The “Moth”er of Orchid-dom

January 23, 2014 | John Murgel
Between now and February 24, the Orangery at Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting the annual Orchid Showcase . In addition to the blossom show being put on behind the glass walls of the collections greenhouses, the transitional space of the Orangery itself is festooned with orchids, mostly hybrids of...Read more
Victoria cruziana

Santa Cruz Waterlily - Now in Bloom!

August 13, 2013 | Tamara Kilbane
It isn't often that I linger at work until after the sun sets. Tonight is an exception. This evening, our Victoria cruziana plants (also known by the common name of Santa Cruz Waterilies) are coming into full bloom in the Monet Pool. As I sit on a bench beside the pond, the heady pineapple scent of...Read more
Coryphantha sulcata

Late to the party (Chihuahuan uplands cacti)

August 7, 2013 | Panayoti Kelaidis
Most hardy cacti bloom in spring. Pediocactus simpsonii for instance (our wonderful mountain ball cactus) can open its first flowers in my garden in March. April and May see the peak bloom on various Echinocereus and suchlike. By mid June most cacti are done and seed is ripening. I grant you the...Read more
Blue poppies at Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

More blue poppies? A pilgrimage to the Mecca of rock gardening...

June 29, 2013 | Panayoti Kelaidis
The rock garden at Botanics In Scotland they refer to it as "Botanics"--the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh resonates for anyone who has visited. I spent almost a week in April studying there in 1981, a year after I started working at Denver Botanic Gardens. I remember the exhiliration of that...Read more
Two Chinese Roscoeas thriving in Scotland

A gem of a Scottish garden

June 27, 2013 | Panayoti Kelaidis
Purple Roscoea humeana and yellow R. cautleioides Berwickshire in the south of Scotland is rather remote from Western China, but a large percentage of Chinese plants in cultivation have found their way to gardens via the great explorers of China. Ron McBeath, whose garden harbors many Chinese...Read more
"The blue hepatica blooms now...."

"The blue hepatica blooms now...."

May 1, 2013 | Panayoti Kelaidis
Masses of Hepatica nobilis for acres--mostly bright lavender blue Of course, we were looking for the brightest blue one, and bright pink ones as well--the variation in flower color was refreshing. What a wonderful way to spend a spring day? This was all a short hike from the country home of Henrik...Read more
"Nature's first green is gold"

"Nature's first green is gold"

April 7, 2013 | Panayoti Kelaidis
A cautious Coloradoan would cut branches tomorrow of any forsythias in the garden. The more branches you cut, the less likely the remaining branches you leave behind will freeze (don't ask me why--it's superstition I suspect)... Euphorbia cyparissius This more chartreuse shade of yellow is what I...Read more
They're off and running!

They're off and running!

April 1, 2013 | Panayoti Kelaidis
closeup of Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin' If you grow but one reticulate iris, may I recommend 'Katharine Hodgkin'? I tell her full story elsewhere more expansively. Because she is a hybrid between two rather distinct species, she possesses what botanists call heterosis, or hybrid vigor. She has formed...Read more
Bulbs are blooming at Denver Botanic Gardens!

Bulbs are blooming at Denver Botanic Gardens!

March 6, 2013 | Maria Bumgarner
What I enjoy most about early blooming bulbs is the element of surprise. I am not sure why, but each year these early performers seem to bloom intensely and catch me off guard. The flower size seems so large for the small leaves of the plant, and the fact that they naturalize and produce colorful...Read more
Which Hazel?  Woody Plants for an Early Spring

Which Hazel? Woody Plants for an Early Spring

March 2, 2013 | John Murgel
It’s early March, and though we’ll probably (hopefully) get another snowstorm or two before the growing season proper, the momentum of springtime is undeniable. Early bulbs like crocus, snowdrops, and adonis are flowering, and leaves of their later counterparts are peeking through the soil...Read more

Pages