The Magic of the Denver Botanic Gardens
Have you ever lived in a place and realized after years there, that you had not experienced one of its most precious jewels? I have now been living in Colorado for almost thirteen years and just last night was my first visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens. There is nothing like visiting a gorgeous garden and getting outside, to enjoy and celebrate the season of Spring. This came to my mind as I strolled with my dear friend Tom to the gardens, which are excitedly located just a few blocks from my house in the downtown Denver neighborhood of Capitol Hill.
Arriving at our destination, we entered and immediately realized that we had come at one of the best times possible…the sun was setting behind large billowing clouds in the west, creating a light in the air that was pristine. Cast over everything was a dancing blend of shadows and light that brought to life the already vibrant foliage of the flowers, bushes, and trees that we began to visit.After entering through the front welcome center and gift shop, we made our way forward and allowed an elegant wide walkway to our left to welcome us in. Gardens must be where “strolling” was invented, for there is no better place to leisurely walk, almost in a floating glide, than amongst fresh blossoming flowers. There was an abundance of flowers that grow past the height of my waist (which I realize is not an immense feat for anything, given my short stature).
Everywhere I turned and gazed were grasses of varying shades that I marveled at how endless the differing colors of green can be. My eyes drank in colors and textures, all alive with life and energy that seemed to be aware of me. What especially left an impression on me was the natural interaction of architecture and sculpture with trees and flowers. From the vases overflowing bright smiling flowers to white lights twinkling in the dark green leaves of the trees, to sculptures of steel and bronze poised on soil as if even they had roots growing in the ground. Together, it all creates a most beautiful scene of nature and human, that I could literally feel it as if it were reaching out and touching me.
Everywhere we went, from the South African gardens to the Chinese and Japanese gardens, to the Victorian and Colorado mountain exhibits, I felt I was visiting world after magical world. The sound of running water, trickling, cascading, flowing and even jumping, accompanied the rustle of leaves that occasionally sounded on a breeze. The paths meander and twist and curve. Some lead straight, made of cement or small bricks, while others are narrow dirt paths that exudes the energy of childhood adventures. Paths like these beckoned to me, giving the energy of excitement and adventure of hidden treasure to be found.
Colors, colors, and colors…so many vibrant alive colors! More than what my eyes and especially heart can take in! Yet how I loved to try…how I enjoyed holding my nose to the sweet intoxicating scent of peonies in the Chinese garden and standing still to drink in the startling reds, yellows, and oranges of poppies that line the green house.
Coming to this enchanted world is not for just a visit here and there…it is crafted and maintained for returning often. There is an outdoor cafe alongside a large still pond, inviting us to sit at the wooden folding chairs and tables under the lush canopy of green leaves decorated with white lights. A restaurant is inside one of the several buildings on the grounds and all throughout are open lawn areas of soft grass for us to lounge on blankets and savor picnics. I am not the only one who appreciates the splendor and beauty of this gem for enjoying outdoor experiences…there are several events this summer for enjoying the ambiance in a special way, with everything from swing dancing and picnic date nights to beer and wine tastings!
I will be back soon to this magical place…the countless benches placed throughout are calling me back to sit and journal, to meditate and relax, all in the company of this garden’s life…of this sweetly endearing and magical place.
To enjoy more beautiful photos, visit my online album: Denver Botanic Gardens