Colorado Wildflower Tour, Part 1...

Jules and I just got back from Colorado.  We went on a wildflower tour with the Extension Department from Utah State University, and it was a blast.  We had so much fun and learned so much!  We toured several gardens and bummed around Fort Collins, Colorado.  We explored the University of Colorado, went to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park to see wildflowers, and drank the best root beer we have ever had!  We saw arboretums and trial gardens, community gardens, formal and informal gardens.  The story is best told through photos, so I thought I would share a few with you...

Goodbye polluted Utah!!!  Coming back it was like descending into a brown haze.  We need some wind! 
Welcome to Denver - Sunflower fields greeted us! 
Denver Botanical Center was our first stop.  The gardens were amazing.  They had several bamboo sculptures made by two artist throughout the garden.  They mirrored the landscape, it was incredible.  They also seemed to move like the plants that surrounded them.  
The lily pad collections were stunning.  I could spend all day staring at them.  They dye the water black with a natural non-toxic dye so that you can see the specimens better.
Looking up from the native grass gardens, another bamboo sculpture.  From this side, it looked like wind blowing across the plains.  From the other side, it appeared to be water. 
Hyacinth beans on trellises.  They had all kinds of vegetables intermixed with the annual plantings.  Squashes, melons, cucumbers, corn, all gave texture, height, and filled in the garden.  Great ideas!
This is by a different artist.  This was in the Japanese Gardens and was supposed to reflect the world that we live in.  The sculptures moved and floated across the pond.  Very interesting texture and use of natural elements. 
Japanese Gardens.  The koi in this pond were massive!
Native plants garden.  Everything in this garden was found as a native within a 50-mile radius.  Gorgeous.  
Proof that Denver Botanical Center waters the same way that we do on the farm.  I love these little sprinklers, I think we have four or five of them!!! 
One of my favorite plants.  I have about 200 photos of plants that I fell in love with!!!  I think I have a plant problem...
Loved this vine in the tropical plant houses. 
Another bamboo sculpture that you see as you enter and exit the gardens.  It has such great movement!
Denver Botanical Center was by far the fussiest and most formal of the gardens that we visited.  It was very structured and established.  It was started in the early 1960's and has massive funding to keep it going.  I think that we all gained a bit of a vision of what the USU Botanical Center (USUBC) should be moving toward in the next few years.  It's so exciting to think of what is in store for us that work and visit at USUBC!

I have so much more to share.  Look for Part 2 in the next few days, it will include Rocky Mountain National Park, University of Colorado Trial Gardens, Gardens at Spring Creek and a few other fun things.


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