About ten minutes east of downtown Denver are 23 acres of gardens and plants that will make you feel like your much further away from the concrete of the city.  The Denver Botanic Gardens (1005 York Street, Denver) contain 45 gardens and over 32,000 plants.  (I discovered the York Street gardens while on a shopping expedition; they are very near the Cherry Creek Mall.)

The gardens represent a wide range of gardening styles and plant collections, covering diverse parts of the world.  It’s an interesting blend or culture with flora and fauna.  And, because this is the mile high city, there’s some focus on high altitude climate and how that can impact a garden.

While it’s hard to believe that a botanical garden can be even “greener," Denver seems to have done it with the city’s first green roof.  It’s a real-life example of how green roofs can be used for individual building owners, and for larger communities, in creating an eco-friendly urban environment.  Green roofs provide habitat for a variety of creatures, and help reduce pollution and decrease noise.  They’re economically friendly too, as green roofs help reduce heating and cooling costs as well as help extend the life of the roof.

The Denver Botanic Gardens are open year round.  Summer hours are Saturday – Tuesday, 9 am – 8 pm; Wednesday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.  The rest of the year the gardens are open 9 am – 5 pm daily.

Admission is $10.50 for adults; $7.50 for seniors (65+) and military; $6 for youth (4-15) and students; and FREE for children 3 and under.

There are also three satellite locations, each offering a distinct experience:

  • Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
  • Mount Goliath
  • Centennial Gardens

While it’s tempting to think of the gardens as a summer destination, each seasons brings a new experience.  So go back often!  It will be a new experience every time.


Photo credit:  flickr