2018 Conference Keynote Speaker

Planting with a Purpose: Engaging in Horticultural Therapy
October 5-6, 2018, Pre-tours October 4
Sheraton Denver West Hotel
Lakewood, Colorado


Keynote Speaker: Shane Smith, HTR 

AHTA Keynote Speaker Shane Smith

Shane Smith is the founding director of the Cheyenne Botanic Garden, established in 1977, and served as the director for over 40 years. Shane retired in 2018 and now serves as the Director of the Cheyenne Botanic Garden’s non-profit arm (the Friends of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens). Under his direction, the project has received awards from Presidents Reagan, Bush (senior), and Clinton.

Shane has a degree in Horticultural Science from Colorado State University. He served as a Loeb Fellow in 1989-1990 at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Shane is professionally registered as a Horticultural Therapist with the American Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Shane has received a number of awards:

  • The American Public Garden Association’s “Award of Merit”
  • The American Horticulture Society's “Great American Gardener Award”
  •  The National Garden Clubs’ “Award of Excellence”
  • The "Community Hero Award” from Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer and the Wyoming Association of Municipalities
  • The Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association gave him their “Award of Excellence,” for starting the state of Wyoming’s very first farmers market in Cheyenne

Shane authored the bestselling garden book Greenhouse Gardener's Companion. He also produced Cheyenne’s longest running locally scheduled radio program on gardening that began airing in 1978. Shane has consulted and lectured for over 39 years in 27 different states and internationally.

Ruthless Gardening, Key Note presentation by Shane Smith, HTR

Gardeners often become their own best enemy in the garden. In the end, gardeners become the victim of indecisiveness while losing sight of priorities. Much of what happens in the garden is a metaphor for living life. This talk will tell you how to take charge of your garden and maybe even some of your life. There are times when a bit of tough love nourishes both gardens and people. To set the mood, look around your house or office. . . if you own an old poinsettia or sickly houseplant, throw it in the compost before coming to this talk.

Whether you grow plants for food, flowers, houseplants, trees, shrubs or simply for fun and therapy, a little bit if ruthlessness just might take your horticultural skills to a new level.