Denver Botanic Gardens, Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory – Denver, Colorado
I visited the Denver Botanical Gardens last week where I was offered a walk through tour from Panayoti Kelaidis, senior curator and director of outreach and walking encyclopedia, who has worked at the Denver Botanic Gardens for 30 years. Here’s Kelaidis’ blog, Prairie Break, full of good photos and information.
I returned to the gardens a few days after my initial visit for a more methodical wander. It would take a lifetime to become fully acquainted with the collection, which is vast. I believe it is one of the largest botanical collections in the country. Much of the flora in the gardens lies outside my range of climactic/geographical expertise. Although I felt most at home in the tropical plant conservatory, it is always abundantly clear that being surrounded by an unfamiliar array of plants is humbling and beneficial, always a good thing. Needless to say, if I lived in or near Denver I would visit this incredible facility constantly, throughout the seasons of the year.
The Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory at Denver Botanic Gardens is the largest single structure tropical conservatory in the United States. The building was designed by Denver architects Victor Hornbein and Ed White Jr. in 1964. The structure (see photos below) consists of interlaced concrete arches inset with Plexiglas panels. The conservatory incorporates more than 85,000 sq ft (7,900 m2). of plants from tropical climates around the world. Click here for a list of the plants in the Boettcher Conservatory. Because the conservatory is somewhat of an icon of the gardens, I thought I’d upload some photos.
In addition to the conservatory photos below, I’ll upload some additional images from other areas of the gardens in a later post.