Stop And Smell The Flowers At The Denver Botanic Gardens — And Then Take Some Home

Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens
A scene from the Denver Botanic Gardens’ annual plant sale, May 7, 2020.

April showers and snowstorms are finally bringing out May flowers. Few places in Denver are excited for the change in weather as the city’s Botanic Gardens, where its resident flora are celebrating the new season with splashes of color. 

Erin Bird, who heads public relations for the Gardens, said the time is almost right for flowers at their York Street location to hit their peak. 

“It's a really great time to visit the gardens as we see a lot of the plants coming out of their winter dormancy,” she said. “We have hyacinths and tulips scattered throughout the gardens right now. Then in the annual garden, that is where we have the big beds of tulips. Those we expect to be at peak in the next week or so.”

That time also happens to fall during the gardens’ annual plant sale. While many of the sales were moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic, any leftover plants will be available to take home (for a price) on May 10 and 11. 

By the end of the event, Bird said the gardens will have sold as many as 55,000 plants. 

“You can take home essentially a piece of the Botanic Gardens that our horticulturists have grown either from seed or from propagating from plants in our collection,” Bird said. 

An added bonus of shopping safely in person is that potential plant parents will “be able to talk to the horticulturists to get some tips about what plants will do best in your garden or patio.”

Last fall, the Botanic Gardens opened a new building that gave them even more space for special exhibitions. This spring, the gardens welcomed plant-themed artworks from Salvador Dalí, on loan from the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Denver-based artist Kevin Sloan, who reframes the often-overlooked plant world on the edge of urban landscapes. 

Bird says the summer should be just as exciting for the Botanic Gardens. 

“We are doing what we're calling Evenings Al Fresco, and those will happen a couple of weeknights every week from June through August,” Bird said. “It's an event that has been designed to be safe and enjoyable for people during this still kind of transitional time for us. Instead of the single large-format concert, as people wander through the gardens, they will encounter some intimate live music performances.”

While the pandemic may have changed some things at the Denver Botanic Gardens, the flowers and the plants are always ready to welcome visitors.