Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden



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The Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden proudly maintains a living example of what Denver and the Front Range was like prior to development. With a few exceptions, seeds were obtained from areas within 30 miles of Denver, representing the beauty of local genetic material. The major family represented is Poaceae, the grass family. Signature plants include blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis), buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides), spotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata) and tulip gentian (Eustoma grandiflora).

Our most sustainable garden, this garden thrives on natural precipitation alone and is resistant to cold, hail, drought and heat. The Plains Garden encourages conservation and appreciation for fragile and threatened native prairies, including tallgrass, mixed-grass, shortgrass, sandhills, wetland and riparian habitats. The garden provides some of our best examples of how to create regionally-appropriate gardens and habitats for wildlife, and inspires appreciation for our native landscapes.

Mimicking the natural fire ecology that occured in the days prior to Western expansion, the Plains Garden is burned on occasion. This helps to recycle plant nutrients, manage weed species, promote seed germination and reduce the build-up of thatch and debris.

We invite you to enjoy Denver as it once was.

For a list of plants in the Plains Garden, click here.

Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden Gallery - Click Images to Enlarge

Images © Denver Botanic Gardens

Plains Garden in July
Plains Garden in July
Plains Garden July 2016
Plains Garden July 2016
Plains Garden July 2016
Plains Garden July 2016
Plains Garden, August 2021
Plains Garden, August 2021
Plains Garden in September 2023
Plains Garden in September 2023

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Photography © Denver Botanic Gardens

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