Agave in boulders / Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Agave in boulders? Yes, please.
A recent cactus fiend
Agave ‘Kissho Kan’ / Lucky Crown Century Plant
Timberline Gardens, Arvada, Colorado
This sport agave grows to just over a foot tall and wide with great symmetry - and the color combination of white, blue-grey, and cinnamon is something special.
Our last stop at the Denver Botanic Gardens was the Green Roof - the first of it’s kind in Denver. Opening in 2007, it is a test due to the fact that most green roofs are installed in climates with much higher humidity. It features a variety of cactus and succulent species, including agave, prickly pear, and Hesperaloes, along with wildflowers (look at all that standing cypress).
Roads Water-Smart Garden II / Denver Botanic Gardens
Immediately upon entering the gates of the Denver Botanic Gardens, you are greeted on the right-hand side by the Roads Water-Smart Garden. It features both native plants, as well as plants that come from similar climates to that of Colorado, including the Mediterranean, South Africa, South America, and Central Asia.
Many of these species are quite suitable for my neck of the woods as well - thus, the garden provided loads of inspiration.
Next stop on our Denver trip: Denver Botanic Gardens
It began as the dream of local gardeners, botanists and civic leaders to build an oasis in the middle of the city.
It became a reality in 1951 when members of the Colorado Forestry and Horticulture Association incorporated as the non-profit Botanical Gardens Foundation of Denver and hired legendary landscape architect Saco R. DeBoer to create a 15-year master plan. The charter for the Gardens was filed on February 3, 1951, making the Gardens an agency of the City of Denver.
The following year, the City of Denver designated 100 acres in City Park as the site for Denver Botanical Gardens (as it was called in the early 1950s) which were formally dedicated in 1954. However, the Gardens were unfenced and ‘night diggers’ stole and trampled plants, causing the Board of Trustees to look for a more secure site.
By 1958, the combined efforts of private citizens and the City and County of Denver set forth a plan that would eventually transform an old cemetery located on York Street between east 9th and 11th Avenues into one of the country’s largest and finest botanic gardens.
The first planting at the York Street site began in 1959 and included roses, annuals, irises, daylilies, peonies, tulips, crocus and narcissus. That same year Mrs. Ruth Waring donated the elaborate mansion at 909 York Street to the Gardens. The mansion now serves as our administrative headquarters.
In 1966, the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory at the Gardens was dedicated. With the addition of this new indoor facility, which contained tropical and subtropical plants, Denver Botanic Gardens became a year-round attraction. Both Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory and the Waring House were declared Denver landmarks in 1973.
Located in the middle of the Mile High City, Denver Botanic Gardens was one of the first gardens in the country to emphasize native plants and to champion environmentally responsible practices, such as water conservation and biological control of pests.
Today, Denver Botanic Gardens continues this tradition at three unique sites: Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and Mount Goliath. Each of these demonstrates the varied ecosystems of Colorado.
Most of all, Denver Botanic Gardens offers spectacular plant displays, unlimited opportunities for lifelong learning and research that help preserve Colorado’s precious natural resources.