Urban Roots
This tiny potting-shed of a shop caters to Golden Triangle condo dwellers whose plot of land consists mainly of a lanai. Sometimes two. So the colorful patio at Diane Stahl's Urban Roots displays dozens of planter-worthy herbs, annuals and vegetables, twining vines, rosebushes and perennials that will winter over in a balcony pot. Inside, you'll find a few well-chosen books, sturdy tools, seeds and bulbs, watering cans and other accessories designed to doll up small spaces. And she doles out some very sage watering and growing advice. May your porch flower over.
Timberline Gardens
Timberline Gardens' co-owner and grower Kelly Grummons is a plantsman with an affinity for unique native plants, wildflowers and perennials. So while most nurseries stick to the standard bedding foliage, he's happily preparing drought-resistant gardens. The font of horticultural knowledge also lectures throughout the area and offers classes at his sixteen-acre greenhouse on everything from ornamental grasses to X-rated plants. For water-wise flora and coddle-free gardens, Grummons knows best.
In addition to this era's xeric concerns, many Colorado gardeners must endure the vagaries of microclimates and high altitude when planning their backyard Edens. It's not like everyone can go gather seeds from every alpine nook and cranny around the world in order to raise an interesting rock garden in town or biome-friendly patch higher up. Fortunately, Rocky Mountain Rare Plants owners Rebecca Day-Skowron and Bob Skowron have done it for you. Their store abounds in non-invasive and beautiful alternatives for high-elevation gardeners who are weary of the same old petunias and marigolds.
With its charming wooden bins and old-fashioned ambience, Rocky Mountain Seed Co. offers a shopping experience as hardy and no-nonsense as the merchandise. For fifty years, they've been offering time-proven seeds geared to Colorado's climate. And while the lonely, downtown establishment now sticks out among high-rises, lofts and chic clubs, the area was once Denver's agriculture row, where farmers from the plains came to stock up on seed, feed, supplies and equipment. So come on down and set awhile in the vestiges of a bygone era; the prices are low, and the seed is good.
A huge retail floor filled with treasures normally found only at yard sales, discount outlets or auctions is hard to resist -- even if it somewhat stifles the joy of the hunt. Store owner Joy Wilson has a little bit of everything, from magnificent Chinese antiques to budget-fitting coffee tables; they're culled from estate liquidations, factory closeouts and attics everywhere. Discounts are deep, so your pockets don't have to be.
The DAV's better-known cousins, Goodwill and the ARC, can't hold a candle to the bonanza of finds in this clean, well-lit thrift store. And you gotta love the '80s soundtrack playing in the background. Most jeans run from $2.95 to $7.95, and infant and toddler wear is an easy-on-the-wallet $2.95. You'll also find toilet-seat covers, napkin holders, drapes and just about every other household sundry imaginable. Maybe even a pair of those au currant tiki mai-tai glasses.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that the Middle East has contributed much to the world's artistic heritage, including the fabled magic carpet. The wizardry remains, and it flashes in the brilliant design and exquisite quality of these hand-woven textiles. Pangaea Handmade Carpets owner T Robinson offers an exclusive collection of nomadic rugs, Turkish prayer mats, Caucasian runners, Anatolian kilims and Tibetan area rugs, as well as carpets from the great workshops of Persia. Ranging in price from $100 for a basic contemporary rug to $18,000 for a unique antique, each rug has its own personality and brings color, style and warmth into any room.
The goods inside Tesoros reflect Indian Hills' Native American connection: In the late 1800s, the area served as a summer campground for the Ute Indians, and the historic log building that houses Tesoros was once a trading post, among other things. That seems appropriate, considering the upscale store now trades in modern cultural artifacts: Rugs and blankets, pottery, antiques and rustic accents compete to catch a shopper's eye, and tribal touches brighten many of Tesoros' wares, from furniture to lighting fixtures and garden accessories. Outfitting a cabin? Just moved to town and really want to dig into that Western vibe? Head for the Hills -- or head to www.tesorosltd.com.
In an innocuous, squat building on Speer is a trove of hip, mid-century modern home furnishings by designers such as Eames, Platner and Mies van der Rohe. They've got the iconic Saarinen tulip chair and George Nelson ball clock. You can even get the Eames lounge and ottoman favored by fashion stylists. And if your walls are bare, consider the works by local artists hanging in One Home. It's a one-stop home shop for the mod family.
Nature's Own president Roy Young likes digging in the dirt. When he isn't manning one of the store's five Colorado locations or promoting environmental awareness, he travels the world in search of fossils; many of those specimens wind up on Nature's Own's shelves alongside rare minerals, handcrafted onyx, educational materials and lots of fun prehistoric products. The stores are a tree-hugger's dream, helmed by an earthy guy who puts his green behind his green beliefs: In November of last year, Young donated a month's net income from his stores to state environmental groups.

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