Enjoy the spring and summer flora, completely free of charge and close to the city.
Denver isn't just known for its diverse beer scene and its awesome sports culture. Denver also has one of the largest city park systems in the country. The mountains may be a 30-minute drive away, but the city has its own form of nature spread throughout.
With more than 200 parks within the city, there are bound to be several parks that stand out, in particular, for their public gardens. Whether you are looking for a new place to go for a stroll or if you are a gardening enthusiast, here are some Denver city parks with their own public gardens.
This small but charming park has a lot of character and history. Established back in 1911, Alamo Placita Park became the heart of historic neighborhood Alamo Placita. The style of the five-acre park is lavish and colorful. Its sunken Italianate garden displays symmetrical parterres with beautiful flowers. Even though it is right by Speer Boulevard, it is considered a quiet and secluded haven in an otherwise busy area.
Washington Park is one of the most notable parks in Denver, but their garden display elevates the park altogether. The park's flower garden spreads along South Downing Street and it's quite a sight when they are fully bloomed. The park is named after George Washington because among the park's trees is one that was grown from Washington's home in Mount Vernon, VA. It also has a romantic garden modeled after Martha Washington's garden from her home in Virginia.
Centennial's park and garden designs may differ from other traditional Denver parks. Designed after the gardens in Versailles, Centennial Park features a parterre garden divided into various quadrants with walkaways and fountains spread throughout. Because it is located near the South Platte River, Centennial Gardens get a lot of direct sunlight. This sprout a garden design, which required more drought tolerant plants, many of which are already native to Colorado. The native flora and the French classic design lend for a lovely and unique park stroll.
The largest park in Denver is the place to literally stop and smell the roses. Originally, the site was nothing more than a mining camp, but when Denver gained more permanent population in the 1870s, there were more requests for city parks. The park, located near the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, was designed in the traditional English pastoral gardens that resemble New York City's Central Park. Later on, in the 1950s, the Denver Rose Society first designed and planted a large rose garden.
There are also two gardens near the Pavilion, the Burns Garden and Sopris Garden, both perfect for photographs or for weddings.
Anybody who has taken a drive down Capitol Hill is familiar with Civic Center Park, divided by North Broadway and Lincoln Street. Located in the south of the Central Business District and bordered by the Denver Art Museum, the park is known as the heart of civic life in Downtown Denver.
The park blooms with over 25,000 square feet of flower beds each summer, with showy annuals and perennials. It makes for a colorful sight during summer events held at this historic park. The garden sights also extend to the City and County Building at the far end of the park.
This park located in Hilltop just off Colorado Boulevard is well known for its famous large scale sundial, which is easily mistaken by children as a climbing appliance. The park is also well known by its large display gardens which grow lush and fecund. The flower beds trim the edges of the park, where plenty of benches are set for people to sit and enjoy the colorful plantings.
Which of the above parks is your go-to stop? Sound off in the comments below.