Denver Botanic Gardens (credit: CBS)

With the arrival of summer’s blooms, there are hundreds of ways to enjoy the beauty of Colorado. One of the best is to get a sample of the many different plants and flowers that grow in Colorado’s unique climate. One visit to any of these local public gardens and you’ll be hooked. Wander through acres of flowering plants, take in the magical aroma of the different wildflowers, learn about the science behind keeping these plants going and more. A visit to any of these spots is one part science and one part magic.

Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York St.
Denver, CO 80206
(720) 865-3500

The Denver Botanic Gardens is probably the best known public garden in Colorado with a reputation for showcasing beautiful plants year-round. The distinctive gardens at the Denver Botanic Gardens are a joy to wander through as you take in a variety of plants from all over the world. Take a guided tour to really get the insider’s view on what’s blooming at the Gardens as you explore the 24-acre oasis. Or you can try the self-guided walking tour and just get lost among the many different areas to explore. Make sure to stop by the beautiful Romantic Gardens to see a stunning walkway filled with fragrant roses and mint with beautiful gazebos and more.

Related: Top Garden Centers In The Denver Area

Hudson Gardens
6115 S. Santa Fe Drive
Littleton, CO 80120
(303) 797-8565

The Hudson Gardens is like a combination of botanic gardens and event center where you can stroll through a stunning park filled with flowers in bloom or catch a concert in beautiful surroundings. Looking for a quiet place to reflect or meditate? Check out the Cascades for a gently flowing waterfall surrounded by native natural plants and shrubs, all designed to attract local wildlife. Or check out the Chocolate Garden for a look at chocolate-themed plants. The plants in the area are not intended to taste like chocolate but to mimic its fragrance. It is one of the newer displays at the gardens and  fascinating to visit as you see all of the different scents and aromas the plants can offer.

Garden of the Gods
1805 N. 30th St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
(719) 634-6666

This National Natural Landmark is one of the most beautiful sites in the state, possibly the country. The Garden of the Gods is a natural area filled with giant red rock formations that were created millions of years ago during a period of geological upheaval. Just one stroll through the park will showcase the natural beauty of this region. Take a free 30-minute guided walk to learn even more about the wildflowers, wildlife and other topics in the area, led by a park naturalist. Tours are offered daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Or just browse around the area on your own. Be sure to stop by the visitor center for videos and exhibits all about this stunning natural beauty.

Related: Top Gardens In Denver And Colorado

Tagawa Gardens
7711 S. Parker Road
Centennial, CO 80016
(303) 690-4722

Tagawa Gardens has been around for nearly 30 years, offering a huge garden experience for plant lovers of all kinds. Today you can stroll through acres of indoor and outdoor plants, flowers, display gardens and more. You can chat with local experts and learn about the year-round schedule of garden lectures and classes. You can even attend a variety of music and cultural arts performances in the stunning garden environments. You can also take a stroll through the nursery to find a few plants or flowers to bring home for your own garden. The kids will fall in love with the Fairy Gardens where they can get lost in an area surrounded by special plants, fences, trellises, houses and other things that help bring the world of the fairy to life.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
530 S. Frontage Road
Vail, CO 81657
(970) 476-0103

Take the drive this summer up to Vail to visit one of the highest botanical gardens in the country. These stunning high-altitude gardens are open year-round, showcasing many beautiful waterfalls and streams, a huge variety of wildflowers, golden aspens and lots of wonderful natural botanic attractions. While you are there, take the kids to the many different children’s educational workshops to learn a little about the plants they are seeing, or take a docent-guided tour of the gardens themselves. You may also enjoy taking a yoga class in the park or sampling some recipes from the Chef in the Garden. No matter what you choose to do here, a visit to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is unlike any other botanic gardens in the country.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native.