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Morning Photography


This is self-guided, no instructor event allows participants to photograph the sculptures in beautiful morning light, before the Gardens opens.

This self-guided, no instructor event allows participants to photograph the sculptures in beautiful morning light, before the Gardens opens.


To be held once a month.


$26 members, $28 non members.


Image Credit: Dale Chihuly, Blue Fiddleheads (detail), 2012. Dallas Arboretum, Dallas.



Mount Goliath Tour


Discover the life cycles and lore of the alpine tundra and the intense beauty of a natural garden that lasts only 40 frost-free days.

This is a trail of contrasts--awesome Rocky Mountain vistas of the Divide peaks; delicate floral treasures; wind-sculpted, ancient bristlecone pines; cold summit winds; and gentle summer breezes. The path winds through the exquisite blooms of the alpine tundra, talus slopes and subalpine meadows providing a delightful and educational tour in one of Colorado's most beautiful natural areas.


Mount Goliath docents lead the tour down the stunning M. Walter Pesman Trail – -a moderately difficult, 1.5 mile downhill trek from 12,153 ft. to 11,540 ft.


Important Remarks:

- Limited to 24 participants

- Tours are free of charge. However, YOU MUST PAY the amenity fee to the U.S. Forest Services at the Mount Evans Fee Station

- Be aware: this is a downhill trek on a moderately difficult trail that starts at 12,100 ft. Before registering, please ensure that you are physically fit and medically able to participate in vigorous physical activity at high altitude conditions.

- Donations to the Gardens for Mount Goliath tours are accepted and you can do so by choosing to register with the $10 option below.

- Tours are open to adults and children 10 years old and up.

- A Denver Botanic Gardens membership does not allow free access to the Mount Evans Recreation Area. Visitors to Mount Goliath and Mount Evans need to pay the amenity fee.

- Tours with less than 10 participants are subject to cancellation.

- Mount Goliath tours are not available as private tours

- For more information contact us at tours@botanicgardens.org


Please note - the Gardens does not manage the Mount Goliath recreational area, and questions not directly related to tours should be directed to the Clear Creek Ranger District in Idaho Springs.


Open Studio

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.


Open Studio is for everyone who wants to experience a creative and supportive environment without attending a structured workshop. You can work on your own projects during open hours, at your own pace. A tutor is available for help and advice (10 a.m. – Noon and 2 - 4 p.m.), but there will be no formal teaching. The tutor will help you to get started on a project or advise how to add the finishing touches. Attending the Open Studio will be ideal for everyone who wants to advance his/her personal projects (or ideas) or need to refresh his/her knowledge of any media. Fee: $20/session member, $25/session non-member. Pre-registration required.


• Thu, July 24, 1-4 p.m.

• Wed, Aug. 27, 1-4 p.m.

• Thu, Sep. 25, 1-4 p.m.

• Wed, Oct. 15, 1-4 p.m.


Perfecting Perspective

Do you shy away from complicated plants? Even experienced illustrators sometimes struggle with foreshortening and simplify their subjects to eliminate difficult elements. Work with botanical subjects that demonstrate each aspect of perspective and learn techniques for seeing and depicting perspective accurately. The class will work entirely in graphite pencil, but the principles apply to all art media. Gain confidence in your drafting skills and improve all of your drawings from this class forward. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.


• Thu, Aug. 14, 21, 28, Sept. 4, 18, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


• Fri - Sun, Nov. 14-23, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Pickling and Canning Fruit at Chatfield


Pickling fruit? Really? Take summer's bounty and create an interesting fruit condiment that pairs well with meats, cheeses, and sweets. Join us in our new outdoor kitchen for a hands-on simple instructional on how to preserve all your seasonal garden delights with water bath canning.


Each class will be 3 hours long so everyone has a chance to do, see and taste. All participants will take a home a gourmet jar of pickled fruit to enjoy at home.


$42 member, $45 nonmember, $38 CSA shareholders (reciprocal member)

Instructor: Kathy Lee

Photo Credit: SuzukiQ (Flickr)

Plant Portraits for Publication: NEW Plant Select Book

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.


Plant Select® is a well-established, unique collaborative venture between Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University and Green Industries of Colorado. Its main aim is to identify and distribute the best plants for gardens from the High Plains to the intermountain regions. The first publication, “Durable Plants for the Garden,” published in 2009, featured 75 plants with beautiful illustrations to accompany the text and photographs. Since then, many new plants have been included in the Plant Select® program. Be part of the plan for a second publication. Draw to publishers’ specifications from a list of newer Plant Select® introductions. Working half in graphite and half in color, learn to address scale, style, composition and color. With individualized help and group critique you’ll create a finished plate that may be chosen for publication in the new book. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.


• Tue, Sep. 2, 9, 1-4 p.m., Fri, Sep. 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tue, Sep. 23, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin


Plant to Plate Cooking Class - Single class

Discover the many plants you eat as we explore the Chipotle Home Harvest Garden and harvest fresh herbs and veggies. Learn basic cooking skills and try out a variety of kitchen tools to create delicious snacks.

$26 members; $29 non-members per child or child/adult combo. Additional adults or children can attend the afternoon class for $13 members, $15 non-member.



Plein-Air Painting


Plein air is a French expression that means “in the open air.” Be inspired by the abundant colors and subjects of the Gardens and the Chihuly exhibition to create striking paintings.


Instructor Judith Scott has taught art for over thirty years. She will guide you in finding your personal color and design choice, catching the ‘feel’ of the place and day, and applying techniques from the medium of your choice. Depth of field, atmosphere, expression, and concern for values will also be emphasized. This outdoor painting session is open to all levels, including the beginner. Students are responsible for their own materials and easel.


$22 member, $25 non-member

Instructor: Judith Scott


Image: Courtesy of Historic Gardens (Flickr)

Pop-Up the Vegetables and Critters!

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.


Explore the exciting structure of a cauliflower. See the drama in a potato. Discover a lively way to give wing to a dragonfly. Vegetable gardens invite us to focus on all parts of edible plants, and also the various bugs that help or hinder the gardener's efforts. In this workshop you will build a series of increasingly-complex pop-ups in greeting card form, handy for display or gifts. Fee: $300 member, $350 non-member. Beginners are welcome; experienced participants will explore new ways of applying fundamental mechanics to plant (and bug) forms.


No refunds for registration cancellations after October 5, 2014, unless your seat can be filled.


• Fri -– Sun, Nov. 7-9, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Shawn Sheehy, Chicago, IL


Shawn Sheehy's interest in paper engineering is a result of study in sculpture, graphic design and book arts. His interest in the natural world stems from his years living in rural Indiana and teaching environmental studies. Shawn creates limited-edition pop-up books, contributes on the occasional commercial pop-up project and teaches paper engineering workshops. If he's not in the studio, you can find him in the garden.


Principles of Pruning

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group I

Pruning practices have evolved with advances in science, technology and tools. Improper trimming and cutting can damage your trees and shrubs, and make them more susceptible to damage from our unpredictable fall and spring snows. Enhance the beauty and strength of your trees by learning when, why and how to prune. You will be introduced to the theory of pruning and the tools you need.

There will be a 1-hour break for lunch. The last hour and a half of the class will feature a hands-on demonstration of proper pruning practices.  

Dress for an outdoor class. Bring water, a bag lunch and sunscreen.


$95 member, $105 non-member.


Instructor: Tim Buchanan


Putting Your Rose Garden to Bed


Just about everyone grows a rose bush or two.Congress designated the rose as America s national floral emblem in 1986.The popularity of growing roses began thousands of years ago and continues today.The rose growing series offered by American Rose Society Consulting Rosarians and experts from the Denver Rose Society will cover how to grow healthy, easy care beautiful roses for years to come. The series covers secrets to successful rose growing, no pain pruning, versatile shrub roses, fragrant roses, and winter care. Choose one class or take them all and come away with confident rose growing skills and greater appreciation for the  Queen of Flowers. 



Putting your Rose Garden to Bed

Preparing your roses for winter is the key to growing those fabulous flowers in the spring. Learn why fall and winter care keeps your roses healthy from year to year and how to prepare new rose beds for spring planting. Get tips on early transplanting or rearranging the rose bed. A recommended list of roses that do well along the Front Range and higher altitudes will be included to take home.



$27 member, $32 non-member.


Instructor: Peggy Williams




Realism in Botanical Illustration

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.


Bridge the gap between abstract theory and practical knowledge through skillful instruction. You will be introduced to James Gurney’s “Color and Light” and learn to apply its principles to botanical illustration. Learn the theory of color as it applies to creating a realistic image. You get plenty of individual guidance and learn how to work both in the gray scale and color mediums while creating your final piece, a convincingly realistic illustration similar to those in Gurney’s “Color and Light.” A copy of the book, which James Gurney has signed especially for you, is included in the course price. Fee: $255 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I or Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.


• Thu, July 31, Aug. 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


Seedlings: Curious Carniverous Plants

Plants have families, just like people do. Take a look at the family of plants that chomp down on bugs and other creepy crawlies.


• Ages 18-24 months: Tuesday, August 19, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

• Ages 24-36 months: Thursday, August 21, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

• Ages 3-6 years: Wednesday, August 20, 9:30 or 11 a.m.





Seedlings: Life in the Pond


Peek into the depths of Pipsqueak Pond to discover water plants and animals.


Ages 18-24 mos: Tuesday, August 12, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 24-36 mos: Thursday, August 14, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 3-6 yrs: Wednesday, August 13, 9:30 or 11 a.m.


Seedlings: Magical Monarchs


Explore the milkweed plant that a baby monarch calls home and discover this magnificent insect.


Ages 18-24 mos: Tuesday, August 26, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 24-36 mos: Thursday, August 28, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 3-6 yrs: Wednesday, August 27, 9:30 or 11 a.m.


Seedlings: Mismatched Vegetable Patch

Have you ever eaten black lettuce, purple carrots or yellow watermelon?


Ages 18-24 mos: Tuesday, July 29, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 24-36 mos: Thursday, July 31, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 3-6 yrs: Wednesday, July 30, 9:30 or 11 a.m.

Seedlings: Musical Garden


Join us as we explore a variety of musically named plants and discover the music that plants have to offer.


Ages 18-24 mos: Tuesday, August 5, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 24-36 mos: Thursday, August 7, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Ages 3-6 yrs: Wednesday, August 6, 9:30 or 11 a.m.

Seven Principles of Water-Smart Gardening

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group I

Gardening remains high and dry in the Rocky Mountain region! Water-Smart Gardening is an environmentally friendly way to create a beautiful home landscape that will thrive under low water conditions. Join this class to learn the principles of Water-Smart Gardening and some of the many plants that you can incorporate into your yard.


$55 member, $62 non-member.


Instructor: David Winger

Sharp on Succulents

Registration opens June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

Rise to challenge! Arm yourself with new painting strategies to portray these complex, sculptural plants. Learn watercolor techniques that target the contrasting textures seen in cacti, euphorbias and other cactus-like succulents, thorns and ridges to fleshy leaves and stems. Blend washes and mix colors to achieve the range of greens appropriate to these plants. Plenty of demonstrations, samples and individual guidance will help you create a finished plate in watercolor. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration


• Mon, July 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas


Simple Water-Bath Canning

A hands-on class to teach the basics of simple, water bath canning. Participants will assist in the canning preparation and processing, and receive a jar of each item to take home. The class will include:

- Zesty Spaghetti Sauce (techniques for canning tomatoes and tomato products)

- Lemon Cucumber Pickles (techniques for pickling vegetables)

- Spiced Peach Jam (techniques for jams and jellies)


Participants will receive recipes for the items prepared in class and general canning instructions. Class will also include information about canning equipment and canning/food safety issues.



Sundari Kraft. Sundari is the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading" and writes about cooking and canning for her website at EatWhereULive.com. Her interest in sustainable food production led her to learn about canning as a way to preserve her garden's harvest.


$45 member and non-member - includes $10 for materials


Photo: Courtesy of cjmartin (Flickr)

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