Monday, June 30, 2008
Colorado Rocks! (Seriously)
On the road to Vail: Mountains everywhere! Mountains!!! Like it's the most normal thing!
I've been kind of "worded out" lately, so I've decided to cover my Colorado getaway mostly in photos, à la my Photo Friday posts. (We'll just ignore the fact that it's Monday and that I've really only ever done one Photo Friday post, K? K!)
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: View to Mt. Vail, Dryland Montane Garden
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: Juniper snags and view in opposite direction
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: Alpine Rock Garden
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: Trumpet gentian
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: Shrubby penstemon
I noticed altitude effects in Vail (the gardens are at 8250 ft/2515 m, the highest elevation gardens in the U.S. (Ann Arbor is at 839 ft/256 m!)), panting and wheezing like I'd just run a marathon. I had my sun hat, drank a lot of water, and walked really slowly through the garden. So slowly that retired couples and families with strollers were zooming by me. I wanted a sign that read "Caution: Michigan lowlander. Please pass."
The next day, I visited the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG).
DBG: Planting near gift shop, not even considered a "garden" on their map!
DBG: Close-up of foxtail lily (Eremurus x isabellinus)
DBG: Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora). I've never seen this in Michigan. It's hardy to 0 F, so I may try it and mulch it really well. I love the thin leaves and pink flowers! (Click for my white-flowering yucca.)
DBG: Plains Garden
DBG: Another view of the Plains Garden
DBG: Alpine Rock Garden
DBG: Lacebark pine close-up (cool, huh?!)
DBG: Water-Smart Garden
DBG: Water-Smart Garden close-up (click for more on water-smart gardening)
DBG: Wildflower Treasures or Cutting Garden
I spent the next few days in Colorado Springs with my niece and nephew.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods: Mica in granite
Colorado Springs Utilities' Cottonwood Creek Park Xeriscape Demonstration Garden (Pikes Peak in background. Big mountains, big blue sky!)
Pikes Peak: Crystal Creek Reservoir
Pikes Peak: Bottomless Pit Pullout
Pikes Peak: Snow! Getting closer to summit (see previous post for view from top)
Pikes Peak: Rain looks really cool in the mountains
In conclusion: 1) Michigan is really flat, 2) They were actually building in Colorado Springs (offices, roads, homes)--very unlike Michigan. 3) I would move to Denver based on my experience at the Denver Botanic Gardens alone!