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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.


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.


Instructor: David Winger

Price: $62, $55 members

Spring Break Camp: Garden Explorers

March 26 - 30, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Get ready for a fun week of exploration, crafts and culinary arts at Denver Botanic Gardens! We will play, plant and prepare delicious snacks using fresh ingredients.

This camp is designed for ages 6-12.

No After-Care is available this week.

Price: $250 member, $270 non-member

Starting Your Garden from Seed

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Few things excite a gardener more than buying new plants for their gardens, especially if the plants are exotics, unusual or heirlooms. Second-only to the creation of new plants is the financial benefit of growing your own plants, whether flowers, herbs or vegetables.

This class will demystify the seed-starting process primarily focused to the novice gardener, but a good review of the best success tips if a more advanced gardener needs a refresher. Learn simple seed botany and the process of best practices for successful seed germination, successful transplanting, and seed collection and storage and cover some of the reasons seeds and seedlings fail.

After discussion, participants will get a hands-on demonstration and students will leave with seed trays and seeds to return home and practice what you have learned in class. This class will help you up your game to produce all the transplants you could possibly need and set you up for upcoming classes on spring and summer vegetable gardening and succession planting.


Instructor: Patti O'Neal

Price: $37, $32 members, includes $5 for materials.

Special Instructions: Each participant will get a seed tray for seed starting, with all necessary materials to get your garden going this year!

Image Courtesy of: photofarmer (flickr)

STEAM in the Gardens

Bring a little STEAM into your classroom curriculum using inquiry methods to teach a variety of subjects using the Gardens as a resource. Appropriate for elementary and middle school levels.

0.5 semester hours of graduate level relicensure credit from the Colorado School of Mines is available on the day of the class for an additional $40.

Summer Camp: Art in the Garden

June 25-29, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. • July 23-27, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Awaken your passion for drawing, sculpting, painting, gardening and the art of science. We’ll explore Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting and uncover your artistic skills. Explore the connections between plants and art through form, color and texture. This will be a full week of exploration, creativity and play.

Price: $250 members, $270 non-members. Scholarships are available, call for details.

After-Care is available from 4-5:30 p.m. for an additional $50 per week.

Summer Camp: Potions and Plants

June 18-22, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. • July 16-20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Get lost in the mystical world of plants. Investigate the connection between plants and potions. Make your own lotion and plant a mini-garden to take home.

Price: $250 members, $270 non-members.

After-Care is available from 4-5:30 p.m. for an additional $50 per week.

Summer Camp: Trowels and Travels

June 11-15, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. • July 9-13, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Travel the world at Denver Botanic Gardens! Explore plants, art and food from around the globe during this fun week of discovery.

Price: $250 members, $270 non-members.

After-Care is available from 4-5:30 p.m. for an additional $50 per week.

Surface Patterns with Watercolor Pencil


Accentuate surface patterns and textures that enhance a botanical subject. Learn how to color patterns on bark, prickly seed pods and succulents, the texture and pattern on melon skins, or the smooth and wet interiors of fruits and vegetables. Illustrate with a palette of creative applications including graphite, watercolor pencil and color pencil.


Prerequisites: Watercolor Pencil I.


Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.



Mon, March 26, April 9, 16, 23, 30, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


Sustainable Greenhouse Design

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Have you ever wondered if a greenhouse that needs NO supplemental heating or cooling could be made? The answer is yes!

No more over-heating and freezing in all-glazed greenhouses. The sustainable design balances the use of thermal mass, glazing, insulation and sun angles to achieve the stabilization needed in our extreme climate without the use of fossil fuels. Learn how to design a sustainable greenhouse from the ground up, using salvaged or new materials to achieve the look and performance you want. You can also use these techniques to improve an existing greenhouse.

This class is a comprehensive look at how passive solar greenhouses work and covers topics such as how to orient the building, basic principles of passive solar design including the use of stored water as thermal mass, simple math formulas to help guide your design, a materials list and drawings and calculations for a 13’ x 15’ greenhouse.

In 2000, the Parmenters built their first greenhouse out of 90% recycled materials on top of an 8,120 ft. elevation decomposed granite mountain. Since then, they have designed and built many more and are ready to share what they have learned about state-of-the-art materials and cost-saving strategies. Lose yourself in a year round garden sanctuary.


Price: $160, $150 members

Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter are high altitude food growers. They live in the Wet Mountains in South Central Colorado and they apply a multitude of techniques to overcome the challenges of the high country. Their totally sustainable greenhouse provides food year round for them and their three boys.


Teaching Plants from Root to Seed

Discover methods of integrating plant science into your classroom curriculum with a detailed look at what each plant part does. Also learn about plant classification and experience hands-on activities that you can easily transfer to your classroom.


$50 member, $55 nonmember.


One-half semester hour of graduate level relicensure credit from the Colorado School of Mines is available on the day of the class for an additional $40.


The Growing Classroom - how to successfully grow plants in your classroom

Have you always wanted to grow plants in your classroom but don’t have a green thumb? We’ll go over techniques to successfully grow plants indoors along with activities for students to learn about plants and planting. Appropriate for all classroom teachers.

$55 member, $65 nonmember.


One-half semester hour of graduate level relicensure credit from the Colorado School of Mines is available on the day of the class for an additional $40 (payable by check only).


The Historical Trees in Denver


In 1968 landscape designer Al Rollinger undertook the huge effort of doing a street-by-street survey in Denver, noting the species, location, diameter and height of over 1,100 trees of 46 species. Nearly 50 years later, we have realized how valuable the data collected in this survey could be to analyze the health, mortality and growth patterns of these species. The Gardens is in the process of finding, measuring and photographing these trees to determine which are still alive and to determine growth patterns. The data will be analyzed and stored in a database held by the Denver Office of the City Forester and the results will be reported in a book along with before and after pictures, stories of some of the most interesting or unique trees and implications for the future of trees in Denver. Illustrations from this class will be included in the book.


Begin with a tour to find some of these historical trees close to the Gardens. Learn how to scale and draw entire trees from a distance outdoors, including the canopy, branches and trunks. Back in the classroom; create a composition including the silhouette as well as detailed views of leaves, bark and twigs. Work in graphite and color of your choice to carefully depict form and texture. Your finished portrait will be a record of a growing part of Denver s history.



Prerequisites: Pencil II and/or entry level of medium of your choice.


Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.


Thu, May 10, 17, 24, 31, June 7, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Randy Raak


The Water-Smart Flower Garden

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group II

In our dry region, sustainable gardening means using little or no irrigation water. By choosing the best waterwise plants we make our gardens in tune with the climate and conditions, conserve an ever-scarcer resource, and last but not least, nurture our aesthetic spirit and the web of life around us. Lauren will explore a rich palette of lovely flowering plants that need little if any water, soil amendment or fertilizers, that attract pollinators and beneficial wildlife, and require little effort to keep happy and beautiful.

Instructor Bio: Long-time DBG instructor Lauren Springer Ogden is a designer, author, and plantswoman. She designed several gardens at DBG including the popular WaterSmart Garden and the native Visitors’ Center gardens at Chatfield Farm. She is on staff at the Gardens on Spring Creek in her hometown of Fort Collins, creating and tending the new ½ acre waterwise Undaunted Garden. Her work has appeared in books, magazines, and on television, and her plant introductions are available at regional nurseries.

Price: $34, $29 members

Third Thursday Tree Walks

Come join DBG staff and Alan Rollinger, expert in the trees of Denver, for a monthly tour of some of the most significant and interesting trees in our city. Many different tree species have been planted in the city since its establishment in the 1800s, providing us with an impressive urban forest and tree canopy. Implications for the future of our urban trees will be discussed. 2018 tours will focus on campuses, cemeteries, and parks; future years will look at neighborhoods.

Tours will last from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and will be approximately a mile in length. Dress appropriately for weather conditions. An optional bring-your-own picnic will be held at the end of each tour.

Instructor: Alan Rollinger

Price: $40, 35 member


Tree Walk Series Dates and Locations

April 19, 2018 - Regis Univeristy campus

May 17, 2018 - Fairmount Cemetery

June 21, 2018 - University of Denver campus

Tour - Dye Garden Tour at Chatfield Farms


This class takes place at Chatfield Farms located at C470 & Wadsworth.


Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms has a dye garden full of plants that give color to natural fibers. Spend the morning touring the dye garden, learning about dye plants and how to use them for color.


Price: $15, $12 member


Instructor: Donna Brown is a fiber artist from Denver. A natural dyer with over 25 years of natural dyeing and teaching in venues across the US and abroad including Penland School of Crafts, and John C. Campbell Folk School. She is the former owner of the Dyeworks  a natural dye company. Donna is an active Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms volunteer who helped start the Janice Ford Memorial Dye Garden.


Tour: Slow Flowers at The Fresh Herb Co.

Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers leads a visit to one of Colorado's most productive and photogenic flower farms! Guests are greeted by flower farmers Chet and Kristy Anderson, owners of The Fresh Herb Co. in Longmont which is profiled in Prinzing's book, "The 50 Mile Bouquet." The Andersons lead a tour of the fields and greenhouse at The Fresh Herb Co. See how flowers are harvested and made into bouquets destined for Boulder farmers markets, Whole Foods and other outlets in the area, and learn the ingredients of a signature Fresh Herb Co. bouquet.

Following the tour, participants can wander and photograph the farm and fields, then gather for a picnic-style lunch featuring a local menu from one of The Fresh Herb Co.'s many culinary partners (all the herbs will come from this farm, of course).

Price: $55, $50 members, includes lunch

Instructors: Chet and Kristy Anderson are the owners of The Fresh Herb Co., based in Longmont. They are long established local growers with over 30 years of experience on their farm. The Fresh Herb Co. began growing and selling fresh culinary herbs, then specialty vegetables and then organic salad greens. After 20 years, Chet and Kristy expanded their focus to ornamentals and flowers and recently began growing succulents. They offer fun and interesting selections of succulents in a wide array of sizes, garden combinations and varieties.


As the preeminent local producers of ornamentals, naturally grown herb plants, hanging baskets, succulents and cut flowers, you can find their beautiful products throughout the region at Whole Foods and the N. Boulder Lucky’s Market. On Saturdays from April to November you will find The Fresh Herb Co. at the Boulder Farmers Market, and the Denver Union Station Farmers Market from June until October.


Chet Anderson,CFP (Chief Flower Picker) is one of the original seven founders of the Boulder Farmers Market. Kristy is the past president of the Boulder Farmers Market board of directors and was instrumental in leading the focused expansion of the growers only market model in Boulder County and Denver Union Station.


Price: $55, $50 members, includes lunch


Transparent Acrylics


Spring offers such beauty in the garden capture it in color. Although transparent acrylic looks similar to watercolor, the damp-on-damp technique offers a more controlled and methodical application process. The result: gorgeous, luminous washes. Step-by-step instruction, demonstrations and exercises provide students with the necessary skills to build washes, variegated patterns, soft textures, intricate detail and a final iris illustration. Select your favorite spring blooms and create a breath-taking final painting.


Prerequisites: Watercolor I


Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.




Tue, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 10, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Treat Yourself Tuesdays - Front Range Archaeology Tour - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Learn about the prehistory of the Front Range area from a short lecture and a hike to visit some prehistoric archaeological sites. You will learn of the Native American tribes that lived in this area, how their life-ways and subsistence changed through time, and how they adapted to climate change in the past. By visiting the archaeological sites, you will learn how archaeologists identify them, and about the research that is being conducted here by the Cherokee Ranch Science Institute.


Tour Guide: Reid Farmer

Price: $45, $40 members

Special Instructions: The hike is off trail, of moderate difficulty and is a mile and a quarter round trip. Please wear appropriate clothing. Closed-toe hiking shoes and long pants are highly recommended. Please also bring plenty of water, your lunch, sunscreen and a hat.



Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135


Treat Yourself Tuesdays - Yoga and Medicine Plants - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Join Denver Botanic Garden Horticulturalist and Certified Yoga Instructor Blake Burger on June 12th at Cherokee Ranch for yoga and hiking. The session will begin with a light and refreshing vinyasa class, followed by a walk around Cherokee Ranch to learn about the medicinal plants growing on the property. For the yoga class, bring some water and clothing suitable for movement. For the hike, bring appropriate shoes and clothing suitable for the ever-changing Colorado weather.


Tour Guide: Blake Burger

Price: $45, $40 members

Special Instructions: For the yoga class, bring some water and clothing suitable for movement. For the hike, bring plenty of water, appropriate shoes and clothing suitable for the ever-changing Colorado weather and your lunch.



Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135


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