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Lecture - Denver Botanic Gardens: History in the Heart of the City

The true history of the Garden’s 23 acres has been long anticipated, and this is the opportunity to hear all about it. Only a few centuries ago, the land on which the Gardens sits was nothing but dust and the occasional prairie dog. Professor Tom “Dr. Colorado” Noel shares how the Denver Botanic Gardens evolved into an urban oasis, from a barren landscape, to contended cemetery, to one of America’s greatest botanical gardens.


Speaker bio:

Thomas Noel is a Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at the University of Colorado Denver. He has written 47 books, many articles and a Sunday history column for The Denver Post. He appears regularly as "Dr. Colorado" on NBC 9 News "Colorado & Company."

Noel has a masters and Ph.D. from Colorado University Boulder and a B.A. from the University of Denver. His 2015 book “Colorado: A Historical Atlas” is a full-color coffee table treasure exploring 90 topics in the evolution of the highest state from Mesa Verde to marijuana.


6 p.m. Social hour and tasting hosted by Slow Food Denver (included in price)

7 p.m. Program and lecture


All lecture programs: $15 member, $20 non-member. Space is limited so register early!


Slow Food Members are welcome to register for the discounted member price of $15, please click on reciprocal member price, no identification required.


A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey



With the support of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and in line with the Gardens mission of connecting people with plants, we are excited to bring you a lecture and workshop series designed to take us back to our roots, exploring the history, traditions and culture of gardening. You can gain wisdom from gardeners before us, integrating traditional knowledge into the contemporary garden. Botanist, farmer and author Augustus Jenkins Farmer shares stories of traditional gardening techniques; from the charm of sharing plant cuttings with neighbors to intercropping plants to protect integrity of the soil. Bill Laws shares fascinating examples from his book Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History, and Lauren Springer Ogden’s garden tour demonstrates a living laboratory for plants and plant matrices, emphasizing prairie, meadow and chaparral-inspired spaces that are a hallmark of Lauren’s regional design work.



A parallel series of intimate workshops and tours brings to life the traditions that have painted a romantic picture of gardening. Workshops include growing blue ribbon vegetables with Jodi Torpey; keeping a garden journal with Bill Laws; and a big bulbs workshop with Augustus Jenkins Farmer. We are excited to offer tours at the Gardens and throughout the region. Explore the splendor and abundance of Le Potager garden at the season’s peak and tour historically significant plants throughout the Gardens. For the first time, Lauren Springer Ogden opens her garden and welcomes participants to enjoy the beauty.



The Encore Series - Fall Habitat Hero Garden Tour (Chatfield Farms)

2016 Bonfils Stanton Series will feature an Encore Series full of favorite workshops and tours from years past. The series will highlight the most popular programs and offer them once again. Hurry! These programs sold out quickly the first time around and are likely to do so again.


Join Lauren Springer Ogden as she discusses her design process with an emphasis on native plants that are important to many insects and birds. This is a wonderful opportunity for an up-close tour with one of the country’s leading garden designers!


$20, $18 member

The Encore Series - John Fielder Photography Workshop (Chatfield Farms)

2016 Bonfils Stanton Series will feature an Encore Series full of favorite workshops and tours from years past. The series will highlight the most popular programs and offer them once again. Hurry! These programs sold out quickly the first time around and are likely to do so again.


$395 Public


This is your opportunity to learn about landscape photography directly from John Fielder. Find out how he creates award-winning images and gain a deeper understanding of the visual aspects of nature. The workshop includes a slide show lecture, discussion on the most important tools you need and four hours out in the fields of Chatfield Farms and/or Roxborough State Park with Fielder. Appropriate for all levels of photographers, beginner to advanced.

Tour - Plains to Plains

Hike of Pawnee Buttes and Tour of High Plains Environmental Center with Panayoti Kelaidis and Jim Tolstrup


Few landscapes are more iconic than the Pawnee Buttes, a short drive north of Denver. Join Panayoti Kelaidis, director of outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens in a tour of the spectacular buttes that lie in the heart of the Pawnee National Grasslands: one of the largest remnants of shortgrass prairie left in our state. Late summer is peak season for many of the best wildflowers that grow on our prairies including huge mats of plains buckwheat (Eriogonum pauciflorum), Man Root Morning Glory (Ipomoea leptophylla) and innumerable daisies. Best of all, most visitors only think of visiting Pawnee Buttes in spring or fall—so we are apt to have the prairie to ourselves, excluding a few magpies and Prairie falcons.


The High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC) consists of 76 acres and 3.5 miles of trails surrounding two lakes in a rapidly developing area. Formerly agricultural land, HPEC is in the process of transformation into an environmental park that combines horticulture and ecological restoration.

Participants will have an opportunity to buy plants from HPEC’s native plant nursery.


$51, $46 member, includes lunch and transportation from Denver Botanic Gardens

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