Celebrate National Public Gardens Day May 11. Public gardens invite private moments: a kiss between lovers, a parent pushing a baby in a stroller, or an individual meditating on a park bench. Public gardens also encourage public moments: organized athletic events, family reunions, or company picnics.
Public gardens contribute to the well being of our communities. On May 11, plan to visit a metro Denver park, botanical gardens or arboretum to celebrate the day. National Public Gardens Day was created by the nonprofit American Public Gardens Association (APGA) in partnership with Rain Bird. National Public Gardens Day raises awareness about America’s public gardens and the important role outdoor spaces play in promoting environmental stewardship, plant and water conservation, as well as community education.
Denver benefits from an extensive system of parks and open spaces. Here for your consideration are six suggestions:
• Denver Botanic Gardens is the Mile High City’s crown horticultural jewel. Be sure to visit the new orangerie and greenhouse complex. DBG has another branch at Chatfield, too. Comprehensive website is worth reviewing to plan your visit.
• Hudson Gardens offers free admission the entire month during No Pay May.
• City Park includes beautiful gardens, mountain views, a lake with paddleboats, and other features such as the zoo and the nature/history museum. Click here for a map of City Park. And be sure to visit the Shakespeare tree in City Park.
• Washington Park includes some of the city’s most spectacular flower beds. And be sure to stop by Martha Washington’s Garden and the George Washington elm tree. One of Denver’s most popular parks with something for everyone.
• Babi Yar Park promotes Holocaust awareness, providing a place of contemplation and restoration. A highlight of the poignant park is the memorial arboretum with scores of maples planted in a grid. This park does not look like much from the road, but is worth a visit. Ample free parking.
• Civic Center Park includes dramatic display beds brimming with colorful annuals.
• Do you have other metro Denver public parks to recommend? Please leave details below in the comments section.
••• Cultivate your corner of the world: You grow your garden; your garden grows you.
Colleen Smith gardens in and writes from a historic neighborhood in central Denver. Her second book, “Laid-Back Skier,” was released in September 2011 and is available through FridayJonesPublishing.com or Amazon.com and in bookstores, boutiques, and museum gift shops.
Colleen Smith’s first novel, “Glass Halo,”is set in Denver, and was a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Literary Prize.
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