York Street gardens will close at 3 p.m. on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 for concerts. Other early closings.
It's true landscape architects speak about a concept called "borrowed views." You don't own the bucolic pasture, the fabulous waterfront, or the mountain range to your west, but you can see it from your window. You're "borrowing" that view to add to your own space. But when I say "seen-again" plant, I mean taking a fresh look at what seemed to be known. Last week was "Celebrating Wildflowers" week, and the Gardens had hundreds of school children exploring, learning and celebrating. (And many adults explaining, teaching, and coaching! Thanks to each one of you.) I was out working with some of the students and their chaperones and teachers and it reminded me how differently each of us sees the world. I interact with gardeners, professionals and adult students fairly often, but it is terrifically refreshing to converse with parents and children. ("Yes, hummingbirds visit flowers! Isn't that fantastic?") They encouraged me to see things anew. After spending nearly the entire lesson in one area, I was finally asked, "What's that?" and looked over to see a new and unfamiliar bloom. A closer inspection revealed that it was a plant I knew from a few years back: I'd just never seen one that big, happy, and in bloom. It was Aesculus × carnea, a red-flowered hybrid horsechestnut, that had just burst into bloom. I hate to admit that I would have just walked by, but I fear that is exactly what I was in the process of doing. Despite a wealth of botanical interest on my part, it was easy for a curious child to take me out of my depth for a moment. And that is an exciting experience: no idea what the plant is, getting closer and recognizing an old acquaintance as a newly-rediscovered feature. A seen-again tree. It wasn't even a blow to my botanical pride, thanks to a carefully placed label that jogged my memory. As one of Denver Botanic Gardens' Champion Trees, its worth seeing when you pass by. If you're ready for more, it could be worth exploring Alternative Trees for the the Front Range with instructor Joe Julian this September.