Cathedral spires: Acanthus in the garden
I took the picture above a few years ago also in the Rock Alpine Garden: but you can find acanthus blooming throughout Denver Botanic Gardens in many gardens right now. The flowers last for months (in fact, cut and dried they make splendid everlastings). This little mite would be a humble roadside chapel spire by comparison. Acanthus dioscurides grows in the eastern Mediterranean, and thrives in a shady spot and also a...
This week in the Gardens: August 5th
Another red that is borderline hardy here, but worth the effort, is Monardella macrantha. This little firecracker has been blooming since early summer in Yuccarama as well as the Rock Alpine Garden. This Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is growing in the Mordecai Children’s Garden and on the Birds and Bees Walk. Directly north of the Monet Pond, you’ll find the crazy-looking giant Castor Bean Plant (Ricinus communis) with its deep red leaves...
Neither scruffy nor scrophulous: Scrophularia macrantha
The amazing horticulturists of the city of Lakewood have planted this "rare" plant throughout the hell strips of the city, as well as in many of the parks and especially in the extraordinary displays at Kendrick Lake and around the Lakewood Municipal buildings. The picture above was taken on Alameda Avenue.  
This Week at the Gardens: July 29th
Perhaps the tallest of the six agave currently blooming at DBG, it reigns over three plants in the Rock Alpine Garden and two in Dryland Mesa. This week, its red buds are giving way to yellow blooms, which the bees cannot resist! Where does the tequila come from? Well, unfortunately not from the species that are hardy here. But if you had a Mexican blue agave, you could turn it into...
This Week at the Gardens: July 23rd
One of my favorite bright yellow, midsummer bloomers is St John’s Wort (Hypericum). Its blue-green leaves complement deep yellow flowers. Find it in PlantAsia as well as along the Perennial Walk. Zinnia grandiflora neither resembles its zinnia cousins, nor is its flower particularly “grand”, but it is a cheery, low-growing, xeric mid-summer bloom. A lovely patch of it can be found in Dryland Mesa, as well as in the Cottonwood Border. Don’t...
This Week at the Gardens: July 15th
Echinops sphaerocephalus (globe thistle) waves large round deep blue flowers on prickly foliage. See it on the eastern side of the Perennial Border. Take a peek at Scabiosa caucasica ‘Fama’ (which sounds like something out of Harry Potter, doesn't it?), with its large and complex blue flowers—gorgeous! See it in the Birds and Bees Garden. Its tender cousin, Plumbago indica, is in view for the summer at the entrance to the El...
This Week at the Gardens: Week of July 8th
Tall and Pointy Yuccas and agaves are in full bloom just now. Their blooms are large and showy. Wet and Colorful The water gardens boast hundreds of water lilies in bloom, with lotus to follow soon. See them in full sun, since they close in the evening and in cloudy weather.
This Week at the Gardens: July 1st
Engage Your Senses If you haven’t had a chance yet, go take a look at our new Sensory Garden, located east of the main building. Many features in this garden allow visitors of all abilities to experience the Gardens. A Clematis by Any Other Name… Whether you say CLEMatis or CleMATis, these beauties are out in force all around the gardens. Visit the Romantic Garden to see them creeping up the trellises, Random Blooms The...
Denver Foxtail Lily Gardens....
Each year that passes Denver Botanic Gardens seems to boast more and more Eremurus. Visitors are riveted with the display. It feels as though there are foxtail lilies everywhere, around every corner.   I can recall when I obtained E. himalaicus in the 1980s...it was the first foxtail lily we planted and its progeny still thrive throughout the Rock Alpine Garden and beyond. Across the way is a magnificent planting of the largest cultivated Eremurus. ...
This Week at the Gardens: June 17th
…smells stinky! They are designed to smell and look like rotting meat, to attract their pollinators, which are flies. I think they are beautiful! See ours on the southeast end of the Perennial Walk, as well as in the Rock Alpine Garden. Penstemon-a-thon There are seemingly endless varieties of Penstemon, and most of them love our climate. You can see them all over the Gardens this week. And the peonies are still at...

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