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The Weekly Bloom: Week of March 20th


Spring is here (well, okay, not today!), and everywhere in the Gardens, I see signs of preparation.

• Clearing: Last season’s grasses and stalks are being removed to make way for the fresh green shoots and leaves already poking up. Volunteers are a key piece of the action around here, and this time of year they are swarming the grounds like an industrious army of ants, leaving neat, tidy beds in their wake!

•  Cleaning: Waterways are being drained, mucked out, and refilled. The goldfish are waking up and basking in the sunshine. Shoots are starting to poke out of the water-plant pots in the Monet pond, and fish that didn’t make it through the icy winter are being respectfully scooped and removed.

• Rehearsing: Staff set up wedding chairs in the Romantic Garden, to see what affect the Henry Moore sculpture would have on the available space. We are preparing for a busy wedding season ahead.

• Patching: Fresh gravel is being laid down on numerous paths throughout the Gardens. A cold and icy winter, along with a year’s worth of construction and construction equipment had taken a toll on our side paths.

• Repairing: New wooden posts and rails are being created and installed throughout the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory. The moist, warm environment takes a toll on the wood, and replacement is necessary every few years.

• And, of course, the plants: Cornus mas, the earliest shrub to put out blossoms, is covered with just-opening yellow flowers. Find several of these along the curvy path in the Romantic Garden.

Favorite lunch spot this week: Bask in the sun along the main pathway in front of the Water-Smart Garden, and watch the kids roll down the amphitheater. From here you can see at least three Henry Moore sculptures.

Gardens to spend time in: Spring is most evident in the Water-Smart Garden and the Rock Alpine Garden. The Green Roof garden is rich with texture and color.


Cindy Newlander

We currently have Cornus mas in the Romantic Garden and Picnic Garden. The cultivar 'Golden Glory' is located in Plant Asia behind the pond, somewhat near the new pathway that connects the tree peony area to the larch area. Hopefully we'll be able to find funding to be able to put the kiosk online so anyone can search for plant locations from the comfort of their own home. In the meantime, the High-Altitude Gardener site (http://www.botanicgardens.org/high-altitude-gardener) or our living and preserved collections site can help you with checking for what species and cultivars we have grown in the Gardens or have in our herbaria collections. The collections site is found at http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/denver/query88.htm.

Thank you for mentioning where the Cornus mas is located. I've been thinking of putting one in at my place but wondered about placement. Is there a handy way I could check what species are growing at DBG and where they are located on line? The database on computer in the lobby at DBG is useful, but only if you are at the garden.
Doris Boardman

Hi Lee, The plant database on the PlantFinder in our lobby is on a separate server than our Web site. One of its main uses is to allow our visitors to customize a self-guided tour to find plants in the Gardens. We may be able to add it to our Web site sometime in the future. We do currently have The High-Altitude Gardener on our Web site. Find it via the navigation under "gardening resources," "high-altitude gardener": http://www.botanicgardens.org/high-altitude-gardener Our Plant Records department is constantly adding plants to the High-Altitude Gardener database. You can even add your own photos of each of the plants! I see we do list Cornus kousa var. chinensis 'Milky Way', however not Cornus mas. I'll ask them if they can add it.
Ellen Hertzman

Thanks for your comment, Lee. I'm glad you are using the Plant finder computer in the lobby--it can be quite helpful when you are on site.

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