How's this for a switch? Start your week by slowing down: It's a free day at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York St., making it a perfect time to stop and smell the flowers. Outdoors, you'll be able to enjoy new spring blooms, while indoors, you can traipse through the newly refurbished and redesigned tropical conservatory. Either way, the pastures are certain to be greener. The gardens are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today; call 303-370-8187 for information about upcoming events.
When in Turkey, do as the Turkish do. If you're in the process of planning that trip to Istanbul, here's an opportunity to find out what that entails. The Hoy-Tur Folk Dance Group, an authentic ensemble performing dances popular not only in Istanbul but in all regions of Turkey, will demonstrate, with help from the musicians of Group Lachin, tonight at 7:30 at the Temple Events Center, 1595 Pearl St. Admission ranges from $15 to $20; call 303-830-TIXS.
Author Ellen Meloy is a scarce phenomenon in America, simply by way of the Four Corners region, the remote stretch of the Southwest she bravely calls home. It's also the subject of her many-faceted collection of new essays, The Last Cheater's Waltz: Beauty and Violence in the Desert Southwest, a combination of laid-back humor and environmental concern that covers numerous regional topics, from the lasting effects of A-bomb testing to the mating rituals of desert toads. Meloy will share some moments from the book, convincingly written in the Edward Abbey vein, tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. Call 303-322-7727 for details.
Few jazz guitarists are as smartly prolific as John Scofield, an ever-changing technician who tempers his sheer skill with a bit of soul. His most recent recording foray, a funky trip into organ-trio country, featured the up-to-date sounds of Medeski, Martin and Wood, and we'll assume that's the territory he'll cover--albeit without MM&W--when he performs tonight at 8 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder. Tickets are $18 and $23.50; call 303-786-7030.