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Membership: Rewarding on So Many Levels

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Membership: Rewarding on So Many Levels

When you decide to become a member of Denver Botanic Gardens, you might be thinking about the many visits you will enjoy with friends and family: enjoying the Orchid Showcase and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory on a cold blustery day in the winter, the warm evening strolls in the summer, getting delightfully lost in the autumn Corn Maze at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, the year-round discounts at The Shop at...

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It's beginning to look a lot like...Springtime?

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It's beginning to look a lot like...Springtime?

You might think that Denver Botanic Gardens is hunkered down for the winter and the only sparkle to be had comes from our nighttime electrical endeavors.  But you’d be wrong. Many plants are flowering at this time of year, and while they’ll never match the springtime display of floral abundance their delicate blossoms are made all the more magical by being present in the deep of winter.  Hailing from less severe...

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A Glowing Review for Fungus!

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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...

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Water-related events highlight Denver's unique challenges

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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...

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As imperceptibly as Grief the Summer lapsed away

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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...

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We Study Fungi at the Gardens?

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We Study Fungi at the Gardens?

Why yes we do, and we have for several decades. The last weekend in August, over fifteen citizen scientists and several mycologists braved the wee hours of the morning and one of the driest summers in Colorado to spend the weekend hunting, cataloging, photographing and identifying macro-fungi for the Rocky Mountain National Park bioblitz. Macro-fungi are those fungi that produce large, showy fruiting bodies, which are more commonly known as mushrooms,...

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The Aster Yellows Blues

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The Aster Yellows Blues

August and September bring the heyday of many plants of the aster family (Asteraceae). Asters, chrysanthemums, black- and brown-eyed susans, sunflowers, and others grace the landscape with late summer color. Along with them, though, comes a pernicious illness with a mysterious cause:  Aster Yellows. Plants infected with aster yellows can show a variety of symptoms, from yellowing and reddening of foliage (hence the name), greening of flowers, dwarfing, extremely bushy appearance,...

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Wanted Dead, Not Alive: The Green Menace

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Wanted Dead, Not Alive: The Green Menace

It’s been an interesting summer.  Lots of heat and not so much rain, for starters.  The combination of heat, drought, and subsequently stressed-out plants has made for banner years for many pests.  Some that are usually not even common enough to be a nuisance here at the Botanic Gardens have eliminated certain plants from gardens this year.  One pest in particular has been on my mind a lot in recent weeks:...

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Pollinator Power

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Pollinator Power

Last week a colleague and I attended a conference and workshop about protecting native pollinators, hosted by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.  While most of us might think of the European Honeybee, Apis mellifera, as the primary pollinator of crops, native bees are important pollinators of both wildflowers and commercial crops. Native pollinators, and particularly native bees, are important. Some are highly specialized, like the squash bee. Squash bees rely...

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