front yard with wide perennial beds and a wide promenade
Photo: Mark Lohman

Proof in the Plants

Some gardeners do everything by the books. Others wing it and watch. Rob Proctor is in the latter group, which may explain why his gardening segment on Denver's NBC local morning news has been running for 10 years now. Twice a week, the former horticulture director of the Denver Botanic Gardens delivers tips that viewers trust because the proof is right there to see: Proctor's half-acre garden, a true paradise.

Besides using his garden and its needs as a backdrop, Proctor frequently devotes time to answering viewers' questions. He avoids queries like "How do I keep deer out of my garden?" because saying "Don't move into deer country" doesn't really help anyone. Instead, he favors questions for which he can offer useful, time-tested advice. It sometimes runs counter to conventional wisdom. But his philosophy is that truth is in results, not instructions on a package. Read on for his real-world, learned-by-doing insights.

Shown: A wide promenade is what's left of the half-acre lawn that came with Rob Proctor's 1905 home. He replaced most of the grass with wide perennial beds overflowing with lush but easy-care plants
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