We went to the Denver Botanic Gardens on a recent vacation. It was beautiful and filled with different styles of gardening, good ideas, and lots and lots of plants. My husband was impressed with a crevice garden, I enjoyed the Bonsai. Here’s a sample of pictures.
I’ve always loved public gardens and recommend that people go to them. They are a great place to get inspiration and to see plants in person. If you go to one that is nearby or similar in growing conditions to what your own garden is, you can walk away with a great plant list, and know that the plants will probably do good in your own garden. It’s a far better way to find plants than just looking at nursery tags or even in books. I live in Utah, but we are very similar in climate to this Colorado garden. There were more short grass prairie plants than I often see around here, but I don’t think it is because they won’t do well here, just that people don’t utilize them as much as they could. I really want to put blue grama grass somewhere on my property; this plant was used in several different ways at the gardens.
My garden is nowhere close to looking like the gardens there. It was established in 1951, so it makes it 62 years older than my own garden. Gardens are just very slow to develop and establish properly. Even if you have lots of time and money (which I don’t anyway), plants can take years to establish, and re-evaluation needs to be done constantly. Gardening is an art with living forms, where the artist does not have full control but works within the constrains of environment and the results takes years to achieve.