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The Weekly Bloom: Week of April 3rd


When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite books—no surprise!—was The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I loved the idea of the hidden garden waking up in the spring, even though it had been abandoned for many years. Mary’s sense of discovery and delight as she learns to see the green shoots poking out of the ground is probably familiar to all of us gardeners.

Here at Denver Botanic Gardens, we have our own Secret Garden, of sorts. It is the lovely and civilized Waring House garden, and visitors can best access it through a gate on 9th Avenue just west of York Street. This time of year is my favorite time in this garden, as thousands of flowers awaken to the Spring.

Magnolias: In this garden you will see a couple of the Gardens’ earliest blooming magnolias, just starting to open: Magnolia x soulangeana and Magnolia stellata. Come see them soon, because as soon as it freezes again—and you know it will—these blossoms will turn brown.

Hellebores: The Waring Garden contains a number of beautiful hellebores, which start blooming in January but are at their peak right now. Be sure to see the varieties called Kingston Cardinal and London Fog—splendid colors and flowers!

And Everything Else: Stop by to see masses of purple violas, muscari, daffodils in various colors and sizes, primulas, heath—really everything you could want in a spring garden!

Favorite lunch spot this week: A picnic on the Waring House lawn?


Ellen Hertzman

Now you know why it is a Secret Garden! It is actually not within the main Garden fence. Instead, walk south on York to 9th Avenue. Turn right, and enter the garden of the Waring House through one of the gates along 9th Avenue.
Benjamin Hill

Hi Ellen, Another great article. I was at the gardens yesterday and looked everywhere for this secret garden but could not find it. I was really hoping to see the Hellebores. I also really do not want to completely miss one of the magnolias in bloom. Near the stream, I saw one that is almost ready but was hoping to find the one in this garden. I am planning on coming again on the morrow and can't wait. Could you tell me how to find this garden?
Benjamin Hill

Hi Ellen, Ahhhh... That could explain it. I generally don't walk around with a map as I have been so many times. I thought I was going mad though looking for this garden. Thank you for letting me know where it is. Is the Waring House garden public? Thank you so much and I am excited to visit again tomorrow.
Ellen Hertzman

It is indeed, although this is a little-known fact. The Waring House is our Administration Building, and is not open to the public, but visitors are welcome to view the front and side gardens.

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