Friday, September 7, 2012

Cheyenne Botanical Gardens

Another Botanical Garden post, this one from beautiful Wonderful Wyoming. This visit occurred on my visit to Casper ,Wyoming to visit my mother. I will post also as I return going back home as my camera battery died on this trip.
As I was contemplating from home on what to share about this garden in the capital of Wyoming, I had just received my first magazine copy of The American Gardener. The American Gardener is the magazine of the American Horticultural Society which I had just received as a new member. (By the way there is a nice article from Thomas Rainer (grounded design) titled Cottage Garden, American Style).
On page 13 there is a call for Nominations for the Great American Gardeners Awards and also a portrait of last year's Professional Award given to Shane Smith, Director, Cheyenne Botanic Garden. So obviously this garden is award winning. Read here about the history of this exceptional garden. So let's proceed.
Main walking Entrance to Cheyenne Botanical Gardens
 The "horns" are made of welded horseshoes and nearby there is a plaque with descriptions of different horseshoe hoof prints. The motif is very unique. This entrance is across the street from  the "Grand Daddy of them All" Cheyenne Frontier Rodeo grounds. This is also the pedestrian entrance to the gardens xeriscape demonstration gardens. As there is little parking near this entrance, I usually approach the garden from the parking lot near the garden greenhouses. 
For some reason xeriscape gardens have always been a draw to me. Maybe I'm just a xero-head or have a lack of water in the brain. I just enjoy the shades of gray green foliage of many xeric plants and their often unique, out of the ordinary aesthetic properties in contrast to many common garden plants prevalent in our suburban american landscapes. And of course many of these plants survive the hostile environmental conditions they thrive survive in. Many do well in the harsh Kansas plains that I garden in. The low grass above is a native species of buffalograss with milkweed seedlings interspersed. Behind the sign is a Ephedra equisetina-Bluestem joint-fi(more photos to come), Nepeta-catmint and Gallardia-Blanket Flower. Pathways are generous and well positioned, even thought the pink transition strip is a little bold. 
 If you read the Wikipedia write up on the garden you know that the gardens are maintained by a large group of volunteers and city park employees.
A xericscape cottage garden. Love those Alcea-Hollyhocks so prevalent in the Rock Mountain Regions.
Alcea-yellow hollyhock, Achillea millifolium, some form of Penstemon I believe, Echinacea purpurea, Perovskia atriplicifolia-Russian Sage, and others.
Stachys macrantha 'Robusta'-Big Betony
'Next Winters Bread' by David Alan Clark-In the pioneer vegetable garden.
But my favorite gardens are the prairie gardens in the xeriscape area.
Castilleja linariaefolia-Indian Paint Brush (Wyoming State Flower), Verbena stricta -Wooly Verbena , Hesperaloe, Panicum and surrounded by buffalo grass.
 Verbena stricta
Aclepias asperula - Antelopehorn Milkweed
Asclepias and Fallugia above.
Another shot of the Ephedera in the background.
And on of my favorites below. Apache Plume-Fallugia paradoxa below. Wow.






21 comments:

  1. Oh wow, that's just amazing! Love the horseshoe arch. This brings back incredible memories.

    We lived in Cheyenne for a few years a very long time ago. I even dressed up and rode in a vintage stagecoach for the Frontier Days parade which was a blast.

    There were no gardens anything like this one though. I did spend a lot of time walking on the prairie looking at all the native plants. It's beautiful! Thanks for the memories.



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    1. When I live in Casper as a child I always wanted to go to Frontier Days. Even in high school in Oklahoma I wanted to go. Sadly I've never been. Maybe next year.

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  2. Thank you Greggo! I have a small xeriscape area and your pictures give me some ideas.

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    1. Your welcome. I'm curious which plants you might use.

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  3. Funny-hubby and I decided against moving to Wyoming because it was too dry to garden. I have many of those plants at my home here in Michigan--because they love the dry dry summers here.
    Love the entry way-that arch must have taken quite a bit of work to create.

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  4. Thanks for the wonderful tour! The horseshoe arch is so grand and it is all uphill from there! Your last two photo are fab!

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    1. Yes those last two turned out well.

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  5. Love the arch and I think I would love to see the pioneer garden. Love the statue and curved paths. I am with Karin, those last two are stunning.

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    1. It's funny but I wan't really mesmerized by the arch until I started editing the photo. I should have taken a shot of it from the busy street nearby and shown how it kind of hidden as a focal point. I would have liked to view as you enter the garden from the parking lot.

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  7. Good to see something botanical come out of WY, given how close they are to Denver - which appears to be just tipping the edge into dryland plantings. Odd, since the term "xeriscape" started there, but many other places do it far more and have for longer!

    Do you see anything in Cheyenne other than wild-looking or cottage xeric designs? Or even anything xeric in town outside those gardens?

    Thanks for the tour of a place even less familiar in horticulture than Abq...and that ain't easy to do. Nice plant choices and variety, especially the high plains grasses, plantings, and drift of paintbrushes.

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    1. I haven't been through too many residential areas, but what I have seen commercially is pretty much the same as old Denver. Such as bluegrass, Picea, Abies, Juniper, Syringa, the usual supects. Oh, lets not forget Karl the Kalamagrostis.I'm going to do another post which was visited on my way back home.

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    2. I will also do a post on the Natrona County (Casper Wyoming) extension demonstration garden which uses primarily Plant Select plants.

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  8. That Apache Plume looks like something found on a coral reef, not from a garden in Wyoming.

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    1. True. And those are the seed-heads, the blooms look pretty ordinary. The shrub itself is pretty nondescript(fourth from last photo).

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  9. What a beautiful collection of Indian Paintbrush and Verbena, and yes indeed the Apache Plume is stunning--especially your capture!

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  10. An impressive garden in a brutal climate. Wowza on the Apache Plume photo!

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  11. LOL. I am an LA girl who stumbled upon the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. One of my absolute favorite pictures of my husband is him wearing his coyboy hat,walking through the wildflowers. It is a marvelous garden. Why I didn't expect it..I should realize you have wonderful people in Wyoming- why not gardens!

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  12. The arch of horse shoes is fantastic Greggo. What a great tour! I have never seen a Apache Plume-Fallugia paradoxa, I'm smitten. I'm adding Cheyenne BG to my list of places to visit!
    Paul

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  13. Really lovely cottage garden border, and the pioneer woman is awesome. For some reason plants like echinacea, hollyhocks and even yarrow have to be watered or languish/die in my gardens. I do TRY to amend the dang clay!

    Fun trip Greggo, and great images.

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  14. What a wonderful tour. I love this time of year when grasses and xeric plants seem to be their most showy.

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Thanks for leaving any comments, they are always welcomed. Sorry I had to add word verification as spam was becoming a huge problem. Greggo,