May Classes and events for Denver Botanic Gardens

May classes and events for Denver Botanic GardensDenver Botanic Gardens

Full calendar:

York St: Through May 13, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | May 14 – Sept. 24, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Chatfield Farms: Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Spring Plant Sale Preview Party

Thursday, May 11, 4-8 p.m.
$45 in advance, $55 at door if available
Get early access to the best selection of plants for your garden. Guests enjoy appetizers, wine and beer.

Spring Plant Sale
Friday, May 12, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, May 13, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Free
Fifteen plant divisions feature quality flora, and are staffed by experts who can answer your plant questions and offer excellent advice. This year’s divisions are Aquatics, Annuals, Container Planting, Fruits/Berries/Veggies, Grown at the Gardens, Hanging Baskets, Herbs, Houseplants, Mixed Succulents, Perennials, Plant Select, Rock Alpine/Bonsai, Roses, Summer Bulbs and Water-Smart.

Literature of the Land Book Club: “Lab Girl”
Wednesday, May 17, 7-8:30 p.m., $5
The spring series explores the way we see the natural world—in memoir, essays and biography—and how it influences our views on art, nature and environmentalism. The May installment discusses “Lab Girl,” by Hope Jahren. This memoir details a modern scientist studying trees, flowers, seeds and soil.

Summertime Tea in the Gardens
Saturday, May 20, 10-11:30 a.m.
$42, $38 member
Denver Botanic Gardens and Denver Tea Room present a beautiful morning of tea tasting and education in the serene Woodland Mosaic garden’s Solarium. Margo Seymour, pastry chef, tea sommelier, and owner of The Denver Tea Room, presents a traditional British afternoon tea service with a nod to the various cultures that also enjoy the practice of taking tea. Guests sample sandwiches from England, desserts from France and Scotland and teas from Sri Lanka.

Butterflies at Chatfield Farms

May 26 – September, 9 a.m. –  4 p.m.
$4 adult/child, $2 member adult/child
This seasonal habitat is home to hundreds of native butterflies, such as swallowtails, monarchs, mourning cloaks and painted ladies. There are more than 50 native plant species in this garden. The rest of the plants (about 20 species) were chosen for the nectar production for butterfly food and are not native species in Colorado.

Elusive: Works by Andrew Roberts-Gray

February 22 – May 14
Included with Gardens’ admission
Artist Andrew Roberts-Gray combines formal abstraction, the painted landscape and areas of unpainted canvas to create dynamic works that defy traditional genre. His work hovers between painterly abstraction and sculptural space, peppered with symbolic elements.

Calder: Monumental
April 28 – September 24
American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century and is known for his bold energetic sculptures. Calder: Monumental features these iconic works of bolted steel plate–which rise in sweeping curves, or puncture space with geometric lines–revealing the artist’s exploration of forms, volumes, and voids. Using shapes that resonate with the natural world, Calder’s large lively abstractions interact with the surrounding outdoor landscape.

Color: Works by Teresa Booth Brown
May 24 – August 6 | Opening Reception: May 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Artist Talk: 6:30 p.m.
Teresa Booth Brown uses painting as a chance to make order out of chaos; to organize thoughts and ideas that resist written language. From a simple composition, each painting is developed intuitively by the addition and subtraction of layers of paint, collage and drawing.

Birds and Bees Walk

Thursday, May 18, 4:15 and 5:15 p.m.
$12, $10 member
A tour of our Birds and Bees Walk garden led by Horticulturist Sonya Anderson explores the woodland path to discover plants and design geared towards attracting birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Seasonal Discoveries Tour
Sunday, May 20, 2-3 p.m.
$14, $12 member
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 colorful bounty of summer, the crackling beauty of fall or the marvelous contrasts of winter.

Rock Alpine Garden Tour
Thursday, May 25, 4:15 and 5:15 p.m.
$12, $10 member
Mike Kintgen, Denver Botanic Gardens’ curator of Alpine Collections, leads a tour of the Rock Alpine Garden near its flora peak and talks about how participants can create similar gardens at home.

Introduction to Xeriscape

Thursday, May 4, 6-7:30 p.m.
$24, $20 member
This class de-mystifies low water landscapes by explaining the seven principles of xeriscape and looking at samples of Denver gardens that do it well.

Edible Wild Foods Gourmet
Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$55, $50 member
Explore the fascinating world of wild edibles. Start with an herb walk, identifying local wild edibles. Discover the optimum nutrition and delicious tastes provided by plants usually weeded and tossed in the compost pile. Back in the kitchen, participants prepare a delicious vegetarian meal using common, nutritious wild plants, including nettle, chickweed, dandelion, lambs quarters and more. Enjoy an appetizer, salad, a savory soup and a delicious wild foods pesto with pasta. Explore all the ways you can add wild edibles to your current recipes to boost nutrition and flavor. Recipes, lunch and drink included.

Gardening for Pollinators
Tuesday, May 16, 6-9 p.m.
$44, $39 member
There are 963 species of native bees on Colorado’s Front Range and all require our help to provide food, shelter and water. In addition, we play host to countless other beneficial insects, birds and bats; all that perform the huge task of pollinating a third or more of the crops we eat, repopulate plants and add great diversity to our environment. Learn about the best plants to attract different pollinators and how to accept a little “insect pressure.”

Lecture: Restoring Nature’s Relationships
Thursday, May 18, 6:30-8 p.m.
$20, $15 member
Specialized relationships between animals and plants are the norm in nature rather than the exception. Doug Tallamy, professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, explains how specialized food relationships determine the stability and complexity of local food webs and how we can us residential landscapes to connect isolated habitat fragments and produce valuable ecosystem services.

Beginner’s Farmer Workshop: Growing for Market
Friday, May 19, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Learn from local farmer and farm educators how to start and operate your own farm. Learn how to prepare your vegetables for a variety of markets including direct-to-consumer and wholesale; get advice from market managers and produce buyers located in Denver.

Native Pollinators Workshop
Friday, May 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$46, $42 member
The work of pollinators impacts the food we eat. According to the Xerces Society, there are 4,000 species of native bees in North America, forming the most important group of pollinators. They require a source of food, water and shelter for raising their young and like all wildlife, they are affected by changes in landscapes, especially the loss of nesting sites. In man’s quest for neatness, the important nesting sites such as bare ground, dead trees and corners of rough grass have disappeared. Participants of this hands-on workshop create a nesting box to replicate some of the wildness that makes bees comfortable enough to nest in your landscape.

Lecture: Reimaging a Classic Rock Alpine Style
Thursday, May 25, 6:30-8 p.m.
$20, $15 member
Rock gardening uses a range of unusual plants in combination with beautiful stones to create miniaturized landscapes. This approach to gardening is water-wise, perfect for containers, small gardens and for gardeners interested in exploring a whole new group of beautiful plants. In this talk Joseph Tychonievich, a horticulturist from Michigan, shares beautiful images of rock gardens to get you inspired, the basic principles of creating rock gardens and an introduction to some of the most beautiful and easy to grow rock garden plants to get you started.

Trough Garden Planting Workshop
Friday, May 26, 9-11 a.m.
$56, $52 member
Trough gardens are a perfect way to dip your toes into the fascinating and water-wise world of rock gardening. In this workshop, Joseph Tychonievich goes over the basic techniques of creating a beautiful and healthy trough garden and the participants make a trough garden to take home.

Be a Bee Advocate
Tuesday, May 30, 6-9 p.m.
$49, $44 member
This class is great for people interested in learning about bees, both wild and domesticated. Instructor, Tracy Bellehumeur teaches about how honeybees and wild bees live, the variety of wild bees in Colorado, and different honeybee hive designs. Participants will build a wild bee house for their home and a handout with suggested reading, and supportive resources is provided. Each participant is asked to bring a drill for construction of their bee home. Each participant is asked to bring a drill for construction of their bee home.

Seedling Classes
Tues-Wed: 3-6 years old, 9:30 & 11 a.m. Thu: 24-36 mo. old, 9:30 & 10:45 a.m. Fri: 18-24 mo. old, 9:30 & 10:45 a.m.
$11 for 18-36 month old, $9 member; $13 for 3-6 year old, $11 member
Seedlings classes offer a fun, hands-on way for young children to explore the plant world, while developing an understanding and appreciation for plants. Seedlings programs are offered for three different age groups and are modified to fit the developmental needs of each group. Week of May 2: A Rainbow of Wildflowers, May 9: Painting with Plants, May 16: Sunflowers Galore, May 23: Life in the Pond, May 30: The Plants in Your Pizza.

Evening Kundalini Yoga

Mondays, 6-7:30 p.m.
$10, $8 member
Kundalini yoga focuses on awakening energy and unlocking our inner potential through breathing techniques, movements, stretching, meditation and mantra. This ancient and sacred practice is the oldest form of yoga and is an effective way to recharge and heal the body. In the Morrison Center.

Sunrise Vinyasa Yoga at the Gardens
Every Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30-8:30 a.m.
$12, $10 member
Practicing vinyasa yoga can improve posture, flexibility and endurance. Takes place indoors.

Gentle Vinyasa 
Wednesday, 8-9 a.m.
$12, $10
Unwind through gentle movement, stretching, pranayama and guided meditation. This class holds space to allow the student to gain strength and flexibility at their own pace with an emphasis on safety and alignment.

Evening Vinyasa Yoga
Wednesdays, 6-7 p.m.
$12, $10 member
Instructor Blake Burger teaches vinyasa yoga in the Morrison Center. All levels welcome. Participants are asked to bring water and a yoga mat.

Tai Chi in the Gardens
Tuesday, May 16, 23, 30, 8-9 a.m.
$12, $10 member
Tai Chi is a Chinese gentle form of exercise that helps maintain strength, flexibility and balance in people of all ages. The simple and beautiful movements strengthen and revitalize the body, nourish the heart and focus the mind.

Fitness in the Gardens
Thursday, May 18 and 25, 8-9 a.m.
$18, $15 member
Fitness in the Gardens incorporates dynamic stretching, running, and high intensity interval training using functional fitness and body weight movements. This class is perfect for intermediate and advanced level athletes designed to challenge you with constantly varied movements that will keep you on your toes!

About Denver Botanic Gardens
Green inside and out, Denver Botanic Gardens began in 1951 and is considered one of the top botanical gardens in the United States and a pioneer in water conservation. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Gardens’ living collections encompass specimens from the tropics to the tundra, showcasing a plant palette chosen to thrive in Colorado’s semi-arid climate. The Gardens is a dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city, offering unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class education and plant conservation research programs. Additional sites extend this experience throughout the Front Range: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms is a 700-acre native plant refuge with an active farm in Jefferson County; Mount Goliath is a high-altitude trail and interpretive site on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. For more information, visit us online at

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