One of the fun things for horticulturists is finding
great gardens. Every community has them and they provide
opportunities for us to learn and share information with
our readers. In fact all you have to do is like plants to
locate great gardens.
One stop in Denver, Colorado
has to be the Denver Botanical Gardens. It opened in 1951,
contains 23 acres of grounds and has been improving ever
since with recently added gardens, greenhouses and garden
art projects. This June the garden was alive with flowers.
It could not have been more in bloom. There was also a
major display of bamboo art. A lot of time went into these
displays. It makes one wonder about all the time and staff
needed to keep the gardens attractive. Display boards show
the many projects that are often completed with private
and community monies.
Gardeners like to meander
through the many garden paths that take them from
perennials to herbs to water lilies. There is a large
conservatory where Florida residents can often find the
plants that grow locally in home landscapes. Plan to spend
three or more hours in the gardens.
are fun too. One xeriscape garden was found at the Denver
Water Department. You have to struggle a bit to find the
location but when you do it is worth the visit. It is
composed of about one acre of drought tolerant plants.
Some are familiar or have relatives that live in Florida.
The garden consists of plantings along walkways that
surround the water department's administrative building.
Another stop should be in Littleton at the War
Memorial Rose Garden. Started in 1968 the beds of roses
Memorial Rose Garden -
Fourth of July Rose Picture: Tom MacCubbin
appear to sit on several acres of land. This is an
accredited garden by the All-America Rose Selections. The
garden contains about 800 rose bushes of various types.
You could spend lots of time just hunting for the ones
with the best fragrance but all are beautiful. Since roses
are constantly flushing with new blooms, any time would be
a good time to stop by.
Next to the rose garden is
a large Pea Patch Community Garden. It is one of two in
Littleton. We got to talk with the garden manager. It
opens in mid April and closes in mid October. Seems a
little strange to us Floridian who plant year-round. Plots
average 20 X 20 feet in size. They use to be larger but
due to demand they had to reduce the size. The cost is $25
for the season which includes tilling and water ' seniors
are free. Gardeners grow whatever they want. One has a
solid bed of potatoes and one was using bucket gardening
techniques. Still, others have the traditional mixed
gardens. It is only a guess but there appeared to be over
100 plots in this one site.
Gardens are where you
find them but it helps to have a guide. One that can get
you off to a great start is Gardens Across America. It has
East and West of the Mississippi editions. Other travel
guides are sure to list some of the great gardens too but
this is just gardens.