An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

August 18, 2014

At the Denver Botanic Garden Without Glasses

     With all the wonderful glare coming from the Chihulies, it was somewhat difficult to focus on just the plants and gardens at the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG), but I forced myself. This trip was my third to DBG, and I've been impressed from the first visit. For a botanic garden, it is not large, basically just a couple of enclosed city blocks. However, because of the way space is utilized and designed, the garden feels large, but you can see everything in one visit. Like most botanic gardens, there are themed gardens throughout, showcasing plants and gardening styles from around the world. Where they can, DBG uses native species, or others that are adapted to similarly dry, cold-winter climates, to support these themes. I think what I like best about the garden is how it has embraced the varied regional climate zones and plant communities that can be seen in the high plains and Rockies. I wish more botanic gardens would tie themselves to the surrounding landscape in such a way.

     In light of what I said above, please don't think the gardens are only full of  yuccas and sagebrush. They are quite colorful.
Herb Garden Border (2)

Helenium 'Helbro' Mardi Gras

AAS Display Garden (1)

Agastache and Gazania

Alcea rosea (2)

Containers (4)

Echinacea 'Magnus' (3)

Echinacea 'Magnus' (4)


Monet Pool Reflections (3)


Containers (6)

Herb Garden Border (1)

Lilium 'Pizzazz'

Nepeta and Monarda

Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail'

Pinus bungeana (1)

Rose Garden (2)

Rudbeckia hirta

Rose Garden (3)

Rudbeckia laciniata

Romantic Gardens (2)

Celosia, Kale and Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' (1)

Origanum libanoticum (1)

Seseli gummiferum

Tentacle Planter (4)

     If for some reason you have not seen enough, here is a link to my complete photo set on Flickr, including more Chihulies.


  1. I'm a garden-room girl so DBG is one of my favorite gardens and you have captured it beautifully in your photos ending with that stunning planting in the tentacle pot. We won't be visiting this year so am happy to enjoy your visit.

  2. Lovely garden! And that's a great shot of the sunset behind the pond.

  3. Wow! Vivid, colorful, cheerful garden symphony!

  4. Thank you for the lovely tour, Les.

  5. Your photos are always so beautiful. You are the consummate photographer. Thanks for always sharing the loveliness you can capture with your camera. Vikki in VA

  6. You captured everything with stunning light, Les! I'll have to check out that botanical garden next time I'm in Denver. It looks beautiful!

  7. Beautiful beautiful photos Les. Makes me want to jump on a plane an head for Denver !

  8. Beautiful photos under what might have been difficult lighting conditions. Thanks so much!

  9. Gee Les, these are beautiful. You really do capture the displays and make me want to visit. If you ever make it to Nova Scotia, make sure you visit the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal.

  10. I was taken by the bark of Pinus bungeana and had to go on flicker for more. I don't know how you manage to pick what goes in the post and what to leave out. Very very tough.
    The tentacle planters are fun!

  11. I know how difficult shots are in direct sun. Great photography as usual. When I was at Longwood, I caught myself thinking, "Now how would Les capture this." I continue to improve thanks to your inspiration and examples. (And, I like your subject plants at DBG too.)