June Walking Tour - Shade Gardens

June 3, 2020 Mario Bertelmann , Assistant Curator of Shade Gardens

As we approach the heat of summer, shade becomes an invaluable resource for rest, relaxation and refuge from the intense Colorado sunshine. Denver Botanic Gardens has several shade gardens at York Street that offer quiet and serene spots to stop and sit, snack or read a book.

  • Under the canopy of trees that are beginning to leaf out, late spring blooming bulbs and summer perennials are freshly emerging from the soil and providing a glimmer of much needed joy to us all. As you enter the Gardens, take a stroll through Shady Lane where you will find a dazzling array of shade perennials lining the main pathways. HostaLamium (spotted dead nettle) and Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff) greet you as you meander through this garden.
  • Continue through to Oak Grove to find an impressive assortment of ferns and a sea of Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian bugloss) with its distinct bright blue flowers all protected by a full canopy of oak trees overhead.
  • Crossing to the south end of the Gardens, cool off in Woodland Mosaic, another great shady spot ideal for rest and contemplation.
    • Here is a dense canopy of established shade trees including Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak), Quercus gambelii (Gambel oak), Sorbus aucuparia ‘Fastigiata’ (common mountain ash) and Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen).
    • Beneath the canopy lies a wide variety of shade-loving perennials, including Matteuccea strutheopteris (ostrich fern), Ligularia ‘Little Rocket’ (leopard plant) and Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’ (Japanese rose).
    • In the Woodland Mosaic garden, you can find toads hopping through the fresh foliage keeping moist under the tree canopy. In the background, you can hear the gentle splashing of water from the fountain near the Science Pyramid and the rustling of leaves and branches in the warm summer wind. Dappled sunlight dances through the tree canopy. The immersive mixture of sights, sounds and smells inevitably brings serenity and peace to everyone who approaches this garden.

Visit Denver Botanic Gardens and experience these incredible shade gardens for yourself!

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