Pumpkins!
You see a lot of pumpkins at this time of year, in food, drinks, and decorations.  But if all you know is the orange, round, Jack-o’-Lantern pumpkin, you may be woefully underestimating this group of plants.   Pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo, mostly) are part of an exclusively New World genus that includes some of the oldest cultivated crops in the Americas.  Native peoples from Maine to Argentina have grown them for centuries,...
The Art of Furoshiki
Do you have a myriad of eco-conscious lifestyle tools up your sleeve? The Gardens thinks we may have a new idea for even the most tried-and-true of Denver’s eco-conscious population – Furoshiki! Furoshiki is a near square, reusable “wrapping and carrying cloth” used for centuries in Japan.  Unlike ordinary containers such as boxes, baskets, and bags, Furoshiki changes its shape depending on the object to be wrapped.  It can wrap boxes,...
A Glowing Review for Fungus!
Fungi sometimes get a bad rap.  They are suspicious, insidious, and villainous—growing unseen and erupting without warning from just about anything.  Not everyone is down on fungus though (Wales celebrated National Fungus Day on October 14), and for good reason.  Fungi are important decomposers of plant matter (without them we’d all be neck-deep or worse in leaves and old wood) and are essential partners for plants for nutrient and water...
Mommy and Me Yoga at the Gardens
Yoga with your baby and other Moms or Dads is a great way to get some exercise and build community.  The little ones have fun, interact, dance and get a refreshing break from normal activities.  It is a chance to bond with other caregivers and share some wisdom, as well. Depending on class size there is anywhere from 10-25 mins at the end of class for talking in a sharing circle...
With the summer heat finally having subsided (after setting new records for the number of +90-degree days), Denver’s water use has started to wane. Landscapes that had relied on irrigation through the relatively dry summer can now largely count on Mother Nature and wait for the imminent frost. Outdoor water use accounts for about 55% of the average Denver Water residential customer’s consumption throughout the course of the year – with...
Passing of a friend
Here you see Harlan a few months ago, on his last visit to Denver with some of his close associates from around the country. Harlan helped found the Perennial Plant Association, the Great Plants program of Nebraska,  and was one of the co-chairs of the only combined meetings of both Eastern and Western chapters of the International Plant Propagators Society meeting in Denver in 2009. Harlan traveled extensively throughout America,...
Aurora's secret garden (and Aronia zone)
Here is a closer look at the berries and leaves: I hate the common name chokeberry! I tasted these and they weren't half bad! Closely related to mountain ash (Sorbus) this rarely planted shrub is native to the eastern United States, but seems to adapt well to a spot in Denver provided it gets some watering. It is certainly a standout in the fall! A huge industry, much of it...
Don't meddle with Medlars!
The Medlar is much more popular in Europe--in fact its epithet (germanicus) implies it is a central European native. it is naturalized throughout Europe, but is more likely native to the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean, but has been cultivated for centuries for its exotic fruit. Like the totally unrelated pawpaw of the USA or most species of Persimmon, this fruit must be frosted to be rid of the unpalatable qualities....
[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"] Gardeners sometimes anticipate the changing of the seasons with glee; new weather means new tasks, a change of pace.  But fall and its frosts are a little different.  When a gardener is an artist, and the cultivation of plants is his or her performance, a cold snap could mean a cancelled performance season or even the death of your star attractions.  If you've been following the weather, you'll...
Ghosts in the Gardens
The following post was written my Mike Kedziora, Assistant Manager of Visitor Services. Denver Botanic Gardens is a shining oasis nestled amid the hustle and bustle of the Mile High City. Guests from all over the world come to visit our living collections; to examine, learn and share in our museum of life. But the nourishing earth of the Gardens, like all living things, enjoyed a dark and dangerous past 100...
As imperceptibly as Grief the Summer lapsed away
As imperceptibly as Grief The Summer lapsed away -- Too imperceptible at last To seem like Perfidy -- A Quietness distilled As Twilight long begun, Or Nature spending with herself Sequestered Afternoon -- The Dusk drew earlier in -- The Morning foreign shone -- A courteous, yet harrowing Grace, As Guest, that would be gone -- And thus, without a Wing Or service of a Keel Our Summer made her light escape Into the Beautiful. -Emily Dickinson The killing frost of 2012 approaches—many plants will perish this...
A garden is born in Santa Fe
The orchard in the first frame is perhaps a bit hard to visualize, but this gorgeous red bridge (salvaged from an estate) painted this striking shade is unforgettable. The bridge spanning the arroyo where the garden is situated is definitely becoming a garden icon already! Master Planner Gary Smith's design for the garden is conspicuously posted in key spots to educate visitors as to what's coming. Gary has designed gardens at...