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Flower Power

Believe it or not, Denver's beautiful formal park gardens — from the famous plots of Civic Center, Alamo Placita and Washington Park to the lesser-known plantings in such places as Montbello Civic Center Park — don't just pop up out of the ground each year. As you're reading this, more than twenty city horticulturists are already busy planning next year's beds, right down to the number of canna and coleus seeds to order and plant.

But to truly appreciate the magnitude of that task, from the conceptual end to the hands-on denouement next summer, consider taking the city's Buds to Blooms Garden Tour Series, which features separate tours of parks in three city sectors and culminates with a Putting the Beds to Bed volunteer event in the fall. Today from 9 a.m. to noon, participants will be treated to whirlwind tours through south and southwest Denver — from the cheerful American flag garden in Harvey Park and fabulous views of Ruby Hill Park to the Mount Vernon replica garden in Washington Park.

"We want people to walk away with lots of information and ideas, and to visit some of our parks that they wouldn't necessarily visit," says Angela Casias of Denver Parks and Recreation. And to that end, each tour makes some unexpected stops, including the natural realm of Bluff Lake Park and an indoor sojourn at the renovated Richthofen Castle.

Admission is $7 to $15 ($40 for the series), which includes transportation, refreshments and tips from master gardeners at the Harvard Gulch State House; to register, call 720-913-0700. Additional tours in north and northwest Denver are on August 5 and 12.
Sat., June 30


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