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Description of the Gardens

  • All-America Selections (AAS) Garden

    The AAS Garden features premier garden annuals from the All-America Selections program. The AAS program promotes new garden seed varieties with superior garden performance judged in impartial trials in North America. Founded in 1933, over 700 plants have been introduced through this program. The AAS Garden at the Gardens features latest and past years' introductions, which includes annual bedding plants and vegetables.

  • Birds and Bees Walk

    Organized as a living storybook, the Birds and Bees Walk is a secluded woodland path with interpretive panels that immerse visitors in the exciting world of pollination. The wooded garden is filled with trees, shrubs and plants specifically chosen to attract birds, pollinators and other fauna. Keep a watchful eye as you stroll along this quiet path - you could see bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, or hawk moths.

  • Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory

    Upon entering this Denver landmark, visitors will find themselves instantly immersed in the humid tropics. The Conservatory features thousands of exotic specimens from the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and is one of the most unique and compelling displays of its kind in the United States.

  • Community Garden at Congress Park

    The Community Garden provides urban garden space for residents of the Denver community. Gardeners come together to share their knowledge of organic gardening while creating community and beautifying their neighborhood. Creating compost, attending garden workdays, donating vegetables and hosting community social events are just a few of the gardeners' efforts.

  • Conservation Garden

    This garden features rare and endangered plants from Colorado's West Slope. Denver Botanic Gardens is a proud participant in the Center for Plant Conservation, contributing to restoration and seed banking efforts.

  • Crossroads Garden

    Crossroads Garden features yuccas and other members of the Agavaceae family. These woody relatives of lilies conserve water in their roots and stems making them an excellent choice for water-smart landscaping. The garden also features a golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata), a native of China, which is one of 26 Colorado Champion Trees registered to the Gardens as the best and/or largest specimen of their kind in the state.

  • Darlene Radichel Plant Select Garden

    A centrally located garden displaying Plant Select plants. A collaborative program between Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University and Colorado’s Green Industry, Plant Select has been introducing and recommending plants for regional gardeners since 1997. All plants introduced or recommended through Plant Select go through a rigorous selection process to determine the suitability of these plants for the high plains and intermountain region.

  • Dryland Mesa

    This elevated garden replicates a mesa, a flat-topped natural elevation in the desert. Dryland Mesa was the first public garden to portray the concept of using drought-tolerant native plants in landscaping. It requires no supplementary watering except during extreme drought. It also serves as a test site for many uncommon southwestern native plants.

  • Dwarf Conifer Collection

    Dwarf Conifer Collection   Dwarf Conifer Collection

  • El Pomar Waterway

    This dreamlike garden space features extensive hardscape in the form of walls, a brick walkway and a long reflecting pool culminating in a cool, transparent waterfall. The bottlebrush-like flowers of the Oriental fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’) line the full length of the reflective pool, while vertical beech trees (Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck’) and blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) softens the border along the south wall.

  • Gates Montane Garden

    Replicating Colorado’s montane life zone (the wooded ecosystem found at altitudes from 8,000 to 10,000 feet), the Gates Montane garden is filled with gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) and aspen (Populus tremuloides) creating the sensation of being in a secluded Colorado forest.

  • Green Roof

    Traditionally, green roofs have been utilized in climates with more humidity than ours. This Green Roof is a testing ground to determine performance and suitability of plants for green roof use in our semi-arid climate. Rather than use traditional green roof plants, our Green Roof, which was installed in fall 2007, showcases over 100 species of native and drought tolerant plants. The Gardens Green Roof was the first publicly accessible green roof in the city of Denver.

  • Greenhouse Complex

    Funded by the citizens of Denver through the Better Denver Bond Campaign, the new 50,000 square-foot Greenhouse Complex consists of 16,000 sq. ft. of new state-of-the-art greenhouses with flexibility for 12 climate control options, a renovated Marnie’s Pavilion which showcases our epiphytic (orchids, bromeliads and ferns) collections, an Orangery with seasonal year-round displays reminiscent of traditional European Renaissance garden displays, public classroom and horticulture department offices.

  • Herb Garden

    European monks of the Middle Ages established the practice of cultivating culinary plants in segregated plots and jealously guarding their knowledge. We continue the practice of growing herbs in this traditional manner except we love to share our gardening wisdom. We offer a wide variety of classes on herbal remedies, cooking techniques, crafts and gardening tips. Our volunteers can answer your questions.

  • Japanese Garden and Bill Hosokawa Bonsai Pavilion

    Shofu-en -- the Garden of Wind and Pines -- evokes a sense of tranquility. Water, rock and plants combine to symbolize our harmonious relationship with nature. The garden’s numerous Ponderosa pines were collected from Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. The authentic Ella Mullen Weckbaugh Tea House was shipped across the Pacific from Japan and reassembled by skilled Japanese artisans. The main focus of the Gardens' Bonsai collection are trees from the Rocky Mountain Region. Designed in 1979 by Dr. Koichi Kawana (whose work includes gardens at the Chicago and Missouri Botanic Gardens), the Japanese Garden is now more than 25 years old.

  • June’s PlantAsia

    June's PlantAsia captures the fascination and exuberance of the astonishing and threatened flora of the Asian steppe region. This garden showcases more than 1,200 exotic and fragrant species from various Asian countries in a one-acre display. June's PlantAsia features eastern Asian plants such as peonies, bamboos, wild herbs, Japanese umbrella pines (Sciadopitys verticillata), wild plants collected in Pakistan, voodoo lilies (Typhonium venosum) and experimental cultivars of plants. A lush woodland area displays Himalayan and lacebark pines (Pinus wallichiana, Pinus bungeana) and over a dozen kinds of Asian maple. A unique hand-made stone path winds past a quiet stream, a wooden Chinese pavilion (or Ting) and two intricately designed moon gates complete the exotic ambiance.

  • Lainie's Cutting Garden

    The Cutting Garden is designed in concentric circles with annuals planted in the inner circles and perennials in the outer circles, with a focal urn planter in the center. Each bed within the garden is planted in specific color themes for ease of floral harvesting. Cutting Gardens became popular during the Victorian era during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when flowers were harvested from the gardens for indoor decorations. Rather than cut flowers from display gardens, the idea of creating a separate garden just for cutting flowers and greenery was born.

  • Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden

    Showcasing grasses and wildflowers this garden reminds visitors of what Denver used to look like in the 1800s, before parking lots and high-rises. In early summer, wild flax (Linum lewisii) presents its airy blue flowers. Prairie penstemons include Penstemon angustifolius (blue), P. ambiguous (pink), P. secundiflorus (pink) and P. virens (purple) with small tubular flowers arranged in vertical spires. The landscape design intentionally tricks the visitor’s eye, making this garden seem to extend farther than it really does, just as the horizon line on the open prairie is often deceiving.

  • Le Potager Garden

    Artistic garden design and agriculture combine for a culinary masterpiece of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers in the Le Potager garden. Visitors will find flavorful heirloom varieties of tomatoes and unique cultivars of pink, white, green and even striped eggplants.

  • Lilac Garden

    The Lilac Garden showcases our extensive collection of over 100 different varieties of lilacs which bloom in succession through the end of June. Blossoms of pink, purple, and white dominate the area, while yellow daffodils add color on the hillside.

  • Marnie's Pavilion

  • Nexus Berm

  • O'Fallon Perennial Walk

    A superb place to begin a leisurely stroll through the Gardens, the Perennial Walk is a traditional version of a European perennial border lush with flowers packed closely together to create a rich and interesting array of colors, heights, shapes and textures. Take note of new and interesting design techniques and plant ideas for home gardens. The observant visitor will see several water-smart plants woven effectively into the tapestry of plants along this walkway.

  • Oak Grove

    Though oaks are uncommon in Colorado, these varieties grow well in our climate and are good choices for gardeners in this region. Denver Botanic Gardens has made a commitment to conserving the germplasm of this very large and important genus by joining the multi-institutional Quercus (Oak) Collection Consortium of the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC). For many people, the oak is the quintessential tree. Oak trees are large, long-lived, disease-resistant and beautiful. In this naturalistic woodland setting, you’ll find many species and hybrid oaks.

  • Orangery

    In keeping with traditional French orangeries, our new Orangery features custom-made Versailles planters showcasing seasonal color, exotic tropicals and Italian cypresses. Five different types of citrus trees are featured along the Orangery terrace, which will be moved into the Orangery once temperatures drop.

  • Ornamental Grasses Garden

    Over 50 varieties of ornamental grasses are growing in this garden. From the dinosaur era (which ended 65 million years ago) to as recently as a century ago, Denver was almost entirely grass, shrubs and perennials. This garden gives us a glimpse of the great variety of sizes, textures and colors that occur among the grasses.

  • Parking Garage and Streetscape

    The Streetscape along York Street from 11th Avenue creates an entryway that informs the visitor that they have reached their destination. Street trees lining York Street were selected to create a procession through ornamental groupings. Fence structures trained with vines provide vertical interest. Ornamental planter beds and containers add color through plantings of annuals, bulbs and perennials.

  • Roads Water-Smart Garden

    This garden conveys a sense of regional pride in its selection of plants and design. Plants here come from the semi-arid climate of the West or other areas of the world that have a similar climate. Flower colors and plant textures are skillfully combined to yield a sophisticated informality that characterizes the West. This garden is truly water-smart and a great educational tool on plant selection to conserve water in your our gardens.

  • Rock Alpine Garden

    This garden is internationally acclaimed as a premier example of the art of rock gardening. Constructed with more than 500 tons of rock, this garden provides habitats similar to more than a dozen different high altitude environments. Spring bulbs begin the color display in March, with alpine plants taking the spotlight in May. Plants from monsoonal climates such as the Himalayas, southwestern United States, northern Mexico and the Karoo and Drakensberg of South Africa provide summer color.

  • Romantic Gardens

    This collection of four gardens is a delightful adventure for the senses. The aromatic plants and plum trees of the Fragrance Garden and the lavish floral display of annual, perennials and overflowing containers in the sheltering pavilions of the Schlessman Plaza.

  • Sacred Earth

    Inspired by the heritage of American Indians from the Four Corners area, Sacred Earth demonstrates the importance of plants in the lives of American Indians. These plants serve as medicines, building materials, dyes and food in addition to playing significant roles in the spiritual and ceremonial life of American Indian communities. A rustic ramada provides a shady spot to learn about the plants, the people and the cultures of the Southwest.

  • Scripture Garden

    Ancient scriptures of many religions contain references to plants. This secluded and peaceful garden features plants that have stories to tell and an enduring legacy. Many plants noted in religious works are spread about, and many visitors come here just to relax and admire the wondrous plants.

  • Sensory Garden

    The Sensory Garden is a public demonstration garden, where visitors can learn about accessible gardening in containers and small spaces or participate in one of our many Horticultural Therapy programs. Here you can find a garden that offers not only beauty, but also a model for accessible landscape design and “healing gardens” for nursing homes, hospitals, prisons and other facilities.

  • Shady Lane

    In the spring, Shady Lane comes alive with the blooms of over twenty varieties of crabapples. In the beds beneath the trees, a variety of shade plants offer inspiration to homeowners looking for ideas for shady spots where competitive tree roots create challenging growing conditions. The plants in Shady Lane create beautiful effects with a diversity of flowers, foliage, form and texture throughout the year. Visitors will notice unique planting combinations such as Irish Moss (Sagina subulata), a luminous light green ground cover, interspersed with Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus).

  • South African Plaza

    Visitors are often surprised to note that some of their favorite plants that thrive in Colorado actually come from South Africa.

  • The Ellipse

    The Ellipse

  • Victorian Secret Garden

  • Water Gardens

    Though located in a semi-arid climate, the Gardens have become one of the world's leaders in aquatic gardening and the display of aquatic plants. An extensive waterway system, which meanders throughout the Gardens, has become home to an aquatic collection of more than 450 species and varieties.

  • Welcome Garden

    The Welcome Garden serves as a gateway to what lays beyond the gates with elements of a Colorado landscape up close. Interesting hardscape features in the garden include sandstone walls, flowing water, a gathering place with strategically placed seating, and landscape rocks. The plantings around the garden consist of many native plants intermingled with ornamental cultivars. Planter beds sprinkled throughout the garden add color featuring annuals and perennials.

  • Western Panoramas

    Western Panoramas displays dominant tree species from three of our Colorado life zones: plains, foothills and subalpine.

  • Woodland Mosaic

    This cool retreat, set beneath a canopy of mature trees, offers a host of ideas for gardening in the shade with beautiful, low-maintenance shrubs and perennials.