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Tours

Gardens staff, instructors and docents share with you their knowledge of and passion for plants, horticulture and art. We offer a variety of guided tours at our urban site and throughout the Front Range.

 

Tours at York Street:

Guided tours are an insightful view of the Gardens and its collections. These informative conversations also allow you to share your thoughts, ask questions, and uncover lesser-known spaces.

 

Offsite Tours:

Explore the beauty of Colorado! These guided walks take you away from the bustling of the city to learn from and reconnect with nature.

 

Tour Policy:

Payment for pre-scheduled tours is required upon registration.

Payment for private group tours requires a deposit (15% of your total cost) at the moment of reservation and payment of the balance five business days before your tour.

 

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations more than one business week prior to a tour are subject to a 15% cancellation fee.

Cancellations with less than one business week prior to a tour are non-refundable.

 

2017 Horticulture Home Garden Tour: Habitat Hero Gardens

A Habitat Hero is a gardener who, certified by the Audubon Rockies, includes diverse planting layers through the use of native and regionally adapted plants, provides shelter and nesting opportunities, offers natural food and water sources, does not spread invasive species of plants and does not rely on the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Come see three of the best and most diverse examples of Habitat Hero gardens throughout the Denver-metro area.

 

Price: $51, $46

Special Instructions: Transportation will be provided from Denver Botanic Gardens.

Calder: Monumental Tour

American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century and is known for his bold energetic sculptures. Calder: Monumental features these iconic works of bolted steel plate–which rise in sweeping curves, or puncture space with geometric lines–revealing the artist’s exploration of forms, volumes, and voids. Using shapes that resonate with the natural world, Calder’s large lively abstractions interact with the surrounding landscape.

Learn more about the sculptures with a docent guide during a one-hour tour of the exhibition.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Cherokee Fall Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

 

In Fall the Sumac and plums are turning color in the gullies, and the oaks are showing some burnished bronze. Fall is a fabulous season on Cherokee Ranch: Senecio, Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. The Spotted Towhee bird can be overlooked in the spring and summer, is more visible now since many of the spring and summer residents have started their fall migration. Two species of Jays – Scrub and Steller’s can now get the attention they deserve. They can be “missed” in spring and summer as we look at the other species.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

 

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Late Spring Nature Hike - at Cherokee Ranch and Castle

In late April, spring is in the air at Cherokee Ranch and Castle. Tree buds are welling buds and early flowers unfurl among the tattered grasses. Winter departs reluctantly, but this exciting season is when you can smell and almost taste spring everywhere. Snowbanks can still be lurking and mud puddles and morning fog suggests you should bring your parka and good boots! Don't forget your binoculars because many wintering birds are coming back --- including Western and Mountain Bluebirds which have started to nest. Cherokee Ranch has 230 nesting boxes for Bluebirds which are spread out over six trails that are monitored by volunteers. We might even see a Swainson's Hawk which wintered in Argentina.

 

Tour Guides: Mike Kintgen and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

Cherokee Late Summer Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure, you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

Late summer is an excellent time to observe the bounty of both flora and fauna rolling through the hills of Cherokee Ranch: Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. Mid- summer bird activity continues at Cherokee as well. It is possible to see three species of hummingbirds as they stop to feed to store up energy on their way to Central America for the winter. The Mountain and Western Bluebirds have finished nesting and the young (juveniles) are seen throughout the Ranch property. There is no better place to soak up the sun than on a late summer plant hike and bird watching adventure at Cherokee Ranch.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Spring Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

 

 

Cherokee Summer Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure—you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier—for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

At the beginning of Summer the grasses have greened up, although there may still be snow on the higher peaks, when we walk through meadows full of the bounty of early summer this is the peak season for many of the loveliest wildflowers; including One-sided Penstemon (Penstemon virgatus), lupines and Monument plant. It is also peak season for the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds that have made their way back from Mexico and Central America to nest at Cherokee. We will learn how to identify the male Broad-tailed Hummingbird just by hearing it fly as it darts between scarlet gilia trumpets. Two species of bluebirds and swallows will be active at this time as well as the tiny (4 ½ in) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that has returned from its winter grounds as far away as Central America to nest at Cherokee. Summer is prime time for viewing the plant and bird life at Cherokee, folks!

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cherokee Winter Nature Tour - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure—you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier—for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

 

Whoever says winter is the “dormant” season? Wise naturalists know that nature does not sleep, you can now SEE those birds flitting in the bare branches. Buds are set on everything, and there is much more than just bark, branches and berries to liven a walk. You can see two species of Chickadees and Nuthatches that never stop in their search for food and there are a few last lingering hints of flowers. You will be surprised at how many evergreens there really are; not just pines and junipers and Oregon Grape, but many of our native shrubs and forbs keep living foliage and rosettes through the winter: they are still hard at work chlorophyll pumping! You might also be surprised to know that some Dark-eyed Juncos fly all the way from the Pacific Northwest and even Canada to winter at Cherokee. Other winter species include Flicker, Woodpeckers and a resident Red-tailed Hawk. What better time and place than Cherokee Ranch in the bright, winter light.

 

 

$20 member, $25 non-member.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

 

 

 

* Plants don’t really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors –i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants

* Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure

*Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike

 

 

Coffee Cupping and Roastery Tour

*This class and tour takes place offsite at Kaladi Coffee Roasters, 2823 S. Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113*

 

This class is an introductory tour of coffees and their unique characteristics from places all over the world. Participants will taste 4-5 coffees side by side and discuss coffee growing, processing and how it relates to flavor distinctions. This class and tour will take place in the roastery, and will include a behind the scenes look into how coffee is roasted right here in Denver!

This class is for coffee connoisseurs as well as those who are just curious. All skills welcome!

Price: $29, $26 member, includes coffee tasting

Instructor: Mark Overly is President of Kaladi Coffee Roasters in Denver, Colorado an independent roaster of premium estate, shade grown, organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee. He has over twenty-five years of experience as a coffee buyer, beginning in Anchorage, Alaska where he grew a small roasting enterprise into the largest in the state. Mr. Overly was awarded the State of Alaska Small Business Person of the Year in 1993 by the Small Business Administration. He has been featured in numerous national publications including Nation³ Business and Entrepreneur Magazine. He was one of the first roasters in America to be Fair Trade Certified by Transfair USA. His coffee has been awarded Âest Coffee and Âest Espresso by the Rocky Mountain News and 5280 Magazine on multiple occasions. He has traveled extensively around the world assessing coffee producers for quality management and sustainability, and has lectured internationally on coffee quality.

Curator Conversations - Calder: Monumental

 

 

 

Price: $17, $15 member, $13 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Every Drop Counts Tour

Do you want a garden that is beautiful and requires little water? Or, are you new to the Denver area and want some ideas of plants in our climate and soil? Come join a docent-led tour that explores gardens full of texture and color made up of plants that can thrive in semi-arid climates.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Garden Guru Tour

Immerse yourself in the Gardens with a horticulturist as your guide. Gain insight into living museum collections and walk away with gardening tips from an expert. In 2017, to compliment the Gardens’ programmatic theme of water, each tour features a unique focus on the Gardens’ use of water, water conservation or plant water needs.

 

February: Orchids and their water needs

April: Plants that are adapted to steppe environments with a focus on water-smart gardens

July: Plants that live in water

October: Great Colorado native plants that only need rain water to thrive

 

Price: $17, $15 member

 

Special instructions: Tours can be both indoors and outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance. Tours are one-hour long.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. These tours are not available for private parties.

Gardening With Lavender Tour

 

* This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, C-470 and Wadsworth *

Take a stroll through the new Lavender Garden at Chatfield Farms and learn about the different species and varieties that grow well in the Rocky Mountain Region. You will be introduced to different growing methods including growing lavender as a garden perennial, container plant, and agricultural crop. Several other garden features within the Lavender Garden will also be explained, to include the Labyrinth, Rock Garden, Pollinator Perennial Beds and Herb Garden. The tour is led by Angie Jewett, Horticulturist and primary lavender grower on the farm.

 

Instructor: Angie Jewett, DBG Chatfield Farms Horticulturist

 

Price: $15, $12 member price

 

Special Instructions: The tour is all outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather and bring water and sunscreen!

Midsummer Nights Tour

In Elizabethan times in England, midsummer’s eve (also known as the summer solstice) was a night to revel. This tour celebrates the long days of summer by focusing on the edible, medicinal and mischievous properties of the plants that played important roles in Shakespeare's works. Guided by quotes from his plays, expect to hear about the life and times of Elizabethan England and of plants such as love-in-idleness, tickle my fancy, gillyvor and heartsease. This is a 75-minute docent-led tour.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Seasonal Discoveries Tour

No matter the time of year, botanical treasures await your discovery with these guided tours of gardens at their seasonal peaks. Experience the Gardens’ landscape at its best, whether through the early bulbs of spring, the colorful bounty of summer or the crackling beauty of fall.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

 

Tour - Birds and Bees Walk

A tour of our Birds and Bees Walk led by horticulturist Sonya Anderson explores the woodland path to discover plants and design geared towards attracting birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.

 

Price: $12, $10

Special Instructions: Meet in the lobby court

 

Tour - DBG Water-wise Gardens

Join Dan Johnson, Curator and Associate Director of Horticulture, on a tour throughout the Gardens’ waterwise gardens and talks about specific plants and gardening techniques used to conserve water.

 

Price: $12, $10

Tour - Denver Water-wise Garden Tour

Interested in how to create a garden that will use less of Colorado’s precious water supply? Join this self-guided tour of local urban water-wise gardens. See how fellow Denverites have creatively used native and low water use plants, greywater, harvested water to grow beautiful landscapes. Every garden boasts water conservation through the extensive use of mulch and hand-dug earthworks infiltrating the rain to grow diverse drought-tolerant edible perennials.

 

This self-guided tour is open house style. Participants receive a map with marked tour stops and descriptions of each garden.

 

Price: $10 general public

Tour - Green Roofs

Denver Botanic Gardens’ Horticulturist Amy Schneider leads a tour of the Gardens’ Green Roof, Denver’s first green roof on a city-owned building. The project, completed in 2007 was designed to be publicly accessible, interpretive and educational, demonstrating the many environmental and community benefits of green roofs.

 

Price: $12, $10 members

Special Instructions: Meet in the lobby court

 

Tour - Rock Alpine Garden

Mike Kintgen, Denver Botanic Gardens’ Curator of Alpine Collections, leads a tour of the Gardens’ Rock Alpine Garden near its flora peak and talks how participants can create some of this beautify in their yard.

 

Price: $12, $10 members

Special Instructions: Meet in the lobby court

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