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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 your drawings from this class forward.

Prerequisite: Light on Form.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.



Mon, Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26, Sep. 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Thu, Sep. 26, Oct. 3, 17, 24, 31, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Photographing Blossoms of Light

Enjoy special early evening access to the Blossoms of Light event and learn how to capture stunning images of holiday displays.

The skills we will learn also translate wonderfully to making great images of lighted landmarks and architecture.


Price: $47, $42 members

Instructor: Scott Dressel-Martin, Denver Botanic Gardens' official photographer

Special Instructions: This is a Shooting Class! Bring your Tripod and Gear and Dress Warm!

Pickles and Chutney


In this hands-on cooking class we will focus on pickle and chutney making. We will review canning safety and techniques of boiling water bath canning, but this class is geared to those who have had some experience with waterbath canning. We will pickle some fruit, some vegetables, and also make chutneys we can use to dress up our barbeque’d meats or liven up a cheese plate. Each student will get at least 3 jars-of pickled vegetable, pickled fruit, and chutney.


Price: $56, $51 member

Instructor: Kathy Lee


Plains Conservation Center Wagon Tour

Get to know the prairie in a whole new way. On our ride across the plains, participants watch for wildlife in the landscape, from prairie dogs to pronghorn antelope and birds of prey, beneath the great stretching sky while learning about the short grass prairie ecosystem along the way. With stops at the sod homes and Cheyenne camp, your group will experience what it was like to be a homesteader and a Cheyenne Indian living on the prairie in the 1800's. Take a guided tour of the sod homestead and see the sod homes, schoolhouse and blacksmith shop. Then visit the Cheyenne camp to learn about how the Cheyenne lived on the prairie and followed the bison as a seminomadic tribe.

Starting in September, the new later tours are scheduled to coincide with the spectacular sunsets at the Plains Conservation Center. Please refer to the calendar for start times.

Please note: Tours are weather dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather, you will be contacted.

Date: Select Saturdays

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and seasonally adjusted afternoon or evening start times. Please refer to the calendar for start times.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013



Plants with Bite

Go beyond the usual and dive into the world of carnivorous plants that capture, kill and digest their prey! With more than 600 species, carnivorous plants are found on every continent except Antarctica. The bizarre predatory plants from the Gardens’ extensive greenhouse collection challenge your perception of docile plant portraits. Learn about these interesting plants and get a rare up-close view to help capture a dramatic plant study that also includes the specimen in its natural setting. See how to create luscious textures, colors and creative backgrounds to highlight these sinister beauties.


Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.


Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.


Date(s): Wed, Sep. 25, Oct. 2, 16, 23, 30, 9 a.m. – noon


Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

Prairie Birding at the Plains Conservation Center

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Join City of Aurora naturalists for a morning of birds and spectacular views at the Plains Conservation Center. Enjoy the open prairie and it's diversity of plant and animal life as you search for resident birds. From year-long residents like the Western Meadowlark to seasonal migrants like the Swainson's Hawk, there is always something to see. Whether you are new to birding or a seasoned pro, this is a great opportunity to meet other bird enthusiasts.Appropriate for ages 6 and older.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Date: March 30, June 22, September 29 and December 7, 2019

Time: 9 a.m.

Price: $5

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013 Phone 303-326-8380

Prairie Homestead Self-Guided Tour

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Join us at the Plains Conservation Center for a self-guided tour of our historical sod village and tipis. See what a Native American tipi camp might have looked like in the early 1800s. Immerse yourself in a replication of an 1880s prairie homestead village with authentic artifacts and, depending on the season, real farm animals.

Please Note: All guests must check in at the PCC Visitor Center with purchase confirmation prior to beginning self-guided tour in order to receive site condition updates and the actual self-guided brochure.

For a more in-depth experience, sign up for a guided tour or program! Schedule a private tour by contacting Denver Botanic Gardens at pccinfo@botanicgardens.org or 720-865-3500.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.


Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013


Hours for Self-Guided Tours:

Monday-Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday-Friday: 2-4:30 p.m.

Saturday: Noon - 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.






Prairie Wagon Rides with Santa

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Get in the mood for the holidays with a wagon ride next to Santa! Enjoy crafts, snacks and discover Aurora's true nature on the prairie.

Registration required, time slots available at registration.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Dates: December 14 and 15

Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Wagon ride times: 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Price: $10

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013. Phone 303-326-8380


Pronghorn: Not an Antelope, But a Living Fossil of the Pleistocene

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

When we spot them, we think mystery and antelope! These survivors from another world are native to Aurora and have adapted to the changing landscape. Join us for a wagon ride at the Plains Conservation Center to observe and learn about these living fossils from the Pleistocene.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Date: September 29, 2019

Time: 11a.m.

Price: $10

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013 Phone 303-326-8380


Pumpkin Festival

**Door Prices effective at 9 a.m. each day of the event (if tickets are available)**

Celebrate fall with this treasured October tradition for the entire family. Enjoy a day of fall activities at Chatfield Farms. Ticket price includes access to the 10-acre pumpkin patch and family and children's activities. Pumpkin prices vary by size; the average price is $8. Pumpkins are not included in your admission ticket, they must be purchased separately.

It is recommended to bring a wagon to transport pumpkins. Free pumpkin daycare is available while you enjoy the rest of the festival.

Festival includes:

Family and children's activities

Live music

Local craft and artisan booths

Food trucks and food vendors

Beer and wine vendors

Admission includes these activities:

Entry to the pumpkin patch

Antique tractor exhibit by Front Range Antique Power Association

Tractor-pulled parking shuttles

Pony rides and horse-drawn hayrides

Photo booths

Five carnival game tickets per child's paid admission

Barrel train rides for children 12 and younger

Mini-maze for kids 10 and younger

Jumping pillow for kids up to 54" tall.

Bouncers, slides and obstacle courses

Express face painting

Additional costs include the Corn Maze right next door, pumpkin golf cart shuttles directly to your car, stunt jump, hamster balls and additional carnival game tickets.

During Pumpkin Festival weekend, birthday parties are welcome, however Chatfield Farms does not formally reserve space or assume any coordination of these events.


Putting Your Rose Garden to Bed

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

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. 

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.


Instructor: Peggy Williams, Consulting Rosarian

Price: $32, $27 members

Red: A Color of Passion

Capturing the right red is an interesting challenge for the illustrator. During this three-day workshop, we create rich reds using different pigments to make the subjects come alive on the paper. We explore reds, maroons and purples found in nature, seasonal flowers, orchids and juicy fruits. Build on your watercolor skills as you learn to mix the red hues you need and effectively apply color to create value and form. Instructor demonstrations, practical exercises and individual guidance with a variety of red botanical material prepare you to complete a finished plate of a red-blossomed specimen.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I or intermediate skills in watercolor

Fee: $365 member, $415 non-member

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Oct. 11-13, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Isik Güner, Turkey


Isik Güner studied environmental engineering at Marmara University in Istanbul. During her undergraduate years, she also began studying botanical illustration, attending courses by Christabel King. Immediately after she graduated from university in 2006, she began working full time as a botanical artist.

Isik is involved with several projects and is currently organizing botanical illustration courses in various countries including Spain, Chile, Turkey and Scotland. She has received several gold medals at the Royal Horticultural Society’s botanical art exhibitions. She was the 2017 artist-in-residence at Denver Botanic Gardens.


Scratchboard for Fine Details

Pen and ink on clayboard surface is one of the most adaptable and forgiving combinations of pigment, medium and surface. All fear of using ink is gone! Discover the excitement of scratchboard, where contrasts in textures and values produce dramatic and luminous effects. Choose your favorite subject matter, either a conifer cone or another subject with plenty of details, and create a stunning composition. Learn the techniques to convey form, shading, textures and spatial perspective in your composition. The beautiful dried or dormant fruits of winter will provide inspiration for your finished plate in this inspiring weekend workshop. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Light on Form.

• Fri-Sun, Nov. 1-3, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker



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 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.


Seed to Table Gardening Series for Homeschoolers

Calling all aspiring gardeners! In this five-week series of classes, families will deepen their understanding of planting and growing a successful garden in Colorado. Grow plants from start to finish while learning to sow your own seeds, working side by side with a Denver Botanic Gardens horticulturist and developing gardening techniques. Each week, children will engage in active hands-on learning both in and out of the classroom. At the end of five weeks each young aspiring gardener will take home a seasonal container garden. This program series is designed for children ages 6-10.


Session Dates:

- Tuesday October 22, 2019

- Tuesday October 29, 2019

- Tuesday November 5, 2019

- Tuesday November 12, 2019

- Tuesday November 19, 2019


Price: $100 per child for 5-week series. One adult per child is free of charge. Adults are required to stay onsite during the program.

Seedlings: Cornucopia

Our budding gardeners look at the last harvest of the season.

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

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

• Ages 18-24 months: Friday, November 22, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Seedlings: Curious Corn

Take an up-close look at an ear of corn and discover its many unusual uses.

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

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

• Ages 18-24 months: Friday, October 11, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Seedlings: Fall Frolic

Kick off the official start of the fall season in the garden!

• Ages 3-6 years: Wednesday, September 25, 9:30 or 11 a.m.

• Ages 24-36 months: Thursday, September 26, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

• Ages 18-24 months: Friday, September 27, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Seedlings: Harvest Treasures

Roll up your sleeves for some harvest fun! We explore the many ways autumn plants inspire art and fun.

• Ages 3-6 years: Wednesday, November 13, 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.

• Ages 24-36 months: Thursday, November 14, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

• Ages 18-24 months: Friday, November 15, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

Seedlings: Holiday Treats - The Plants We Eat!

Discover where some of our favorite flavors come from.

• Ages 3-6 years: Wednesday, December 18, 9:30 or 11 a.m.

• Ages 24-36 months: Thursday, December 19, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

• Ages 18-24 months: Friday, December 20, 9:30 or 10:45 a.m.

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