September Walking Tour – Everything is Connected
By Holly G. Haynes, Plant Mapping Coordinator
When I was in art school, Spiderwoman Theater, an Indigenous women’s performance troupe, performed at the school. During the Q&A, one of my classmates asked the artists what their tribe thought of them doing modern performance art. Their answer: Many Indigenous people view art as a part of life – just as music, food and nature are a part of life. Everything is connected. This reply has always stuck with me, and this interconnection is always apparent here at Denver Botanic Gardens. Art, music, food and nature are intertwined. Follow this walking tour to explore some of these connections.
- The gardens that surround the UMB Bank Amphitheater represent our Colorado landscapes. Although the Summer Concert Series has passed us by, the musical sounds of the plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. monilifera) leaves fluttering in the wind can be heard in the Grant Family Cottonwood Border. Don’t forget about the zipping of the hummingbirds moving from Roads Water-Smart Garden to the Ponderosa Border in search of a snack and a place to rest. Once Blossoms of Light® opens for the holiday season, you will get to hear new music that accompanies the synchronized light show in the amphitheater.
- Meander over toward the Science Pyramid, and you will find the artwork “Feature Fountain” by Wright McLaughlin. This four-tower fountain is a popular spot to sit and have a bite to eat, listen to the rushing waters and look out onto many of our aquatic gems of waterlilies and cannas (Nymphaea and Canna). Don’t leave until you walk through the annual display of gorgeous blooms of black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta), dahlias (Dahlia) and more in the Fountain Bed Garden.
- Now, head down the path past the Ornamental Grasses Garden, making sure to take in the beauty of the sculpture “So Proud of My Children” by Nicholas Kadzungura, which is surrounded by the soft colors of Kudos Mandarin Hyssop (Agastache ‘Kudos Mandarin’), and make your way through June’s PlantAsia.
- You will notice some exciting renovations on the southside of June’s PlantAsia, as well as within the Birds and Bees Walk. Here you will find many places to sit and enjoy mature trees like lacebark pines (Pinus bungeana) or walk along the boardwalk to see our brand-new “habitat hotel district” (artistic walls for insects to nest and overwinter). We couldn’t be more excited to share this habitat paradise with our visitors!
- Getting tired? Head over to the Hive Garden Bistro for a bite to eat and a cool drink (I recommend an agua fresca). There’s never a bad time of year to sit on the deck and enjoy the views of Monet Pool. As we move closer to fall and winter, the view from the deck will transition from a sea of blooms in the pool and the creative, artistic kitchen garden, Le Potager Garden, to pumpkin displays for Glow at the Gardens™ and then Blossoms of Light.
The coming months still offer musical soundscapes for our fall and holiday events, delicious food and drinks from our restaurants, and artwork throughout the grounds (explore the galleries in the Freyer – Newman Center during your visit) and nature. So. much. nature. Enjoy what life has to offer: art, music, food, nature. Everything is connected.