Try to get out and explore some of the best Colorado public gardens and parks before the snow flies (entrance fees may apply). Many are still at their peak showing off spectacular flower blooms, seed-heads and fall colors. Gather ideas on plants you may want to put in next spring.
This is just a short list; there are too many wonderful places to mention!
Aurora Municipality Center Xeriscape Garden
Using the erroneous name “zeroscape” to describe a low-water garden consisting only of rocks and cacti is factually incorrect. The accurate term “xeriscape,” was coined by Denver Water in the early 80’s. It combines “xeros,” Greek for dry, with the word “landscape.” Plants and techniques used for xeriscape landscapes are beautifully displayed and explained at this ten-acre city gem in Aurora.
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Vail
See what grows well at 8,200 feet, including the mountain perennial garden, children’s garden, alpine rock and tundra gardens, and meditation garden.
|Betty Ford Alpine Garden|
Colorado State University Flower Trial Garden Fort Collins
View over two acres of new varieties of annuals, perennials, and fall-planted pansies. Check their website for the “best of” winners.
|Photo from CSU Flower Trial Garden Website|
Denver Botanic Gardens
There are four diverse gardens to experience. At the York Street location there are seven major plant collections on 23 acres, plus the newer Mordecai Childrens Garden. At Chatfield Farms, a working farm in southern Jefferson County – enjoy nature trails, wildflower gardens and the Deer Creek Discovery children’s play area. DBG’s fourth garden is located at Mount Goliath, seventeen miles from Idaho Springs. It offers awesome Rocky Mountain views and hikes, ancient bristlecone pines, plus subalpine meadows and tundra.
|Plant Select® Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens, Internet Photo|
|The Hudson Gardens|
The Hudson Gardens and Events Center, Littleton
Take a stroll, bring a lunch and explore – the Robert Hoffman water garden, along with the many individual gardens that feature roses, irises, herbs, dahlias, vegetables or the chocolate themed garden. Spend time at the honey bee garden and apiary and view the beehives and beneficial “insect hotels” in action.
|The Hudson Gardens|
Mesa Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, Colorado Springs
Visit this low-water, sustainable landscape of plants and trees that grow well and look great in our climate.
|Mesa Xeriscape Garden in Autumn, Photo from Prairebreak|