Bryan Fischer

Bryan has had a passion for plants for as long as he can remember. Fueled by juicy-imaged garden books and weekends on a fifth-generation family ranch in the Colorado Rockies, he landed his first job as soon as he could drive, working in a dry-bean breeding program. His experience now includes both academic and applied work in horticulture with Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he currently serves as curator of plant collections. Bryan holds a B.S. in horticulture from Colorado State University, and his work for Fine Gardening draws upon his education, his intensive home gardening, observations of plants in nature, and two decades of experience gardening in the Rocky Mountain region.

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Annuals for a Cut Flower Garden in the Mountain West

    Annuals are a topic that elicits strong responses from many gardeners. With the word come visions of manicured plantings, most frequently including foliage obscured by a lavish floral display. While…

  • apple flea beetles
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    How to Manage Flea Beetles: The Cutest Pests You’ve Never Heard Of

    Late spring sees me watching and waiting, breath not quite bated—and certainly not baited—to find out my fate for the season with one garden critter in particular: the flea beetle.…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Guidelines for Building a Rock Garden

    Last fall, this column featured Showy Native Plants for Rocky Soils. Not included in that plant palette were rock gardens. While similar in that the plants for such spaces require…

  • Five Petal Cliffbush
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    Plants That Take Sun and Shade for the Mountain West

      1. Creeping Oregon Grape Name: Mahonia repens syn. Berberis repens Zones: 5–8 Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide Conditions: Full sun to full…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Tomatoes for Mountain West Gardeners

    Despite working predominantly in ornamental—especially naturalistic—horticulture, I hold an “interdisciplinary minor in organic agriculture” from Colorado State University. Early in my career I worked primarily in food crops, and before…

  • large garden bed full of warm-season ornamental grasses
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    3 Warm-Season Ornamental Grasses That Excel in the Mountain West

    My career in ornamental horticulture has led to the development of a working theory: Ornamental grasses are an acquired taste for most gardeners. This theory grew from personal experience (my…

  • garden bed with gravel mulch
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    How to Pick the Best Mulch for Your Mountain West Garden Beds

    Since entering horticulture professionally over a decade ago, I’ve noticed a correlation on the Colorado Front Range between wood mulch (also called arborist chips) and water-wise gardens. A beautifully designed…

  • maple pruned in winter
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    With Winter Pruning on the Mind, Avoid Cutting on These Woody Plants

    Winter is, broadly speaking, the ideal time to prune most trees and shrubs. Deeply dormant, these woody plants experience less stress when pruned in the winter months, and with cool…

  • winter tree watering
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    Should You Water Your Plants in Winter?

    Those of us who have spent a few years (or more) in the American West know that winter here doesn’t look like winter in much of the country. As far…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    3 Hardy Broadleaf Evergreen Shrubs for the Mountain West

    You may have noticed that the Rocky Mountain region—especially if you moved here from either coast or the South—is notably lacking in broadleaf evergreens. That is because these evergreens are…