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Amazing Transformation

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Amazing Transformation

Early this spring around mid-March, the native Plains Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens underwent a simulated version of a vital ecological process of the shortgrass prairie -- FIRE. Fire is important in maintaining the structure and diversity of the shortgrass prairie ecosystem. Since human settlement, fire suppression has lead to the alteration of vegetation composition of the shortgrass prairie and the resulting biotic interactions. The prescribed burn at the Gardens performed...

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

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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...

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What is your favorite plant?

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What is your favorite plant?

  This is a question I get asked quite frequently. To me as a horticulturist and a plant lover, it is a very complex question to answer. It is like asking a mom to choose her favorite child. Each plant has its own unique individuality from its growth habit to flower color, some desirable and others not quite so. Trialing various plants to determine their adaptability to a particular region is...

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Neighborhoods in Bloom

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Neighborhoods in Bloom

I want to express my appreciation for the neighborhoods all around Denver for making the effort to grow plants well and to grow great plants.  Some credit undoubtedly goes to the city, but a lot should be generously poured over all the home owners and residents who take the time to make their block and their neighborhood a little bit better. What sparked this little epiphany of mine was that...

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A Fire Renews: See the Results for Earth Day

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A Fire Renews: See the Results for Earth Day

  Remember that photographic puzzler I posted? Well, yes, the answer seems to have been widely known: the Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden was undergoing its every-few-years renewal burning. The other, exciting picture above captures a bit of the day, and the other shows blackened swaths. The sedate pictures below reveal the exciting success of the burn.    

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It's a wonderful, bulbous life

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It's a wonderful, bulbous life

When I wrote that bulbs have a tough life, I was looking at only one side of the story.  They have a wonderful life!  Just look at the exuberant Iris and Crocus and how they add color and exuberance to the early spring landscape.  They were under the snow earlier this week, but they really shook it off and kept going.

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Spring Comes Quickly

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Spring Comes Quickly

The melt-off seems terrifically quick after such a thorough snow storm.  Spring will take hold before you know it.  Now is a great time to watch a garden for changes between one day and the next.  Come stroll through the Gardens and see the transformations right before your eyes.

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It's a tough, bulbous life.

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It's a tough, bulbous life.

    The life of a bulb is a tough one.  For the bulk of the year, the plant lives underground and dormant, enduring until it's time to shine.  These Iris just get themselves up and going and Sunday's snow put the brakes on. Nonetheless, winter will end and more and more bulbs and flowers will take advantage of warming spring to make their entry into life above ground.  Look at this series of three photos:...

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