Kelly studied Botany at the University of Wyoming. He got degrees in Horticulture and Landscape Horticulture at Colorado State University. Kelly wrote for the Denver Post for many years and now writes a column in the Colorado Gardener magazine.
Kelly owns the mail order website (coldhardycactus.com) where he sells over 150 varieties of winter hardy cacti and other succulents to customers all over the United States. Find the website now as prairiestormnursery.com. Kelly with his business partner biochemist Jorge Lopez are building a tissue culture lab to clone rare plants.