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Outdoors Bloom and Fruit Tour

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Discover the over 40 outdoor gardens at Denver Botanic Gardens either in person or from the comfort of home. Every day brings new blooms, fruit and vistas on the 20+ acres.

The listed plants are ones selected for their flowers, fruit or leaf colors, or texture in spring. As we move beyond blooming bulbs, we now can see (and often smell) flowering trees and shrubs. Lilacs, peonies, iris, viburnum and woody plants in the rose family are the signature plants of May. On a breezy day, you may be encircled in a whirlwind of flower petals, guiding you through your visit.

Tour updated May 12, 2022

Quercus alba × robur 'Crimschmidt' (Hybrid Oak)

oak tree with male catkins (flower tassels)

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Lonicera tatarica 'Honeyrose' (Tatarian Honeysuckle)

large shrub with bright pink flowers

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Baptisia australis (Blue False Indigo)

purple flower spikes on shrubs along cafe wall

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Iris 'Walker Ross' (Iris)

lavender iris

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Tetraneuris acaulis var. acaulis (Stemless Four Nerve Daisy)

low growing perennial with yellow daisy flowers

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Beehive (Garden Features)

Look up at the wall near the Conservatory to see the beehives. Can you see honeybees flying in and out?

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Eremurus himalaicus (Himalayan Foxtail Lily)

tall white flower spikes

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Trollius altaicus

early blooming perennial with bright yellow-orange flowers

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Penstemon eatonii (Eaton's Firecracker)

western native with bright red flowers on long stems; flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds

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Annuals Garden and Pavilion (Garden Features)

Spring bulbs with create a colorful showcase through early May.

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Paeonia suffruticosa (Tree Peony)

large white petaled flowers iwth golden stamens in the center

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Lilac Garden (Garden Features)

Lilacs bloom during May in Denver. Visit both hillsides to see (and smell) different colors of blooms on these horticultural favorites. The Lilac Garden flanks both sides of Ann Montague's Iris and Daylily Garden, making it one of the most colorful parts of the Gardens to visit in mid-spring.

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Ann Montague's Iris and Daylily Garden (Garden Features)

May and June are the prime time to visit this garden. Look for a rainbow of different flower colors in both iris (May-early June) and daylilies (June-early July).

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Syringa vulgaris 'Clyde Heard' (Lilac)

fragrant lavender flower clusters

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Staphylea trifolia (American Bladdernut)

pendulous bell-shaped flowers in clusters

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x Sorbaronia 'Ivan’s Beauty' (Mountain Ash)

tree with white flower clusters

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Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian Bugloss)

dainty light blue flowers above bright green foliage

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Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry Viburnum)

large shrub with large creamy-white rounded flower clusters

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Cornus controversa 'June Snow-JFS' June Snow™ (Giant Dogwood)

large shrub that will soon be covered with large clusters of white flowers

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Asphodelus albus (White Asphodel)

white flowers opening progressively up the elongated spike

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Iris × germanica 'Lovable Pink' (Bearded Iris)

pink flowering iris in the Secret Path

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Crataegus ambigua (Russian Hawthorn)

white flowering tree

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Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden (Garden Features)

The Plains Garden is periodically burned to help cycle plant nutrients, manage weed species, promote seed germination and reduce the build-up of thatch and debris. This mimics the natural fire ecology that would have occurred in grasslands pre- European settlement of the Great Plains. Visit frequently to witness this garden as it springs new growth from the black ash. (Burn scheduled for March 2, 2022)

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Echinocereus viridiflorus (Hedgehog Cactus)

cactus with numerous yellow flowers; growing in trough

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Rock Alpine Garden (Garden Features)

Spring is the best time to visit the Rock Alpine Garden, especially to see a large diversity of flowering shrubs and early perennials.

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Daphne × susannae 'Anton Fahndrich' (Daphne)

bright pink flowers on low-growing shrub

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Viburnum opulus 'Roseum' (European Snowball Bush)

large shrub with creamy colored rounded flower clusters

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