“You don’t have to be a master gardener or have endless time to create a garden you love.”

— Ann at Go West Gardener


Hi, I’m Ann. When I moved to Colorado, I thought I had this gardening thing down.

I grew up in a family of green-thumbed gardeners in Michigan. I worked in a thriving garden center for multiple summers. I had grown big, colorful flowerpots in the Midwest.

I totally had this.

Until I totally didn’t …

I wanted to plant the flowers I loved from my Mom’s garden.

It seemed like a good plan until:

I couldn’t get my shovel in the ground because the clay soil was as hard as concrete.

What the !?!

And I experienced the “joy” of hail pounding my plants from the sky.

And I discovered what our high-altitude sun, hot temps and drought can do to flowers that crave water.

(Hint: It ain’t pretty.)


And that’s when I realized:

I’m coming at this the wrong way.

Just like I had to adjust my baking recipes for altitude here in Colorado, I had to think differently about gardening too.

So, I dug into classes and hands-on practice.

  • I became a Certified Colorado Gardener through the Colorado State University Extension after an intensive, 65-hour program.
  • I continue to find ways to learn. Collectively, I have 131 hours of formal western garden training.
  • And I’ve transformed my flower gardens to be more in tune with what Mother Nature throws at us in the wild, semi-arid West. (18 years of seeing what works and what doesn’t, friends!)


For the last decade, I’ve helped friends transform their flowerpots and gardens.

Now I want to inspire you.

There are a lot of resources out there for avid gardeners.

But for rookies?

Not so much.

And for rookies who want to garden in the semi-arid, high-elevation, gotta-have-some-moxie West?


I created Go West Gardener, so you can build your confidence with gardening — and have fun doing it. You’ll find tips like:

  • How to keep your flowers happy and healthy in our unforgiving western climate (no more replacing plant after plant)
  • How to get off the trial and error hamster wheel for things you can control
  • How to choose flowers that last (say goodbye to guessing and hoping)


You DON’T have to do this the hard way.

Whether you’re just getting the hang of flower gardening or you’re new to Colorado, I’m here to help guide you, so you can skip the:

“Crap, why didn’t anyone tell me this?” phase

And go straight to hearing:

“Wow, your flowers look A-MA-ZING!”

(That never gets old!)

Here’s what to expect when you Go West:

Purple coneflower | echinacea

Simple flower tips that get results

… So you feel confident and excited to spend time outdoors.

Yellow and white columbine flower

Grace over judgment

Gardening should be fun and relaxing, right? This is a judgment-free zone.

Helianthus 'Dakota Sunshine'

What you need to know

You’ll find the helpful basics, but not every textbook detail.

Bee gathering nectar from purple salvia

The "why"

Gardening can feel like a lot of rules. You’ll discover why you’re doing things, so concepts click.

It’s time to dig in … and flowerpots are a great place to start

Summer mini-training in flowerpots: How to get more colorful blooms

Discover 3 common reasons that flowers stop blooming… and how to get new buds in as little as 7 days!

Flower garden basics for beginner gardeners

What’s your flowerpot personality? Find out here! You’ll get flower suggestions that match.

To learn flower gardening, check out these garden tips for Colorado, Utah and the intermountain west

Find simple flower tips to raise your container garden game, so you can’t wait to spend time outside.

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