One perfect day at Denver gardens

Explore some of Denver's most gorgeous flowering spots to welcome spring

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  • City Floral is jam-packed with everything you need to start a garden--including 72 tomato varieties.

    City Floral

    Carmel Zucker

    Click to Enlarge

A farm to plate lunch: It's a short walk to the old Lowenstein Theatre for lunch at Encore on Colfax, where you'll enter through the old box office and pick a table in the original green room. Try the mac 'n' cheese topped with pea shoots from Verde Farms, alongside a deliciously bitter dandelion-green salad from Full Circle Farms. Next door at Tattered Cover Bookstore, pore over a hundred garden-related titles. $, 2550 Colfax Ave., 303/355-1112 

The photo op of the day: There's one bonus to visiting City Park's more than 300 acres before spring hits in full gear: the quintessential Denver view--rocky mountains, city skyline, even a lake--completely unobstructed. Walk to the west side of the Museum of Nature & Science for the money vantage point. E. 17th Ave. at York St., denvergov.org/parks

A little help with your garden vision: Look for veggies and blooms lining the front of Wild Flowers. This gem of a shop is stocked with plants and fun accessories like Buddha kitsch statues, luxe hand cream, and inspirational lantern displays. 1201 Madison St., 303/333-4050

Take it home: It's worth a quick drive to City Floral, a nursery and garden-supply store that'll impress you with its 72 tomato varieties. They've begun using computer-generated plant labels, but you may still find a few of the endearing handwritten ones shaped like tomatoes, with growing tips on the back. 1440 Kearney St.; 303/399-1177

Now that you've got gardening on the brain...3 stops to amp up your skills

The latest buzz: Learn everything you need to know about starting a backyard beehive at To Bee or Not To Bee, housed in a WWII-era Quonset hut between State 70 and State 25. Drop in for a beginner beekeeping class or to pick up supplies. Call for hours; 725 W. 39th Ave,; 303/728-4422

The free 101: To garden is to compost--or at least it should be. Learn how at the Gove Garden in Congress Park, one of a hundred community gardens operated by Denver Urban Gardens. Live in Denver? Register now--weekly classes start in May. By appointment only; free; dug.org

Take it beyond beginner: Growhaus, in the oft-forgotten Elyria-Swansea neighborhood 4 miles north of City Park, is where to go to hone more hard-core gardening skills. Want to learn how to grow both plants and fish in a tank? Take the Intro to Aquaponics class (10-3 Apr 16; $55). thegrowhaus.com

 

 

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