Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Denver Botanic Gardens - Part 3: One last look

We got enough pictures at the Denver Botanic Gardens to do several more blog entries, but I feel the need to get back to writing about my own garden and what's happening here, so let me wrap up my visit there with this one last look.

I was distressed that many of the plants whose names I wanted to know did not have name tags, but then there were some places where there were plenty of tags - as here in the alpine garden - but the plants were not visible because they were covered with snow.  We visited on Saturday, four days after the snowfall, but in shaded areas of the garden, the snow still lingered.

The snow still clinging to the evergreen trees and shrubs made a pretty, wintry scene.

In some parts of the garden, shrubs and vines retained their leaves which were very colorful.

At times the colorful shrubs were still surrounded by patches of snow.

A wonderful feature of the garden was the sculptures by the Native American (Apache) artist Allan Houser which were integrated throughout.  This one is called Spirit Dancer.

What's better than one Spirit Dancer?  How about two?

This sculpture at the entrance to the ornamental grasses garden was by another artist, not Houser, and I failed to make note of the name.  But I know that the name of the sculpture was My Children.  I found it very affecting.

I loved the colors and textures of the ornamental grasses.  I've become a big fan because they are so resilient and drought tolerant and I'm trying to add more to my own garden.

One that I do have in my garden is Mexican feather grass.  Sad to say, mine does not look as healthy as these clumps.

Grasses and snow - a nice combination.

Grasses and sculpture - another nice combination.

Allan Houser drew upon his Native American heritage in his art, but he was also influenced by other sculptors, namely the English sculptor Henry Moore.  This Houser piece could easily be mistaken for Moore's work.

The Moore influence showed in many of the pieces on display.

Including this one.

Many of the plants also had a sculptural quality, like this wonderful staghorn sumac, which I absolutely loved.  I would like to grow it in my garden but I'm not sure that it would do well here.  I need to research what kinds of sumac I might be able to grow.  They are terrific plants for wildlife.

Another thing which I found very interesting in DBG was the use of water features.  I particularly liked this fountain with the water bubbling out of and spilling over the rock.  I wish I could have brought it home with me.  The birds in my backyard would love it!

Another one that I liked very much was this fountain.  It might be a little big for my yard though.

 This sculpture at the entry of a walkway was a show-stopper.

  So was this one which shows the other strong influence in Houser's work, his Apache heritage.

  And there I am, your intrepid reporter, looking for plants but also hoping to see birds - thus the binoculars around the neck.  The birder's motto: Be prepared! You never know when something wonderful might fly by.

 Not too many wonderful birds were about on this day, but the chickadees were well-represented.  This Black-capped Chickadee peeped at me through some colorful crabapple leaves and we'll let him have the honor of being the last image from Denver Botanic Gardens.

When you are in the Denver area, by all means, make time for a visit to the gardens.  We saw them not at their best, but I am certain that the place is worth a visit at any season of the year.  

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