Who are you??? The search for a plant's true identity
Sometimes we have plants growing in our garden collections that aren't quite who we thought they were. Usually when we receive a new accession into the living collections, we have information of what the name of the plant is, where it came from (nursery or collection site in nature) and if it is a seed, cutting or plant. Fortunately, 99.9% of the time, the listed name is correct. Unfortunately this 0.1% can...
This Week at the Gardens: January 21st
This week, Nick has been busy creating a new display called "Succulents under the Sea." This slightly tongue-in-cheek title refers to the look of the display, located in the entrance to Marnie’s Pavilion, which will combine unusual non-hardy succulents with lava rock to create a distinctly underwater look! • Glottiphylum longum is showing large, yellow, iceplant-like flowers. • Outside, the agaves and cacti present a variety of texture and color, enhanced by a dusting...
My Week: January 14th
Alan’s weeks don’t vary much with the seasons. He says, “Every morning the [Boettcher Tropical] conservatory gets hand-watered for approximately two hours. This time is not only a great time to water, but it also gives me an opportunity to focus on individual plants while watering. I probably split my week with twenty hours in the conservatory and around twenty hours in the greenhouses. Daily maintenance is required for both the...
My Week: January 7th
For Jackie, the first week of the year means making a pruning plan for tackling some of the trees in her gardens. Winter is a great time to prune, since trees are dormant and their structure is not hidden behind leaves. She is also doing some deep watering, as the weather permits, since we have had such a dry winter so far. She advises watering on a warm day when it’s...
Winter Gardens: Week of December 10th
  Medinilla speciosa is a stunner with magenta stems and purple-black berries, set against fat green leaves. Then there is Crinum, with explosive lavender blooms surrounded by strappy leaves. Moving into Marnie’s Pavilion, you’ll find color everywhere, from numerous orchids in bloom, to bromeliads and even tropical waterlilies. Finally, head west into the Orangery to catch sight—and scent—of the holiday display of cyclamen, gardenia, poinsettia, rosemary and various citrus trees. This space is...
Winter Interest - What Is It? Part One.
Much like gardening in the challenging Colorado climate, finding winter interest in our gardens is about broadening our minds to expand our idea of what is beautiful. I chuckle when I think of the Gardens visitor who demanded a refund after spending a January afternoon here. “Everything’s dead!” he complained. Seed pods call for up-close inspection, to admire their form and efficiency. And without leaves, the berries of the barberry (Berberis)...
Winter Gardens: Week of November 12th
Often on my walks I see no one else, and as I pause to listen to the chittering of a squirrel or perhaps catch a glimpse of our resident fox, I reflect that in the middle of a city of more than a million people, I am virtually alone in nature—a wondrous thing! Even a light dusting of snow transforms every leaf, berry, and pod and makes a tired  garden look...
The Weekly Bloom: November 4th
Waves of color can be seen everywhere: golden grasses next to fiery barberries (Berberis) in front of orange or yellow trees, beside deep green pines--there is a picture around every corner!
Autumn crocuses: the real thing
Crocus pulchellus in Rock Alpine GardenCrocus speciosus This is the wonderful patch of Crocus pulchellus (with one Crocus speciosus interloper!) across from the Succulent House in the Rock Alpine Garden.
Blazing star anomaly
Plains Garden, October 10, 2010 Each of the dozens of gardens right now glistens and glimmers with that late season bounty that suggests to many of us that this is indeed the loveliest of seasons. As the conflagration of autumn leaves joins the last blazing flowers of the year, the Rembrandtian colors of late autumn truly out paint the Giotto tints of spring. "Remembrance, like Rembrandt, is dark but...

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