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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.

Beginning Mushroom Identification

Whether you want to collect mushrooms just to learn about them or to eat them, you will want to be able to identify them.

The two evening lectures will cover how to properly collect and identify mushrooms using their features and environment.

Then, join us for a field trip during which participants will collect mushrooms and practice identifying them. The location of the field trip will be based on Ed's scouting trip the day before to ensure there are mushrooms available to collect.

Students will be notified of the location for the trip the day before the trip.

 

Instructor: Ed Lubow has been hunting mushrooms since the 1970s and has been volunteering in the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at Denver Botanic Gardens since 2008.

Skill Level: All levels welcome

Price: $48, $43 member

Special Instructions: Note this class meets two thursdays, and has a four hour field trip as well.

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

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!

Spring comes gently on the Ranch: pasque flowers and easter daisies greet us as well as penstemons and numerous members of the pea family. What a great way to launch the new season than to amble through the Gambel Oaks seeking out early flowers and experiencing Spring Migration of several species of birds. The always spectacular Western Tanager is stopping off on its way from wintering in Mexico to its nesting area higher in the Colorado Mtns. You might see a Swainsons Hawk which has wintered in Argentina YES, ARGENTINA and makes the trip every spring to nest in this area. Nesting birds will be singing to attract a mate and establish a breeding territory. It is a great time to be outdoors.

 

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 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

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.

 

Tour and discuss the Calder: Monumental exhibition with a curator from the Gardens to gain valuable insight about the artist, his work and the development of the exhibition.

 

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.

Flower Essences: Nature's Gift

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

 

Students will immerse themselves in the energetic healing power of flower essences. Learn what they are, how they work and how to make them. Through a combination of intuition, plant communication and research students will see how the vibration of flowers can support the body, mind and spirit. Each participant will make an essence to take home. An edible and medicinal plant walk around the grounds will be included. Please bring a lunch and a pair of scissors.

Instructor: Mary O’Brien has been studying and practicing herbal medicine since 1987. She studied with many renowned teachers like Rosemary Gladstar, Brigitte Mars, Stephen Buhner and Michael Moore and completed the Chartered Herbalist program with Dominion Herbal College. A Colorado native, she has lived in Northwest Colorado over 20 years, where she teaches herbal medicine, leads medicinal plant walks, wild harvests, makes herbal products and maintains a medicinal garden for Yampa River Botanic Park. She is the co-author of the award winning “Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Southern Rockies”. She is certified in Advanced Permaculture and incorporates permaculture principles in her teaching and emphasizes the use of native and locally grown plants and weeds for plant-based self-care. She is passionate about empowering others to recreate a relationship with the plant world and become sustainable caretakers of Mother Earth.

Price: $47, $42 member

Special Instructions: Class will take place outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather, bring water and sunscreen and anything you need to be comfortable. Please bring a lunch and a pair of scissors.

 

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.

 

Selecting and Planting Trees Along the Front Range

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

Long-term success for trees along the Front Range is highly dependent on species selection and proper planting procedures. This class will identify trees that perform well in our environment and help diversify the urban forest. Secondly, it will aim to promote proper nursery selection and planting techniques.

Instructor: Erik Geyer, DBG Chatfield Farms Horticulturist

Erik Geyer is a Horticulturist for the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Eastern New Mexico University. He has arboriculture experience in the Southern Denver area and Northern New Mexico. Erik enjoys the challenge of growing trees along the front range of Colorado.

Price: $29, $24 member price

Special Instructions: Class will start indoors, and move outdoors for a walking tour; please dress according to weather and bring water and sunscreen!

 

 

Sunset on the Prairie

Enjoy a night out and get to know the prairie that is right outside your door in a whole new way. Take a wagon ride and enjoy one of the best views of the front range sunset as you learn about the short grass prairie ecosystem. Finish your night with s’mores around the campfire. This program is open to adults 18 and older.

Special Instructions: Class meets at Plains Conservation Center in Aurora and takes place outdoors; please dress accordingly. Program and activity is weather permitting.

Price: $15, $12 member

Photo: Sami Lester

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

 

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