A Passion for Purple

Gomphrena_DBG-CO_LAH_8573Do you like flowers? Are you passionate about purple? If so, you can’t miss out seeing the newest themed garden at Denver Botanic Gardens. Carved out of previously inaccessible space, this small but packed area is dominated by purple in all its glory. From mauve to plum, through violet to amethyst, every shade of purple is represented by the variety of flowers chosen.

When I asked at the information desk, I was astonished to learn that the plants have only been in the ground since August. You’d never guess. While the shrubs are still small, and obviously new, the annuals and perennials spill over rocks, fences, and one another in a profusion of blossoms.

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Chihuly in the Gardens

Chihuly_DBG-CO_LAH_9664-001The Denver Botanic Gardens are worth a visit just because of the gorgeous flowers, the fascinating plants (I always discover new ones), and the inspiring color combinations. Now they’ve outdone themselves. From now through November, 2014, the blooms and water features provide a backdrop for Chihuly’s huge glass sculptures.

Dale Chihuly is a famous artist for good reason. He creates shapes out of glass that look as if they grew by themselves, probably underwater. Think jellyfish, or sea anemones. I’ve seen chandeliers composed of hundreds, of separate glass pieces all painstakingly fitted together into one organic whole. Incredible! You can see his work at museums all over the world.

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Surviving Winter: A Tropical Vacation… in Colorado

OrchidHere I am, still in the middle of winter. There are five more weeks until spring, and that’s just according to the calendar. At my altitude of 7,000 ft, I won’t be seeing green until the end of April. I need something to encourage and motivate me… something green and flowering… something more productive than pacing the floor, complaining about the gloom, and dreaming about a trip to the Bahamas that isn’t in the budget.

My husband is well aware that his wife develops a bad case of cabin fever by mid-February. That’s why our annual Valentine’s Day date involves a visit to a tropical rainforest. No, we don’t buy a plane ticket. In fact, we head north. We hop in the car and make the hour drive to Denver.

The greater Denver area sports at least three options for anyone in need of a green-leaves-and-humidity break. Other parts of the country will have similar places, where you can escape winter for a day. Continue reading