Gardens that thrive but never get watered, folklore surrounding medicinal plants, a poured-in-place concrete dome that is a marvel of engineering, and the brief yet hypnotic life and death of one very smelly plant. Yes, these are all things you can explore while social distancing, from the comfort and warmth of your own bed, even. So, there’s no reason to go out; stay home, stay safe. And digitally explore Denver Botanic Gardens.
The Gardens’ living museum is at your fingertips via BotanicGardens.org. If you’re longing for the beauty of our botanical displays, find curated playlists on our YouTube and Vimeo channels (including a time-lapse of Stinky, the corpse flower). You can see glorious blossoms from any time of the year. Spring crocuses and daffodils are just starting to poke up out of the cold earth, but you can experience bright waterlilies in full summer bloom. Take a virtual trip to South Africa with a botanist or go into the field with our researchers and learn if a species is endangered. Get an insider look at how an herbarium specimen is collected. Revisit your favorite exhibitions with behind-the-scenes looks at Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting and the mesmerizing installation of glass artworks during Chihuly.
Hopefully, through this virtual exploration of the Gardens you will find beauty and relaxation.
Miss walking our paths? On Gardens Navigator (navigate.botanicgardens.org) you can take a virtual expedition. Select a tour created by a Gardens staff member (the medicinal plant tour includes the benefits of plants for wellness plus fun folklore) or make your own. Through this site, you can also peek at what’s currently blooming or look up the different flora in in the Gardens’ living collections. Find inspiration for your home landscape in the outdoor gardens at York Street (the Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden and Dryland Mesa are not irrigated: great ideas for a low-water landscape!), Mordecai Children’s Garden and Chatfield Farms or get a taste of the exotic by exploring the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory and Marnie’s Pavilion. Learn about each dazzling flower in Chatfield Farms’ historical iris collection; the oldest variety dates back to 1597.
Audio and photo tours through gardentool.info offer insight into the midcentury cast concrete architecture of Boettcher Memorial Center and Tropical Conservatory; historical information about Waring House, situated at the south end of the Gardens; and information on visitor favorites, like the Japanese Tea House.
Members of the Gardens can check out e-books through the Helen Fowler Library on a variety of topics including plants, fiction, cooking, herbalism, children’s stories, the environment and more.
And through the Digging into the Gardens blog, learn about flora in Colorado and in other countries, get tips for the garden you’re planning, and learn all sorts of things from what it’s like to work in our research labs to how to design a holiday light show like Blossoms of Light. There are hours and hours of reading on all kinds of topics.
These are strange and rapidly changing times to be sure. Hopefully through this virtual exploration of the Gardens you will find beauty and relaxation, learn things that excite and inspire you, and something to share with a friend or family member as you video chat, text, email or have a good old-fashioned phone call. And when the Gardens reopens, we’ll be thrilled to welcome you back in person.
Tiffany Coleman is the Marketing Manager with the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.
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