Magazine article Sunset

Mountain Garden Weekend

Magazine article Sunset

Mountain Garden Weekend

Article excerpt

Inside Spring in the Mile High City a Greens in SLC » A secret park near Colorado Springs

Day trip

Denver

Why go now: Spring is so almost here, and we've mapped out a kickoff to bring it a little closer. A stroll through the spiffed-up botanic gardens, platefuls of just-picked greens, and a buying spree of new plants and flowers should get you in the mood. Denverites heart their dirt: Denver Urban Gardens broke ground on its "iooth community garden last year. Let's hear it for triple digits! And talk about green cred: NSAs (Neighborhood Supported Agriculture), like Heirloom Gardens, give locals the chance to donate use of their yards to urban farmers in exchange for weekly produce (eatwhereulive.com). Bring on the veggies: Head tothe nearby suburb of Aurora to walk around what we think is vthe best CSA (Community ' Supported Agriculture) in the area at DeLaney Community Farm. Like what you see? Sign up for weekly veggie pickups (dug.org). Don't just look - eat! Fruition, Z Cuisine, Fuel, Shazz, and Root Down all have chefs who spend as much time tracking down the freshest local food as they do preparing^. Fruition chef Alex Seidel even owns afarm in Larkspur.

1. Backstage botany in action

$15 mil went a long way at the Denver Botanic Gardens, where a new greenhouse complex means you can now peek inside the massive glass structures for a behind-the-scenes look at horticulturists hard at work prepping, potting, and propagating. Little ones will love the new Mordecai Children's Garden, where they can build forts, splash around in the stream, and explore plant and insect life with all five senses. $13; wojYorkSt.; botanicgardens.org

2. 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 delicio u s Ly bitter dandeliongreen salad from Full Circle Farms. Next door at Tattered Cover Bookstore, camp out in one of the theater's original seats and pore over a hundred garden-related titles. Í; 2550 E. Colfax Ave.; 303/355-7112.

3. 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 uintessential Denver view - rocky ountains, city skyline, even a lakecompletely unobstructed before the trees leaf out. …

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