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Ferns Uncovered

Ferns predate most other plant species on Earth, and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory is home to specimens of many varieties that continue to thrive today. Their delicate structures and textures are fascinating to study and a pleasure to illustrate—in fact, ferns have been illustrated for more than 1,500 years! Working in pencil and brush, you’ll develop pigment-free values and master seamless gradations from lightest light to darkest dark without the usual graphite sheen. Concentrate on the stem-like rhizomes, leafy fronds and sporangia underneath the leaves. Learn to draw complex detail without losing overall form. All the skills that you learn in this class can be transferred to any other medium, improving your overall confidence in your artistic skills.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

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


Tue, March 24, 31, April 14, 21, 28, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak


Flower Color - Uses, Meaning and Impact

This class teaches you how to choose flower color for the most impact. Learn how to use color to evoke emotion and create visual interest. Gain information about color combinations for seasonal interest and learn to think about flower color choices differently.


Price: $18, $16 member

Instructor: Debi Borden-Miller


Debi Borden-Miller is a University of Vermont graduate with a bachelor’s in plant and soil science.

Since moving to Colorado, she has worked at Fruehauf’s Garden Center, Wilmore Nursery, Little Valley Wholesale Nursery and Welby Gardens Company where she spent a total of 28 years in sales and marketing.

Debi is a board member of the Colorado Garden & Home Show and represents the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association on the management team of ProGreen Expo. She also serves on several CO Nursery and Greenhouse Association committees and is a long-time board member and former president of the Colorado Greenhouse Growers Association and GreenCo.

Forest Bathing Morning Series at the Gardens

Onsite at Denver Botanic Gardens

Start your day with a relaxing, immersive sensory experience in the early morning atmosphere of the Gardens. This series of mini-forest bathing walks allows you to experience the Gardens in a whole new way. Studies show that regularly spending time immersing our senses in nature may reduce blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones. Move slowly and mindfully through the landscape of the Gardens with guided invitations to engage your senses for closer connection to nature.

Price: $60, $55 member

Instructor: Leona Campbell

Leona is a professional photographer and owner of Wind in Pines LLC, which provides public and private forest bathing walks in the greater Denver area. Leona is a certified forest therapy guide, through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT).

Special Instructions: All walks begin promptly at the start time and last 90 minutes. Participants move slowly and mindfully, covering about a quarter to a half mile over the course of the walk.


Forgotten Legacy: Colorado's Lost Apples II

We continue the documentation of Colorado’s heritage apple varieties and devote this session to flowers. In Forgotten Legacy: Colorado’s Lost Apples, you visited the site of your variety during the blooming season and observed the structure of the flower in detail, including the color. During this one-day session, you’ll receive guidance on how to add the finishing touches.

Prerequisite: Forgotten Legacy: Colorado³ Lost Apples.

Fee: $85 member, $105 non-member.


Tue, June 30, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


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. Please note that every tour has its own emphasis and is led by a different horticulturist.


Tuesday, March 24, 10 a.m.: “Spring Garden Preparation” with Dan Johnson, associate director of horticulture, curator of native plants

Friday, June 19, 10 a.m.: “Plant Select®” with Sonya Anderson, horticulture specialist, Plant Select and pollinator gardens

Tuesday, July 7, 10 a.m.: “Annuals” with Bridget Blomquist, horticulture specialist - annuals

Wednesday, July 22, 10 a.m.: “Medicinal Plants” with Blake Burger, horticulture specialist

Tuesday, September 15, 9:30 a.m.: “Fall Garden Preparation” with Mike Bone, curator of steppe collections


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.

Garden to Glass, Summer Drinks and Tapas Workshop

Grow your own cocktail garden with herbs, fresh fruits and veggies that make the perfect base for hydrating. Learn the secrets to making refreshing aqua frescas, simple syrups, shrubs, bitters, infused alcohol, mixers and concentrates. Create your own take-home bitters from a bitters bar. For our tapas tasting we enjoy smoked salmon mousse, cheese/pistachio and fruit truffles, citrus herbed olives, creamy baba ghanoush and spicy cowboy caviar. Dazzle your family and guests with custom-crafted cocktails and delicious thirst quenchers. Handout with plant list and growing instructions, recipes, generous drink samples and tasty tapas included. Susan s book,  The Herbalist s Happy Hour  is available at class.

*No alcohol will be served in class.

Price: $65, $60 member, $30 included for materials

Instructor: Susan Evans

Image: Courtesy of Amy Stewart


Gift of Individual

Gift memberships take up to 72 hours to be activated. Please allow 7-10 business days for the gift packet to be mailed to your gift recipient.

If you are renewing a gift membership click here




1 membership card (Only valid for named card holder)

1 person admitted per visit (card holder)

Advance ticketing for Summer Concert Series (Day 5)

2 complimentary tickets to Blossoms of Light at York Street

3 one-time use guest passes

Entry to our Member Mornings where the Gardens are open just to members

Subscription to the Gardens' quarterly printed magazine

Receipt of our monthly Botanic Buzz e-newsletter


Go Native! Landscapes Made for Colorado

The Xeriscape concept has become mainstream, and now is the time to take the next step to develop or convert existing landscapes into native plant and insect sanctuaries. We walk through this process step-by-step together! This is a lecture style class with a tour of the gardens at the end.

Price: $46, $40 member

Curtis Manning and John Dunn are horticulturalists, landscape designers, landscape contractors and are the owners and operators of Meadow Pro..

Growing A Business




Growing Food in Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

It has never been easier to grow your own food and there is no easier way than in a raised vegetable garden bed!

Join me to learn about how to build your raised bed and look at raised beds we've built in the Denver metro area. We will also discuss soils to fill the beds and methods of irrigating your vegetables. Finally, top that off with real tried and true tips on which vegetables to grow and how to grow them! Seriously, you couldn't find a more comprehensive course on raised vegetable gardening . . .


Price: $29, $24 members

Instructor: Curtis Manning


Guided Meditation Walk - Forest Bathing

A guided meditation in the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, a term meaning  taking in the forest atmosphere  or  forest bathing  will connect us with the sights, smells and sounds of a natural setting to promote physiological and psychological health.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW


Guided Meditation Walk - Healing Walk

Healing involves the body, mind and spirit. Through a guided meditation walk, we focus on the healing power of nature for those facing illness and their caregivers.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW


Guided Meditation Walk - Loving Kindness

Fire is one of the five Taoist Elements, and is at the heart of the transformational cycle. Fire embodies the yin and yang of life. A guided walking meditation will focus on the dichotonous nature of the fire element and encourage loving kindness toward all sentient beings.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW



Guided Meditation Walk - The Five Taoist Elements

Experience a transformation in mind, body and chi as we meditate on the Five Taoist Elements and their corresponding emotions of fear, anger, grief, compassion and happiness.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW



Guided Meditation: Being Present

In a world of distractions and competing demands, a meditation practice focusing on the present moment enhances respite and repose. Join us as we explore the powerful benefits of practicing mindfulness with our breath and steps amid the serenity of the Gardens.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW



Guided Sitting Meditation - Embracing Uncertainty

To embrace uncertainty is to embrace life. Uncertainty often brings myriad emotions   trepidation, anger, doubt, fear. Our meditation will encourage embracing uncertainty, allowing room for wonder and acceptance of all that is.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Guided Sitting Meditation - Letting Go

The New Year often brings aspirations for change. Letting go of past hurts and disappointments makes space to start anew. With insight and gentleness, we are encouraged to place our hopes and dreams in the cradle of loving kindness.

Appropriate for adults of all abilities.

Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW




Healing the Spirit with Plant Brushing

Learn the art of spiritual healing with plants as we practice the traditional art of plant brushing. Discover about how herbs can be used to cleanse and strengthen the spirit. Play with different plants, including basil, which has long been considered “the herb of humility,” helps us open to the wisdom of life’s lessons and allows us to listen to the working of the divine.

Price: $42, $37 member

Instructor: Shelley Torgove is a practicing Clinical Herbalist and was one of Denver's first herbal teachers, helping cultivate awareness of the power of plants to heal. Shelley is a leader of the grass-roots western herbal medicine movement in Denver. She is an international teacher and a nationally recognized botanical medicine practitioner with over 25 years of experience, specializing in bio-regional herbal medicine and women's health. She works and teaches both in Denver and the Yucatan. Shelley is the owner of Artemisia & Rue Herbal Studies Program in Denver. In addition to being a guest lecturer at Denver Botanic Gardens for the last 20 years, Shelley grew up in the backyard of the Gardens around Cheeseman Park and began frequenting the Gardens when she was seven years old.

Homeschool Day: Nature's Art

Join us for a day of creating, designing and crafting. Learn how nature’s colors, shapes and patterns inspire works of art as you spend the day investigating natural dyes, discovering hidden mathematical patterns and creating one-of-a-kind works of art.


Homeschool Days offer families the opportunity to explore plant-based themes through a variety of hands-on activities, tours and take-home projects that families can do together. Activities are designed for children ages five and up, however all ages are welcome to attend.


Price: $12 per day per child; One adult per child is free of charge. Additional adults and non-participating siblings over the age of two will need to pay $7 each, payable on the day of the program. The program fee includes admission to the Gardens.

Homeschool Excursion at Plains Conservation Center: Be a Homesteader - Homesteading on the Prairie

Spend a day at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora with your family growing their knowledge of prairie living and appreciation for the natural world. Learn all about how the homesteading families and children lived on the plains in the 1800's.

Programming runs from 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., with check-in starting at 9:45 a.m. You are welcome to bring a sack lunch to enjoy in our picnic area after the program. Programs may be modified in the event of inclement weather. All ages are welcome, however programming is focused for ages 5-12.

Price:  $12 per child

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


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