Volunteer Spotlight – Vicki Saragoussi Phillips

| Chapter Updates
Vicki S Phillips

I would be surprised if you don’t already recognize Vicki Saragoussi Phillips! Vicki co-hosts our virtual Zoom programs with her husband Rick, ensuring attendees may enjoy the content whenever and from wherever they desire. Vicki is also our Registrar, setting up and managing our programs online with the information people need to have smooth and engaging experiences. We couldn’t offer so many programs without Vicki!

Vicki spent over 10 years at Denver Botanic Gardens leading children’s educational programs. While teaching children about Colorado’s native ecosystems, Vicki immediately saw the benefits of incorporating native plants into her home landscape. For example, Vicki uses natives, such as Cleome, Coneflower, and Sunflowers, as companion plantings with her vegetables to invite and increase pollinator activity.   

“Wild and playful!” is how Vicki describes her gardening style, which just makes you want to check out what she’s created. When asked to describe her favorite native plant, Vicki came back with three. First, Autumn sage (Salvia greggii), a Texas native that thrives in our ecoregion. The upright stature of Autumn sage complements grasses beautifully, and its dark red trumpet blooms draw hummingbirds into Vicki’s patio garden. Vicki also loves the “bizarre and unusual” Devil’s claw (Proboscidea louisianica), which she proudly grew from seed last year. Devil’s claw is so-named because its fleshy fruit pod splits into two “claws” as it dries – a real garden standout. About her third favorite, Vicki exclaims, “Jimsonweed (Datura wrightii) is dramatic and toxic!” This annual, which reseeds freely in Colorado, has evocative white trumpet blooms with spiny tips.  

Datura wrightii
Datura wrightii
Devil's Claw
Proboscidea rightii

We are lucky to have Vicki’s high energy and sharp wit on the Wild Ones programming committee. Vicki enjoys volunteering because it helps her connect with other native plant enthusiasts so that she may “find more people to play with!”  

Please reach out if you would like to join us as a volunteer in programming or any other area. We’d love to get to know you better.

Curious to learn more about transforming your garden into a habitat with Colorado native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees? Check out our native gardening toolkit, register for an upcoming event, subscribe to our newsletter, and/or become a member – if you’re not one already!