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Amazing Transformation

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Amazing Transformation

Early this spring around mid-March, the native Plains Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens underwent a simulated version of a vital ecological process of the shortgrass prairie -- FIRE. Fire is important in maintaining the structure and diversity of the shortgrass prairie ecosystem. Since human settlement, fire suppression has lead to the alteration of vegetation composition of the shortgrass prairie and the resulting biotic interactions. The prescribed burn at the Gardens performed...

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purple, yellow, orange, white -- nature's palette

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I got back to my desk after a lunch meeting today, and there was a message from a co-worker saying I must go look at the northern portion of the Cottonwood Border because it looked “absolutely stunning.” How could I possibly sit down to work at my computer after a statement like that. So off I went to check it out. The Cottonwood Border (part of Western...

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What is your favorite plant?

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What is your favorite plant?

  This is a question I get asked quite frequently. To me as a horticulturist and a plant lover, it is a very complex question to answer. It is like asking a mom to choose her favorite child. Each plant has its own unique individuality from its growth habit to flower color, some desirable and others not quite so. Trialing various plants to determine their adaptability to a particular region is...

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Jade Vine Winds Down after Extraordinary Performance

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Jade Vine Winds Down after Extraordinary Performance

Did the jade vine's blooms reach June?  Maybe...  But I didn't see it.  The end of May appears to have brought the the end of the blooming run.  Still, that's almost twice the time I first expected.  Nick Snakenberg, Curator of Orchids, is the man who originally sent out the word that this legume was starting something remarkable.  He had been thinking that perhaps it was not suitable for the conservatory,...

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Jade Vine Still Blooming

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Jade Vine Still Blooming

Just an update: I thought it was finishing (first photo above), this green-blossomed liana of a legume shows that it has the long haul in mind.  I've discovered that there are several more inflorescences on the jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) and that you might be able to see it bloom either upstairs or down in the Conservatory.  The staff and volunteers at the Information Desk assure me they have people...

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Do you smell what I smell?

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Do you smell what I smell?

This past couple of weeks while wandering the Gardens and around Denver it seems that there is another fantastic scent greeting my nose around every corner. The cool spring seems to have slowed down the early blooming shrubs and now we have a profusion of flowers that are lasting longer than usual with the cooler temperatures that keep hitting every week (usually with a few snow flakes) helping to keep...

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It's snow lovely

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It's snow lovely

Wednesday's sudden snow may have been inconvenient for an evening commute, but it sure was lovely. Members who turned out for their night got a real treat, as long as they enjoyed the snow.  I popped out and grabbed a few shots before the flakes melted into my clothes.  Wednesday night was also the first time that Urban Nature has been on display for an audience.  Congratulations to everyone who put that together! ...

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