Skip to main content

George W. Kelly Papers

Identifier: HFLA 038

Scope and Contents

Photographs, negatives, and nearly 1700 glass and paper-framed slides taken by Kelly are included in the Waring Room collection. Almost all of them depict plants or landscapes, and many are labeled with subject and date. His sense of humor is evident in the photos taken near the nature trail on Mt. Goliath, for he saw wind-blown tree stumps as playful animals. Many of these photos are included in his 1982 book, The Things I Prize.

The collection also contains an original painting by George Kelly and a portrait of him by O. Miniclear.


  • 1944-1992

Biographical / Historical

George Kelly (May 8, 1894 - August 10, 1991), writer, photographer, nurseryman, and horticulturist, devoted his life to learning about and teaching others about growing plants in Colorado. Hired as the first full-time horticulturist for the Colorado Forestry and Horticulture Association in 1944, he served also as its director and as editor of its newsletter, Green Thumb. When CFHA and The Botanic Gardens Foundation combined to become Denver Botanic Gardens, he became the first acting director.

Author of about ninety articles in the Green Thumb and ten books, Kelly wrote in a casual style on the subject he knew well – selecting and caring for plants in the Rocky Mountain area. The Helen Fowler Library contains at least eight of his publications as well as all volumes of the Green Thumb.


TBD Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Botanic Gardens, Helen Fowler Library Archives Repository