Denver Botanic Gardens’ York Street location will open with capped numbers and timed tickets on Friday, May 22. Here are details on what to expect upon your return. Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms’ re-opening is yet to be determined.

May 1, 2020 | Bridget Blomquist, Horticulture Specialist, Annuals

One of springtime’s reminders that all is new are spring-blooming bulbs. Since our visitors cannot stroll through the Annuals Garden and Pavilion during this time when tulips and hyacinths are bursting, I’d like to share this virtual tour.

  • Begin your virtual tour at the main entrance to the Annuals Garden and Pavilion just south of the Oak Grove and Lainie’s Cutting Garden. To your right and left are a mix of Darwin hybrid tulips called Big Ups®. Darwin hybrids are the largest tulips available and are known for their huge blossoms.
  • Walk forward and find yourself under the large pavilion; to your left in the raised bed, notice the deep dark tulip. This Triumph tulip is called ‘Paul Scherer’. Gaze upon this blossom in the afternoon shadows and this darkest of purple tulips appears almost black. Interplanted among the tulips are Papaver nudicaule ‘Wonderland White’ (Icelandic poppies). Sorbet® Lilac Ice and Sorbet® XP Blackberry violas (Viola cornuta ‘PAS211805’ and ‘PAS867911’ respectively) add another lower carpeted layer of light and dark hues. Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Fondant’ and ‘Dark Dimension’ echoed this light and dark contrast when they peaked in mid-April.
  • Turning 180 degrees, notice the ‘Champagne Bubbles Pink’ Icelandic poppies (P. nudicaule) popping their cheerful blossoms above the yellow pansies. You may be surprised to learn that the Icelandic poppies, pansies and violas planted in this garden were planted in the fall at the same time as the bulbs. These cool-season annuals provide color in the fall, overwinter, and re-emerge in springtime for an early blast of color.
  • Now walk to the south where three promenade beds greet you with a bold mix of orange and purple. Merry Go Round™ is a mix of three different tulip varieties: purple lily-flowered, purple double-flowering and orange double-flowering.
  • On the south side of the promenade beds is a long stretch of pale lilac-colored Triumph tulips called ‘Silver Cloud’. Named after the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud model, this luxurious tulip does not disappoint. The stately tulips are adorned by fragrant hyacinths called ‘Blue Jacket’. Sturdy-stemmed Triumph tulips are a cross of early blooming and late blooming tulips to make a mid-season bloomed variety. About 3,200 bulbs are planted in this stretch surrounding Amelanchier × grandiflora ‘Robin Hill’ (Robin Hill serviceberries), Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia (mountain alders), Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Pee Wee’ (Pee Wee oakleaf hydrangeas) and Laburnum × watereri ‘Vossii’ (goldenchain trees).
  • Look to the north of the promenade beds and you will find a sea of large apricot-colored Darwin hybrid tulips called ‘Daydream’. This raised bed boasts butter-colored and coral-colored hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis ‘City of Haarlem’ and H. ‘Gipsy Queen’) planted in between the tulips.

The garden is beautiful but there is something missing—our visitors. Until we meet in the garden again remember, “Hope springs eternal.” 

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