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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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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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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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Frost and Photos: Gardens Good To Go for Family Portrait Day

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[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"] Gardeners sometimes anticipate the changing of the seasons with glee; new weather means new tasks, a change of pace.  But fall and its frosts are a little different.  When a gardener is an artist, and the cultivation of plants is his or her performance, a cold snap could mean a cancelled performance season or even the death of your star attractions.  If you've been following the weather, you'll...

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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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It's SPRINGTIME!! Yippeeeee!

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It's SPRINGTIME!! Yippeeeee!

Bulbs are one of the last great bargains: you pay fifty cents for a bulb and it blooms beautifully the next spring. In two years time it is twice as big, and some will even self sow and multiply. Talk about investment! Bulbs beat Wall Street hands down! Where else can you produce carpets of color that cheer the heart in springtime (when you need it after a long winter)...

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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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