Variations on a theme of Africana
One of the most dramatic and amazing transformations that's occurred during my nearly four decade tenure at Denver Botanic Gardens has been the destruction of the old greenhouses (which were getting pretty musty--and were rarely accessed by the public) and their being replaced by a fabulous new complex of greenhouses, a spacious head house with enclaves that provide lots of work space and the "Orangerie"--a rather grandiose name for a long glassed in space along the south side of the greenhouse complex that lets visitors peer into the collections and production spaces, and provides a space for seasonal displays. I was expecting the usual "Holland Bulbs" in Spring, Chrysanthemums in autumn, Poinsettia in winter--and am happy to say I've been disappointed! My creative colleagues keep coming up with unusual and offbeat themes, and the current display, that's been going for weeks and will last a while longer, features a marvelous melange of South African bulbs, annuals, perennials, shrubs, succulents--all combined in a series of planter beds: these are not all by any means, but I loved that each one is unique, albeit a few plants reappear as you walk along the promenade (which I think is a much better name for the complex!)...
If you are as nerdish as I am, you will enjoy strolling through these pictures, much as I strolled along taking them, and compare one panel to the next: great fun! I think there's even a feature on Blogger where if you double click the picture you can see them enlarged (without my annoying captions---try it!) There are a few variable variations at the end you musn't miss!
|Zantedeschia (yellow cv.)|
|Closeup of a Lion's ear (Leonotis)--one of my favorite mints.|
|And a little tableau of Pelargonium|
|And even a Jade plant! Quite a specimen...|
This is the walk way just outside the Orangerie--there are actually TWO Walkways, flanked by enormous perennial borders (which you can't see in this picture--spectacular now that the crabapples are blooming.
Outside the Orangerie, the spring bulb and pansies are doin' their thang in pots...
A pretty good show altogether! The Gardens are beginning to really heat up with color and interest--do drop by!