In the hopes that 2021 is going to bring about a more normal life for the world, I’ve decided to bring back What I like Wednesday: Colorado Edition. Each Wednesday I will showcase something about Colorado that I have enjoyed and loved in the past. It will be my way of saying, “I hope I get to do these things again in 2021!”
To start us off, I had to begin with Denver Botanic Gardens. I’ve written about this place multiple times but it always ALWAYS bears writing about again. This place is a must visit. In spring and summer, the grounds are filled with color, bees, and baby ducks. The place may look small when you’re viewing it from Google maps, but as soon as you enter, you’ll find yourself wandering for a couple of hours as you wind your way around roses, columbines, poppies, succulents, grasses. There are too many plants to count or name and that’s okay, because it just means you’ll have to keep going back. There’s always a corner or a path that you haven’t seen before, or can’t remember seeing. A Japanese garden sits in one corner. A vegetable garden stands next to the water lily pond. Dahlias and zinnias grow giant in front of the science pyramid. Bee and insect homes situate themselves along the fence. Stroll down the Orangery and peek in at rows and rows of growing plants. Open the doors into the tropical conservatory and spot cocoa pods, larger than life palm leaves, and houseplants you’ve only seen at a nursery (turns out they grow in the tropics naturally!). Grab dinner from the restaurant and sit out on the patio under tall trees as the sun sets. Or sit down in one of the many secluded benches and read for a moment as you listen to the sounds of happy people and you breathe in nature.
And when the weather begins to cool and the plants begin to hibernate or die, the Gardens aren’t done. Oh no, they get creative and host events all throughout the year to keep the interest alive. There’s their Halloween festival with so many hand carved jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin sculptures. There’s their Day of the Dead event with a market and an homage to those whom we have lost but still love. The holidays bring about the Christmas lights with hot cocoa and tea. And when the new year comes around so do the orchids of all shapes and varieties. In May and September they have their Spring and Fall plant sales.
Can’t make it to one of their bigger events? They also offer classes on drawing plants, growing plants, building plant things (succulent wreath, anyone?), and supporting the bee ecosystem. They have yoga. They have tours. Throughout the years they have large art installations. I guess the real question is, what do the Botanic Gardens NOT have?
This is one of my favorite places in Denver. Thank you, Denver Botanic Gardens, for giving me so much happiness and joy over the years. I look forward to wandering your paths once again!