Flingtastic Colorado- The Gardens on Spring Creek
Garden Bloggers Fling , the annual meet-up of blogging gardeners, took place this year in the Denver Colorado area encompassing Fort Collins and Boulder as well as Denver. The organizing team put together an outstanding itinerary that was firmly rooted in the unique environment of the mountain west.
In this post we will visit The Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins , which is currently 18 acres and is owned and operated by the city of Fort Collins. I really loved this garden. The sense of place, the attention to detail and the obvious passion of the staff was a perfect circle of excellence. The garden is at the tail end of an expansion which includes a renovated visitors center, a butterfly house and a cafe. The grand opening of the newest additions to Spring Creek is expected to take place in fall of this year. We were able to see enticing snippets of the gardens around the visitors center from beyond the caution tape and every bit of the still developing areas of this garden look very promising. It was pretty clear to me that the city and the residents of Fort Collins have made a commitment to create a garden that compares favorably with other botanical gardens in the US if not in size, in design and quality of infrastructure and hardscape. Provided the funding remains solid for ongoing maintenance this has the potential to be an important addition to the inventory of public gardens in the continental US.
This was the most mature area of the garden, the Rock Garden which opened in 2011. The emphasis is on Colorado native plants and dwarf conifers. I am very smitten with conifers and if I lived in a more conducive climate I'm afraid I would have an obsessive collection habit. There are quite a few that I can actually grow successfully here provided the placement is just right. I am tempted.
The rocks !
Unexpected were the many ground hugging Clematis we saw in many of the gardens we visited, mostly integrifolia cultivars that seem okay with cold a** winter temps and dry hot summers.
One of the newly planted areas . They haven't skimped on navigable paths and shade structures. I believe this is the Foothills Garden.
Here we have the Undaunted Garden, designed by the mountain west horticultural superstar Lauren Springer-Ogden, another newly planted area as you can see. Lauren was scheduled to meet us here and be available for questions but a (bad) knee accident prevented her from joining us. I have followed her career for many years ,ever since her hellstrip garden in Boulder (I think) was published in Sunset magazine way back in the late 80's I think and I am pretty sure she invented the term.
Our lunch venue. And by the way, the sky.
When I got home I was really disappointed to find that I had not taken nearly as many photos here as I would have liked-or thought I had. There is something to be said for just wandering and experiencing the garden. Plans to return are in development.