Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hudson Gardens and Event Center in Littleton, CO


Hudson Gardens and Event Center is a 30 acre non-profit botanical garden complex located near the South Platte River, at 6115 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton, Colorado, which opened to the public in 1996. It is open most days from 9 AM until 5 PM and admission is free, with a few exceptions. Its history can be read on this link.

One day recently my husband and I decided to take a stroll in the garden for the first time, after hearing from friends about what a lovely place it is. I'd love to take you along, through my photographs, to show you what a beautiful and peaceful place it is!  All photos, and photo collages, will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on.


I can imagine that it is lovely in every season, but late summer is a good time to visit. We were greeted by the Welcome Garden.


A garden map is distributed at the main entrance, and also along some of the walkways.  It is also visible online.  If you click on this photo to enlarge the map you can see that Hudson Gardens is made up of many different water features and mini gardens.


The Victoria Water Lily Pond is one of the first we saw on our stroll.


The Victoria Water Lily is a native of the Amazon and is in limited display in Colorado. Its massive leaves can grow to be 3 feet or more!  All the aquatic plants at the Hudson Gardens are maintained by volunteers from the Colorado Water Garden Society.


The next garden was called the Oval Garden. One acre in size, it is filled with perennial flowers.


There were many gorgeous blooms still in profusion in many of the Hudson Garden beds.


As a novice western gardener, I liked that many of the flowers along the pathways were labeled. I am trying to find perennials that will flourish despite the frequent deer and rabbit visitors that come to my home's gardens.


Nearby was the Rose Garden. This garden was updated in 2009 to contain roses that thrive in the Colorado climate. Bloom here was past prime, but I enjoyed seeing the names of the variety of hybrid tea roses and floribundas, grandifloras, and climbing roses, planted here. In the distance we saw a tent where a wedding celebration was being held.


We then strolled through the relatively new Chocolate Garden. The plantings change every year, and are those that mimic the odor or image of chocolate, and are not meant to be consumed. The "Chocolate Chip" plant did indeed smell like a delicious chocolate chip cookie, to me!


There are many whimsical places in Hudson Gardens and Event Center, which makes it a charming place for children to visit.  The Garden Railroad mimics Colorado landscape and contains 700 feet of "G" size railroad track and buildings. The railroad runs weather permitting, and on a changing schedule, from mid May through September and during the holiday season.


There was also a fun place for children to walk through and explore, called the Hobbit House, that was constructed of stone.


The Dahlia Display Bed contained some beautiful blooms. Dahlias are grown as annuals in Colorado and this garden contains 100 varieties each season.


The Honeybee Garden is home to an apiary that has been in existence for ten years.  Community beekeepers maintain the apiary and use natural management methods that are minimally invasive, chemical free and non toxic.There is more information about the beekeeping program on this link.


The Aquatic Plant Holding Pond  is where aquatic plants grown from seeds or tubers in a greenhouse are transferred to grow and mature in this less stressful environment before being place in lager pools. More about this process can be read on this link.


We followed the walkway that then lead to the Herb Garden and Vegetable Garden.  The herb garden is maintained by volunteers from the Herb Society of America and contains 115 varieties of herbs used in tea making, medicinal and culinary uses and potpourri, as well as native herbs found in the Colorado region. 
The vegetable garden is planted and maintained in partnership with the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension-Arapahoe County Colorado Master Gardener Program,  The vegetables are easily grown and widely available and are planted during the last week in May. All the produce collected at harvest is distributed to area food banks.  A good online resource for Colorado gardeners, offered by CSU, is called Plant Talk.


The very popular Water Gardens is home to 140 varieties of plants. 


You have to see this garden in person to truly enjoy the variety of delicate and unusual flowers!  It is also maintained by the Colorado Water Garden Society.  More information about this garden can be seen on this link.


Monet's Place is located near the Water Garden, and is thought to evoke the feeling of being in Impressionist painter Claude Monet's garden in Giverny, France.  Magnolia, Ginkgo and Weeping Willow tress can be found here.


The Hudson Gardens and event Center has many beautiful places in which to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.  Whether it is under a giant old Cottonwood tree......


....or by a running stream of water cascading over rocks.


Visitors can find many cool green areas within the center in which to sit and enjoy the scene


During the summer, many concerts are held in Hudson Center and Event Center.  The stage was being set for a concert being held for the evening we visited on the Concert Amphitheater.  For information on how to purchase tickets and concert events click this link.  You can bring your lawn chair and picnic basket and enjoy music under the stars! Click here for info about attending concerts.


My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the gardens and we know we will be back to stroll its walkways many times, and in many seasons.  I hope I've enticed you to also visit if you live in the Denver/Littleton area or on a visit to Colorado.  It also is a beautiful place to rent for a special occasionor in which to take an adult education class


I think the Hudson Gardens is a wonderful collaborative effort by many talented volunteers that give their time and expertise towards maintaining the garden for all to enjoy for free, and that more communities should do the same   Do you have a garden, such as this, in your community that you can enjoy?

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50 comments:

Deanna said...

Well I am just swooning over here! Pat, you have always taken the most amazing photos. I think the fourth photo of the Victoria Water Lily pond is my favorite. I can just imagine its beauty in person. The Oval Garden is so sweetly beautiful and I loved all of the photos of the perennials. I think I would have overstayed my welcome at the Chocolate Garden!

The dahlia's would be perfect as the Texas Tech flower since our colors are black and red :D

What a beautiful post, Pat! I thoroughly enjoyed your commentary and photos.
Have a wonderful week!

ladyfi said...

Gosh - what a stunning place!

Mersad said...

I absolutely love well maintained gardens. These images are not only beautiful but also inspiring. Such a great place. If you like you can link up on the all new edition of the "Through my lens" photo meme. Link is below.

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, thank you for the lovely tour thru the gardens. It is a beautiful place, I love the water gardens. Gorgeous flowers, I love the dahlias. It would be neat to have a garden smelling like chocolate. Wonderful post and photos, enjoy your new week!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

You have shown us a wonderful land of beauty! Such precision . . . not a blade out of place! Thanks for playing today.

Happy Blue Monday!

Ola said...

the lily pond looks beatiful but all the corners are charming!

Ann said...

Yes you have enticed me to visit there next time I visit my kids.

Ann

happywonderer.com said...

What a gem of a garden to visit! Love all the water features!

ria cabral said...

linking up for mosaic monday
http://cabralfamilyblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/mosaic-monday-my-artwork.html

Well i am just blown away by the beauty displayed in all of the photos. An amazing garden to visit and I love the water features!

Barbara said...

Hudson Gardens really is a special place, any time of the year. Odd as it sounds, I've been there more times to see the Christmas light displays than in the summer! Thanks for this tour. You did a wonderful job of it, Pat!

Sylvia said...

Pat, That was a lovely stroll you shared. Those large lily pads are terrific. I really enjoyed your photos. Sylvia D.

Jeannie Marie said...

I'm taking a break from my cleaning and what a delightful way to spend it by enjoying your lovely series of photos. There are few things better than strolling through a lovely garden. Thanks for posting!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a peaceful and colorful place to spend some time. I especially love water lilies and aquatic plants. There's no shortage of sights to see out there where you live Pat.

EG CameraGirl said...

So much beauty there to photograph!

jeannettestgermain said...

What a beautiful botanical garden - I must keep this one in mind, when we come to Colorado! Thanks for taking us with you on the tour:)

Fun60 said...

What a beautiful place. The flowers are gorgeous.

Joy H said...

OMG I wish that garden was near us it is so lovely. Love the stone bridge and my Dad was a model train collector so he would have loved to see the trains.
Have a great week and thanks for sharing!
Joy @ Books and Life

Cathy Keller said...

Darn! We have just left CO and didn't know about this! Will put it on our list for next summer!! I will put it on our list of things to do next summer. Thank you for sharing! We'll be off to IN in 2 days from MT and have so many pics I want to share! Have a wonderful week!

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

I've been to CO once, and never really seen anything more than the airport to a hospital and back to airport. Your photos are so beautiful of this lovely place. I know if this garden was by me I'd certainly visit. Thank for sharing something I doubt I'll ever see. Also thanks for stopping by and letting me know you liked my Cottage Summer Living Area.

Photo Cache said...

What a perfect day trip destination this garden is. Will fill your eyes with beauty and your memory card with memorable sights.

Angela said...

So beautiful!

NC Sue said...

Beautiful photos!
So glad you shared at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/double-play-on-way.html

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

The Hudson Gardens appear to be superb in design and plant material Pat. We have the Toronto Botanical Gardens south of us where many of the flower associations meet and/or maintain the beds.
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

GreenComotion said...

The Lillypads and water garden are amazing, as are your photos!
Have a Happy Week!
Peace :)

Rhonda Albom said...

What a beautiful spot and those water lilies are really cool. They are so unusual. I am embarrassed to admit I wondered for a moment if they were fake, so I am super glad you added the description.

Mari said...

Such an amazing garden. Could be there everyday. I already have chosen a spot, that one with a bench on the greens beside a lake. Perfect for relaxing or reading. Thank you for accompanying pictures with explanations. It was a lovely tour.

The Gathering Place said...

I love gardens like that! We have a smaller version here called Red butte Gardens and I really enjoy walking the grounds. Your gardens look like a great place to visit each season.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a beautiful place to visit, especially on a hot summer day. I am very impressed, pun intended, with Monet's gardens. We recently saw an exhibition of Monet and the Impressionists in Chattanooga and the Hudson's rendition of his garden is amazing. I could easily fall in love with all of the lovely flowers and the peaceful lily pond and of course the very unique chocolate garden. Great tour Pat.
Sam

RNSANE said...

Oh, Pat, while I do love India, internet drives me crazy. Speeds are terribly slow and it takes forever to download blogs and to upload mine. Pictures, especially, make me tear my hair out. I've posted very little since coming here this time. My landlady has the slowest WiFi on record - it was so much better where I stayed the last two times but the Toscanos have family visiting during my time period here so I had to find another paying guest room.

I will have to catch up on my blog friends when I get home. I'm going to have right shoulder replacement when I return so I'll have to buy new Dragon software or I won't be on the computer at all!!!

The gardens look lovely, the little I saw of them.

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

What a very inspirational garden. I like all the plants that you showcased in this blog - especially the dahlias and chrysanthemums. It seems to be a garden designed to show you what is possible for ordinary gardeners in your part of the world, and I like that.

fredamans said...

Stunning gardens!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Absolutely stunning gardens! Just breath taking!!
Thanks so much for sharing and thanks so much for stopping by!!

Hugs,
Deb

Indrani said...

Very beautiful captures. Lovely garden.
Happy ODW!

diane b said...

Congratulations to the designers and maintainers of these beautiful gardens. Thanks for taking me on this tour.

podso said...

You find the best places to visit. This place looks amazing with such variety and something for everything, even the chocoholics!

Gracie said...

I bet it was really a relaxing time! Thanks for taking us all along...
Btw, thanks for your comment on my blog, I'm still updating it with my vacation memories..

Donna said...

Oh those gardens are gorgeous especially the Victorian pond.

Annesphamily said...

The gardens are quite lovely. It is always fun to find new places to visit. The concerts there are also quite good. A wonderful venue for entertainment. Thanks for sharing.

Villrose said...

Lovely colours and pond!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I will have to keep this place in mind if I ever get back to the Littleton area. I am not a gardener but I love nice gardens.

Heidi Resetarits said...

Pat, Thank you for capturing such wonderful photos and documenting your journey at The Gardens! We've featured your blog on our Facebook page, and I'd love to connect with you. We appreciate your visit, come back soon!
Sincerely,
Heidi
Marketing Manager, Hudson Gardens
hresetarits@hudsongardens.org

Pam Richardson said...

Pat, what a beautiful tour and photos! I enjoyed every picture! I love to garden and appreciate all the hard work that goes into all this beauty! Thanks for sharing!
Blessings,
Pam (everydayliving.me)

Lorrie said...

Thank you, Pat, for taking us along on your walk through the gardens. Such a lovely place. Those Victoria Water Lily leaves are astounding. And I love the peaceful scenes from the benches - it's always good to stop and take a rest.

Have a Daily said...

What beautiful gardens! CO is not that far away from UT. I am pinning this and want to go there some time. Hubby and I was in Breckenridge, CO in June. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Rue said...

What an incredible place, Pat! I think my favorite was the Monet garden. They did a really nice job with it. But it's all beautiful :)

xo,
rue

Ida said...

Wow there is a ton to see at that garden. I would love to visit it. Those water lily pads are so cool. I saw some once when I visited Longwood Gardens in PA and loved them. Such pretty flowers, and I like the mini train here as well.

Barb said...

I loved strolling through the gardens with you, Pat. I thought this was the garden that backs onto the bike path near Chatfield, but I don't think that garden is as spacious. I'll have to have a look-see the next time I visit the area.

Retired English Teacher said...

I had no idea this place was here. I would love to visit it. We should meet sometime for coffee or lunch and plan a field trip! Let me know if you are up for meeting somewhere.

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow, these gardens are fantastic! I like the lily pond and those round flat ones are so neat to see. Thanks for the tour Pat. Have a wonderful week!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It's a beautiful garden! Beautiful flowers, and loved the way they've done the educational exhibits like the honeybee gardens. And I really want to visit the chocolate garden!