Sunday, October 2, 2011

Denver Botanic Garden - Great day!

Today I had the pleasure of roaming around the Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street.  This is a "new" botanic garden relative to those in Chicago.  It was started in 1958 in conjunction with the City of Denver - and was based on land that was a former cemetery!  The conservatory was added in the 70's.  Today it is a very impressive botanic garden and conservatory.

The design of the garden includes many elements that we see in Jensen type landscapes
  1. there was plenty of water and movement and it was all done in natural settings. 
  2. There were several "long views" - see the shots below. 
  3. The premise is several "rooms" or vignettes of smaller gardens on a theme that seamlessly meld together to offer a wide variety of impressions and emotions.
  4. The small views and secret areas are abundant!
The diversity of plants is high.  I liked the focus in several areas on Western native gardens, alpine and meadows. There were also green/water saving gardens.  What I didn't like was that the signage was not 100%, if I loved the plant, it was often not labeled. The dessert house is small - but has a nice variety.  The succulents are labeled with numbers - and there was a reference book on the opposite wall with the cross reference. Not sure that many people care about it - but I checked several :)

Keep in mind that there are a plethora of pathways and it can get confusing if you are trying to stick to a plan. Most of the paths are paved and suitable for all levels. Some rock walkways and steps, but not too many. Luckily it is small and compact so looping around isn't an issue.  My whole walk around was less than 2.5 miles. Also although I don't show them here - there are wonderful sculptures as focal points around the garden.

Here are two shots of a few my favorite long views. On the left is the walkway along the greenhouses. You can peer into the windows on the right side of this photo and see into the propagation greenhouses. They were all very clean - I was surprised :)  The shot on the left, at the base of the orange wall is a waterway. There are containers on pedestals at constant intervals. You can see the cactus poking up. That is the container. Just really nice to come around a corner and be surprised by these vistas.

Shady Lane - Lots of places to sit :)

El Pomar Waterway

It's hard to explain all the little details that have gone into melding different gardens into one cohesive display. Take a look at the picture below of parts that I liked.

Lainie's Cutting Garden - Sep 2011
Alpine Garden - Sep 2011

Romantic Garden - Long View, Formal: Sept 2011

Orange Cut Flowers
Blue Cut Flower Bed
Red Cut Flowers

The cutting garden had several beds which were all arranged by color. You can see the white beds in the front.  I thought this was such a nice way to do it.  I'm more partial to blues - although they do not show up so well. I also loved the red flower beds, and the orange was so tall!   The shots of the cutting flower beds have at least four different flower varieties - looks so nice.

Then when I needed a little break - or I saw something that I want to study.  There was a bench or chairs at the ready.  Almost around every corner, some little setting that looked so peaceful and purposeful at the same time. Wouldn't it be so amazing to have this scene below as my backyard, or how about around the corner from my office, or my bus stop!

The food on the Monet Deck is great by the way. Sitting in the shade and looking out over the Monet Pool was enjoyable. I met a nice man named Alan who is a member here. He filled me in on events and concerts they have. 

Happy day today exploring the garden. It was easy to get there from downtown by bus, and I walked back past the capital, and art museum. Lots to see here. Have to take another visit.  I hope I can time it for spring. I think the Alpine garden would be wonderful then - in bloom. Also there is a lilac garden which I bet smells just awesome at that time of year!

Singing Country Western!

Teresa Marie