Beyond Bark: Playing, Learning, Growing in Denver’s Canopy
The Bonfils-Stanton Lecture Series features renowned speakers from around the world, offering you the chance to learn from the best – thanks to the generosity of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. Don't miss these presentations from innovators in world-class garden design, art and horticulture at our region's premier horticultural series.
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.
In this Year of the Tree, we are reminded of what these magnificent creations mean to us and what their very idea has (and will continue to) conjured up and stirred within each of us. Our 2012 series will feature a variety of speakers who have each been immensely inspired by trees and the natural world. Their inspirations have led them to diverse expressions including the building of fantastical tree houses, to creating a miniature depiction of nature with bonsai, to seeing beyond the ordinary and capturing the uniqueness and beauty of bark on camera.
A parallel series of smaller more intimate workshops will accompany the lectures and provide personal opportunities to create, to grow and to experience. Be sure to visit the Bonfils-Stanton Series page on our website for more information on the series and speakers.
Thursday, May 24
Denver Botanic Gardens
Tree houses have something to say. They speak in an ancient language and the message is universal: climb up and be in harmony with nature. Let go of earthbound encumbrances and be free. Tree houses possess a transformative power. As soon as you climb through the threshold of a tree house, you’re a changed person. Being held up by the trunk and branches of a tree, surrounded by the raw energy of nature, the soul is inevitably rejuvenated and the spirit lifted.
Professional tree house creator, Pete Nelson, shares his creates and stories – taking you on his personal journey that has been guided purely from his heart. The unlikely success of building tree houses for a living comes alive and serves to inspire others to live out their wildest dreams. Come with a happy heart and a hope to leave your earthbound life behind.
Nelson has traveled the world creating masterpieces of arboreal architecture, sharing his deep-felt passion and training with a new generation of tree house builders and dwellers. Nelson designs and builds tree houses with a talented group of individuals under the company, Nelson Tree house and Supply. He is the co-founder of TreeHouse Workshop, started in 1997, that teaches hands on tree house design and construction. He is also the co-founder and host of the Global Treehouse Symposium held annually in September and attended by tree house professionals and amateurs alike from all over the world. His most recent undertaking is Tree house Point, an environmental tree house hotel and retreat center in Issaquah, Washington. Nelson is the author of several books including his newest, New Treehouses of the World.
Life in the Trees: Designing Your Own Treehouse, with Pete Nelson
Friday, May 25
Professional tree house designer, builder and author, Pete Nelson, shares all the ins and outs of how to design your very own tree house – from how to pick the right tree to many unique design ideas. As time allows, Pete will answer questions about your own projects.
BONSAI: REFLECTIONS ON LIFE
David De Groot
Thursday, June 14
Denver Botanic Gardens
To most Americans, bonsai are horticulture novelties – charming little products of a gardening subset similar to topiary and dish gardening. In Japan, however, bonsai has long been recognized as a fine art with the same seriousness of intent and depth of meaning as poetry, music, painting or sculpture. A bonsai artist communicates not only through the design of the bonsai itself, but through the manner in which it is displayed. Statements might be as simple as a celebration of a season or as profound as the nobility of life in the face of overwhelming odds.
De Groot’s presentation will have you traveling with him to visit various private collections, exhibits and museums in Japan to examine traditional aesthetic principles and styles, followed by examples of both traditional and contemporary display.
David De Groot has been curator of Weyerhaeuser’s Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection since its creation in 1989. He is an award-winning designer and author, who has been studying and practicing bonsai since 1972. He has studied bonsai in Japan with Yasuo Mitsuya, satsuki with Tatemori Gondo and Hayata Nakayama, and display with Uhaku Sudo. His educational journal articles have been published throughout the U.S. and in eight foreign countries, and his book Basic Bonsai Design is now in its sixth printing. David travels widely to lecture, and has presented programs across the U.S. and in Brazil, Canada, China, England, South Africa, and Venezuela. He is active with several bonsai organizations in the Puget Sound area, and has served two terms on the board of directors of the American Bonsai Society.
Thursday, June 14
An in-depth tour of the Japanese Garden offers an opportunity to learn and admire the role of trees and Bonsai within this landscape. Shofu-en, the garden of wind and pines, is a place of tranquil beauty that invites you to re-discover it again and again.
Beginner Bonsai Design, with David De Groot
Friday, June 15
Discover your inner bonsai artist! Master bonsai artist, David De Groot, will introduce you to all the rudiments of bonsai design and styling techniques. Plant materials will be provided.
Advanced Bonsai Design, with David De Groot
Friday, June 15
Take your bonsai designing skills to the next level with David De Groot leading the way. De Groot will offer guidance.
BEAUTIFUL, EDIBLE TREES
Nan K. Chase
Thursday, July 19
Denver Botanic Gardens
To honor the Year of the Tree, Chase focuses on an often overlooked role of trees in the edible landscape. A single nut tree or fruit tree in the garden may be just a happy accident but Chase suggests a more intentional approach and choosing from a wide range of trees for your own landscape – be it a townhouse balcony, a suburban yard or amidst farm acreage.
Your edible landscape will provide you with landscape beauty across several seasons, fruits and nuts for the longest time possible each year and surplus food production for winter use.
Nan K. Chase has been gardening for thirty years in western North Carolina, and now specializes in perennial ornamentals and in native Appalachian trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, as well as fruit and vegetable crops. Her latest book, Eat Your Yard!: Edible Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Herbs and Flowers for Your Landscape, was published in 2010 by Gibbs Smith. Freelance journalism credits include The New York Times, Washington Post, Southern Living, and Smithsonian Magazine. She is founding president of the Asheville E-Z Gardeners club and serves on the Board of Governors of the Daniel Boone Native Gardens, in Boone, North Carolina, and the Buncombe County Historic Resources Commission, in Asheville, North Carolina.
Harnessing Garden Food Power, with Nan K. Chase
Friday, July 20
Here’s a chance to maximize the economical, nutritional output of any edible landscape using methods like canning, freezing, dehydrating, pickling, and fermentation (cider, perry, and garden wines). Learn the basics of these techniques as they apply to fruit, vegetables, herbs and nuts. Enhance the year-round usefulness of your garden.
A Tree Expert Opens His Edible Yard
Saturday, July 21
We will travel to Fort Collins to tour the private orchard of Scott Skogerboe, a recognized historical tree expert. Scott’s three-acre property boasts well over 150 different edible fruits, nuts and berries that create a magnificent edible landscape.
BARK: AN INTIMATE LOOK AT THE WORLDS TREES
Thursday, Sept. 27
Denver Botanic Gardens
Using bark as your means, escape and observe the world of trees in an entirely new way – playfully and aesthetically. Starting with American barks including the colorful serpentine manzinita and the fascinating strangler fig, and traveling around the world to visit the sacred trees of the Maoris, the magical monkey puzzle trees of New Caledonia and the legendary baobab trees of South Africa, Pollet will take you on an amazing journey and open your eyes to a world that was undoubtedly previously unknown to you – the world of bark.
Pollet reminds us of not only the diversity and fragility of the wide world that we inhabit but also helps us to discover how to bring a fascinating new world to our very own gardens. Transform your home landscape by adding seasonal interest with uniquely “barked” trees and their associated plant friends.
Cedric Pollet, born in Nice, France is a botanical photographer and landscape architect. He studied horticulture and landscape design at the University of Reading (UK) and the National Horticulture School in Angers (France). Since 1999, he started to observe trees from a new angle and began his original research on barks. In more than thirty countries around the world, he has tracked down the most fascinating barks, accumulating more than 20,000 tree images covering almost 500 different species. He is a lecturer and has produced seventy exhibitions all around the world. Pollet has published two books including his most recent,Bark: An Intimate Looks at the World’s Trees.
Trees in the Gardens
Thursday, September 27
It is time to direct your gaze “up” and away from the ground-level gardens to admire our wonderful and unique trees. Do you know what a “champion tree” is? Join the tour to learn this and so much more!
Intimate Elements: A Photographic Workshop with Scott Dressel-Martin
Friday, September 28
Learn to improve your images and refine your vision by exploring the creative, intellectual and technical aspects of creative photography with Denver Botanic Gardens Official Photographer, Scott Dressel-Martin. Join Scott on this autumn focused workshop to explore the world from the grand scale to the most intimate elements. With inspiration from the imagery of Cedric Pollet, Scott will bring his years of image making experience to the class to help deepen your vision and appreciation for the intimate elements of nature.
IKEBANA: BALANCE, HARMONY AND FORM
Thursday, October 25
Denver Botanic Gardens
While Western flower arrangements emphasize decoration and a means to immediate visual pleasure through the use of color combinations and flowers in full bloom, the Japanese Ikebana arrangement’s focus is more minimalist and contemplative. It asks the viewer to consider the rhythm and innate order of nature through the arrangement’s application of linear design – lines representing Heaven, Mankind and Earth. As within the natural world, the Ikebana design is asymmetrical yet balanced. The lack of symmetry is indicative of the Asian Yin/Yang theory of bringing nature’s extremes together to provide a natural balance and sense of harmony.
This ancient art form has an amazing contemporary feel that can fit perfectly in your home and workplace. Lee will present a broad range of materials used in Ikebana, as well as divulge how and where to obtain such materials locally and how to create unique arrangements for different environments and purposes. Lee will create four arrangements, each depicting one of the four seasons of the Rocky Mountains West.
Born in Shanghai, China, raised in Hong Kong, and educated in the United States, Dr. Diana Lee was trained as a petroleum geologist and mechanical engineer. She was a professor in renewable energy and land use and resource management at the State University of New York System where she was twice honored as Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Listed in the International Who’s Who of Women, Outstanding Women of the 20th Century, et al. Lee has spent the past five decades enthusiastically pursuing the art of Ikebana and holds numerous advanced teacher certificates from the headquarters of the Sogetsu School in Tokyo, Japan.
Ikebana Flower Arranging, with Diana Lee
Friday, October 26
Become inspired by trying your hand at creating two different Ikebana arrangements. Certified Ikebana teachers will be on hand to provide each participant with individualized coaching.
Cost: Pre-registration for individual Bonfils-Stanton programs: $15 member, $20 non-member. Entire series: $60 member, $85 non-member. Space is limited. So, register early!
To register, and for a complete schedule of the Bonfils-Stanton Lecture Series, visit www.botanicgardens.org and click on the “programs” link, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org  or call 720-865-3580.