Showing posts with label Botanic Gardens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Botanic Gardens. Show all posts

August 12, 2012

The Unsinkable Denver Botanic Gardens Rises High

Kizuna-West Meets East, is the current exhibition at the Denver Botanic Gardens, featuring two installation artists who work in bamboo, yet in very different ways. This work, by Tetsunori Kawana is one of many which undulate and flow through the open spaces at the Gardens. Check out my post from two years about his work at the NYBG.

All museums today struggle with attracting and retaining an audience, with fierce competition for time, money and repeat visits, cultural institutions sometimes lean on other ways raise money ( mainly tacky gift shop sales of garden flags with sunflowers on them, or tote bags and umbrellas). Not the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG). They attract people like honey bees on an Agastache.  In our world of budget cuts and multiple distractions ranging from TV, sports and back-to-school sales, the DBG is busier than ever. I don't know what the Denver Botanic Gardens has discovered about doing business, but from what I could tell, they are the brightest shining star on the horizon, and they should be the standard which any botanic garden today measures itself against.  They appeal, attract and seem to retain an ever increasing membership - a membership who is not only engaged with events and attractions, they are also engaged with gardening and plant - Holy cow, what the heck happened in Colorady? Hopefully, they will share their secrets with the rest of the gardening world!

There is something very human about the DBG. Long walks, attractive plantings that are interesting, and many events - enough to attract a crowd even on a 96 degree hot August weekday.

Be sure to 'Like" the Denver Botanic Garden on Facbook, they would like that.

I visited the Gardens four different times this week. In the morning, strollers and moms, often with friends, took advantage of the cool mornings to both look at the many attractive and stylish plantings, and I over-heard many talking about their own garden plants. At lunch on day, while taking photos in the famous rock garden, I watched a couple discuss their plans on how they were just about to tear out their lawn, and plant a xeric garden- they were making lists on how many plants they needed of each species. On Thursday evening, just as the sun was setting over the Rockies in the distance, two older women discussed the benefits of various membership levels ( something about how two can get in for one-deal, even if they are not family). Clearly, this is an institution who is not only relevant and in-touch, they are growing, and it's easy to see why.