Demonstration Gardens

Plant Select Demonstration Garden

In 2012, the Idaho Botanical Garden was invited to become a demonstration garden for the Plant Select® program. Plant Select® is a cooperative program administered by Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) and Colorado State University in conjunction with horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The purpose of Plant Select® is to identify and distribute the best plants for landscapes and gardens from the Intermountain Region to the High Plains.

Plants are chosen each year that thrive in the variable conditions of Rocky Mountain gardens. Inclusion criteria include the plants’ ability to thrive in a variety of Rocky Mountain zones, pest and disease resistance, non-invasiveness, a long season of beauty, good performance under low water conditions, uniqueness, and capability of being mass produced.

Plants were placed in several clustered beds at IBG in October 2012. Even though 2013 was their first year in the ground, the beds are already spectacular and provide a great opportunity to showcase new plants that thrive in our growing conditions.

The Plant Select® Demonstration Garden is located just below the Vegetable Garden and Pencil Bench, above our greenhouses. Please check it out next time you are here. And for more information on the Plant Select® program, visit

Western Natives Demonstration Plot

Since 2008, IBG has partnered with the Dr. Steve Love, University of Idaho Extension Horticulture Team Leader, by providing space for and maintenance of three evaluation plots for assessing the horticultural and commercial value of western native plants. Plants are tested and evaluated over a three year period, and, if suitable, they will be released to nurseries in Idaho and neighboring states.

Winners of the side-by-side field evaluations must have exceptionally beautiful flowers or foliage, grow reliably under commercial production regimes, and thrive with less than a third of the water that most Treasure Valley landscapes receive. Plant examples include several different agastache from Wyoming and New Mexico, buckwheats from Idaho and Utah, purple sage, and five different grasses from various states. Different species have been added each year since 2008.

All-American Selections Demonstration Garden

In 2012, the Idaho Botanical Garden was accepted into the All-American Selections ® display garden program. These selections are independently evaluated by judges in geographically diverse areas from all over the United States and Canada. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to demonstrate these improved varieties here at the Idaho Botanical Garden because they offer gardeners new varieties that have proven reliability in multiple parts of the country. For more information about All-American Selections®, check out their website