Public gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens
Waterlilies dot the Monet Pond at the Denver Botanic Gardens. | Photo by VBSouthern / Wikipedia

By Linda Cornett

Colorado isn’t just rocks and pine trees. The state is home to thousands of varieties of hardy native plants, and it seems every newly arrived visitor added some growing thing to remind them of home.

What the transplants (human) quickly learned is that Colorado’s arid climate and hard-built soil don’t welcome all transplants (botanical).

From a 124-acre eden of trees from around the world to a commercial garden devoted to short-lived glories of colorful iris to tropical escapes protected inside humid shelters, the state’s many public gardens show off the efforts of their human caretakers.

Here is a sampler of the state’s best public gardens:

Aurora
Aurora Water Xeriscape Demonstration Garden

Boulder
Andrews Arboretum
Long’s Iris Gardens

Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Utilities Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens
Horticultural Art Society Gardens

Denver
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Water Utility Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
Chester M. Alter Arboretum at the University of Denver

Fort Collins
Gardens on Spring Creek

Grand Junction
Western Colorado Botanical Gardens

Lakewood
Gardens at Kendrick Lake Park

Littleton
Hudson Gardens and Event Center

Loveland
High Plains Environmental Center

Montrose
Montrose Botanical Gardens

Vail
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Westminster
Butterfly Pavilion Gardens