posted by Breckenridge Associates Real Estate on


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