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Record Agave Blooms

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Record Agave Blooms

  Though a common occurrence in parts of the southwest, century plants  (Agave sp.),  blooming in Denver are rare. Most years there is one blooming somewhere in Denver and we all take trips to visit it and marvel at the huge flower spike. This year we are lucky enough to have three blooming here at the Gardens. Ok, so only one is the insanely tall (about 18 feet) flower spike of Agave...

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Strange things end up on my desk...

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Strange things end up on my desk...

I guess it's not a plant that is easy to love, but I can't help but admire something that has adapted so incredibly over time to the point of losing a fundamental facet of its "plantiness": it's not even green!

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Aloe Envy

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Aloe Envy

  I have aloe envy. I recently saw the diversity of plants that thrive in the Souther California climate.  The aloes they have there are incredible.  More than any other plant (and there are lot of plants), I wish I could walk among the aloes on a regular basis.  Just look at them! The large one pictured is Aloe candelabrum: Can you imagine that on your window sill?  It's magnificent.  It reminds me of Dr....

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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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