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Christmas red year 'round!

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Christmas red year 'round!

OK..it's not as red as that--I suppose any one of the dozens of forms of our native Claret Cup cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus) would out Christmas this one, but I couldn't resist showing this amazing watermelon red hybrid cactus I stumbled on in Dryland Mesa...not literally--I happened on it. It would not be good to stumble on this... This scorching red Cardinal Flower has grown in the bog alongside the pool in...

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Mad about Monocots!

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Mad about Monocots!

The variability in the genus Kniphofia is truly astonishing. This massive species (Kniphofia Northiae) has been growing in the Rock Alpine Garden for nearly 20 years. It is one of the largest in the genus, and one of the first to bloom as well. I shall never forget finding a vast slope of these on Bastard Voetpad Pass in the East Cape in January of 1994, stark black stems from...

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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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African dreaming...

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African dreaming...

Here is a pretty amazing patch of an ice plant from the highest mountains of the East Cape Drakensberg--which is likely to prove very hardy in mountain gardens as well. David Salman of High Country Gardens gave this to me as a host gift a few years ago: it has astonished me with the immense flowers (nearly 3" across) and its long season of bloom in the winter months: it even...

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African stars

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African stars

The Chldrens' garden is spectacular most any time, but if you have not visited in late April, May, June you will have missed the shimmering carpets of this 2011 Plant Select winner. It's almost blinding in its whiteness for months on end. But up close the wonderful daisies are just as appealing. Another star in the Family is the only hardy Arctotis that has been introduced thus far. Arctotis adpressa is...

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Alpha beta gramma....

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Alpha beta gramma....

I obtained several plants several years ago and put them in my unwatered xeriscape. Right from the start they grew vigorously, despite the lack of watering. This year they were twice as tall and much more robust than the wild blue gramma growing nearby in my prairie, confirming my dawning awareness that this is going to be one of the great ornamentals of this program.

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Pumpkins!

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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,...

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The Art of Furoshiki

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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,...

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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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Mommy and Me Yoga at the Gardens

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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...

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