Denver is a fairly green city with greenery everywhere. If you are a nature lover, like me, you should visit the Denver Botanic Gardens. It is very easy to get there. I went to Colorado for the wedding of a friend that was done at the Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas en Avon. Luckily I have a good friend from Panama who was living in Denver and took the opportunity to stay a few days in the city.

Since I had a local “guide”, we drove to the Denver Botanic Gardens. The good thing is that they have a huge free parking space. Those who rent a car can go on their own. If you want to use public transport you can take the RTD and get off at the entrance located on York Street. In this entrance there is also a place to leave bicycles. Denver, like many cities, has the option of renting shared bicycles that can be left at various sites throughout the city. Uber and Lyft are also a transportation alternative.

Denver Botanic Gardens History

The Colorado Forest and Horticultural Association formed the Denver Botanic Gardens in 1951. They made a 15-year plan and started on 100 acres in City Park. In 1958 they were moved to the current location, on top of an old cemetery. They were donated a beautiful mansion, which now serves as an administrative center.

This garden was one of the first to practice water conservation and use biological forms to control pests. They also promoted the planting of native species in the area. The 23 acres form 43 unique gardens connected by trails. In 1973 the Waring Mansion and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservancy greenhouse were declared iconic sites of Denver.

93,000 square meters full of plants

The Denver Botanic Gardens are located in the Cheesman Park neighborhood. We arrived in the afternoon and it seems that there was an event that day, so they closed early. The site lends itself to private events as well as concerts in the amphitheater during the summer. It is important that you check the calendar on the website so the same does not happen to you.

They told us we could pass but we only had one hour. As it is much less than normal time, I consulted the fare at the entrance boy and gave us the tickets for half the price. The regular price in 2019 is $12.50 for adults and $ 9 for students and children.

An hour is very little time to see the garden. We saw what we could but we missed a lot. I think you need at least two hours or more if you want to go calmly. It is also better to go in the morning or at the end of the afternoon, we went after lunch and the sun was strong.

Visit different types of gardens

West Gardens

These gardens can be visited year-round and show endemic plants to the state of Colorado. This garden seeks to inspire people to plant in their gardens species that grow well in the area. Colorado is a state of mountains and they have plants that go according to the different alpine elevations. “Bristlecone Border” has plants ranging from 10,000-11,500 feet, including pines. Then you reach “Cottonwood Border” which has plants that grow between 3,500-6,000.

In this area you can also see a green roof with more than 100 types of plants. This is the first green roof with access to the public in Denver. “Sacred Earth” has plants important to the natives and use traditional techniques. They have a house with 20 Cactus and Succulent families, including unusual species.

Gardens with International Inspiration

Bringing Asian culture to the United States is not an easy task, but I think that this site did it quite well. Possibly they are the most popular exhibits of the Botanical Gardens of Denver. The “Bonsai Pavilion” has species of Bonsai Rocky Mountain trees on outdoor pedestals. The “Japanese Tea House” is an authentic house that was sent from Japan and reassembled by skilled Japanese craftsmen. You must register in advance if you want to participate in a Tea Ceremony.

I loved the wooden frames with circles in the center of “PlantAsia”. Here you can find species from Kazakhstan, Himalayas and Pakistan. I felt at home in “Marnie’s Pavilion”. They literally have orchids, bromeliads and other tropical plants that I have in my garden in Panama. This pavilion was made inside a building were they created an artificial humidity, unlike our natural one!

Water Gardens

Without a doubt this was the exhibition that I liked the most. I felt like I was in a Monet painting. They have a pool called “Monet Pool” with aquatic plants, including water lilies or water resistant lilies, tropical and Victoria, cattails, pickerel plants, cannas, irises and more. Another pool has towers with waterfalls that look ornamental but serve to recirculate the water.

You can see a total of 450 aquatic plants. This exhibition is only available from June to September. Every year in August they make a Water Flower Festival.

Colorado is a tourist destination known for its mountains which ideal for skiing in the winter, but in the summer it is also very beautiful. It has many places for hiking, rafting and ecological and adventure tourism. More and more tourists are visiting, also because they legalized marijuana in Colorado.

You can find options for hoteles in Denver on the Booking’s website.

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