Mountain Roots is a testament to sustainability Email
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 05:00 AM

Alyse PiburnAlyse Piburn’s love for gardening was passed down through the generations, as both of her  grandmothers were gardeners. But it wasn’t until later that she found her career in gardening. She first worked in the service and hospitality industries—snowboarding was a passion—in the mountains. But one summer she was in between jobs and began landscaping with her mother’s business in Grand Lake. “It felt like everything clicked,” Piburn recalls. “I’d been an outdoor person. I loved working outdoors and loved plants. How did I not know about this sooner?”

Piburn enrolled at Front Range Community College and earned her associate degree in horticulture. She continued to work in her mother’s business, which worked closely with a landscape architect, offering installation and maintenance work for his clients. Piburn continued to work in the green industry in different capacities until starting her Summit County business, Mountain Roots, in Frisco, in 2011.

With the short gardening season in mountain communities, Piburn has found year-round business creating botanic décor for restaurants, and services for interior plants and houseplants. She is also offering floral design services for weddings in the area. She uses a lot of perennials that aren’t traditional cutting varieties, but which grow well in the region. It allows her to keep her focus on sustainability while finding ways to prolong her season. Piburn actually enjoys the slower season, which offers down time for travel, prepping for the busy season, and reviving her motivation and inspiration.

Driven by sustainability
Much of her motivation comes from her sustainability efforts. “Sustainability has always been important to me, and my business model is dedicated to that. In our marketing, we promote sustainability as our style of landscape as well as floral design. We use our website, blog and email marketing to tell consumers what that means to us.”

What that means is that Mountain Roots practice is organic, water-wise, and locally oriented. They do not use chemicals in their work. Plant waste is composted and returned back to the garden. They support local growers and suppliers as much as possible, which reduces their carbon footprint and keeps money in the local economy. She encourages using seasonal offerings in floral design as opposed to traditional cutting flowers. Piburn uses her small greenhouse and three covered beds to start cutting flower seeds inside for the upcoming season.

To read the rest of this story, visit the digital edition of the July/August 2020 issue of Colorado Green magazine. 

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Landscape design in the time of coronavirus
Pandemic affects trial gardens evaluation event
Easy-to-understand guidance from DOL around coronavirus workplace requirements

Flexibility in Form I-9 compliance extended