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purple, yellow, orange, white -- nature's palette


[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8814","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Cottonwood Border, Western Panaromas at Denver Botanic Gardens"}}]]

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8815","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"orange flowering plant"}}]] [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8816","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"coneflower"}}]] [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8817","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Liatris"}}]]

I got back to my desk after a lunch meeting today, and there was a message from a co-worker saying I must go look at the northern portion of the Cottonwood Border because it looked “absolutely stunning.” How could I possibly sit down to work at my computer after a statement like that. So off I went to check it out.

The Cottonwood Border (part of Western Panaromas) is a garden I often walk by and listen to the cottonwood leaves brush against eachother in the breeze. To me it is a garden of expanse and tranquility. There are smaller native grasses and sometimes tons of tall sunflowers, and patches of low-lying silverleaf evening primroses. However this year it IS breathtaking!

A virtual ocean of color. Purples, yellow, pinks, oranges and whites in the foreground, and a sea of grasses forming a haze in the background all come together to make this a garden of true summer beauty. Many colors of Echinacea, or coneflower, stand at brisk attention with purple prairie clover making an equally stalwart companion. A lot of this garden is just coming in to bloom, so there is plenty of time to enjoy it. It is a garden that deserves time to appreciate all of the combinations of color and texture.

These plants love the heat, so take note of what you like so you can make sure you have some of these summer beauties in your own garden next year. That is what I am going to do! What is that beautiful orange flowering plant—the bees love it, and so do I.


Dominique Bayne

I agree, the Cottonwood Border is stunning right now, it really shows what can be done with native plants. The orange flowering plant is butterfly weed - Asclepias tuberosa. It is a milkweed, make sure to look at it when it goes to seed as the seed pods are beautiful too.

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