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This Week at the Gardens: October 21st

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This Week at the Gardens: October 21st

Fruit These prickly pear fruits, or “cactus apples” as I heard a child call them, are really showy at the moment. This picture was taken in the Water-Smart Garden. Leaves Plenty of fall color enriches the Gardens, from glowing yellow trees to more subtle browns and fiery reds and oranges.  Tall spikes of blue Aconitum (Monk’s Hood) wave in the breeze. Oh, and I had to throw in a picture of these long-blooming Geranium flowers,...

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This Week at the Gardens: October 14th

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This Week at the Gardens: October 14th

Different Dinosaur kale is an eye-catching addition to the landscape that can also be eaten! See it in the border north side of Monet Pond and elsewhere. Also in the crazy veg department, these ornamental cucumbers are for show only, but definitely provoke conversation. Devilish Fiery Celosia is a colorful annual that comes in many shapes and sizes, including this spiky variety. Find this one in the All-America Selections Garden. Deadly Aconitum napellus has a...

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Thar's GOLD in them thar hills!!!!

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Thar's GOLD in them thar hills!!!!

For those who are just too lazy to drive up Squaw Pass or the Peak to Peak highway (or who have "been there, done that"), the York Street Gardens are bursting at the seams with color right now, and gold is very much in evidence. Witness this golden explosion of fireworks in the grand O'Fallon Perennial Walk! I saw the wild form of this species in a North Carolina meadow last week...

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This Week at the Gardens: September 30th

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This Week at the Gardens: September 30th

Summer Color The landscape is vibrant with color and busy with bees and butterflies stocking up for the winter months. This globe amaranth (Gomphrena) made the perfect landing pad for a butterfly, and can be found lining the planters between Shady Lane and the Orangery. In the Japanese Garden, the bush clover (Lespedeza) is blooming in magenta drifts. Fall Color To see that fall really is around the corner, take a long view of...

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This Week in the Gardens: September 16th

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This Week in the Gardens: September 16th

this Australian native called Eupomatia, Fall Beauties Some flowers just get going this time of year, or this tiny-flowered goldenrod (Solidago ‘Fireworks’), on view in the Welcome Garden, Perennial Walk, Water Garden Gazebo, and elsewhere. Take a look at the deep blue Anchusa in Shady Lane and elsewhere.

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This Week at the Gardens: September 9th

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This Week at the Gardens: September 9th

You Really Shouldn’t… …grow here, that is. Caesalpinia gilliesii (bird of paradise) and Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) are just two of numerous plants that, by most reckonings, should not be perennial in our climate, but seem to do just fine here in the right microclimate. Fun with Plants Gomphocarpus physocarpus, a member of the milkweed family, and a reseeding annual in Colorado, is earning its common name—balloon plant—in South African Plaza just now....

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This Week at the Gardens: August 26th

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This Week at the Gardens: August 26th

A quick, (almost) foolproof guide to water blooms: if the leaves lie flat on the water and the flowers also rest on the water, you are looking at a hardy waterlily. These plants can survive a cold winter under the ice. And while you will find numerous blue tropicals, hardy waterlilies don’t produce a blue flower. Gardens Not to Miss: Visit the Plains Garden in the morning or evening to see the wildflowers...

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This Week at the Gardens: August 19th

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This Week at the Gardens: August 19th

This Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) often appears in white, but in the Birds and Bees Garden, you’ll find it in the palest of purples. Why Obedient? If you bend a stem, in theory it will stay where you put it. Hopley’s Oregano (Origanum laevigatum ‘Hopley’s’) is a flowering decorative oregano. Find a good example in the Perennial Walkway. Mojave Sage (Salvia pachyphylla) is another decorative herb that offers a lovely purple...

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This Week at the Gardens: August 12th

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This Week at the Gardens: August 12th

Fun With Plants! If you are on the southern side of the Gardens, along the main path at Woodland Mosaic, you will see the delicate, shade-loving Balfour’s impatiens (Impatiens balfourii). Find one of its tiny cigar-shaped seed pods, fat and a little yellowed, and touch it or gently squeeze it between your fingers. I’m afraid I scared a three-year-old out of her socks with this trick, but older kids and adults...

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Cathedral spires: Acanthus in the garden

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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...

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