Saturday Morning Garden Blog Vol. 19.37- Visit Rob Proctor Garden

Rob Proctor is the plant expert for NBC affiliate 9News in Denver, hosting a segment every Saturday, along with specials about gardening in Colorado. He has lived in Denver’s gorgeous, antique-filled square for 26 years, planting and tending his massive garden with his partner, David Mackey. My mother adored him. Once a year he opens his house and gardens to the public and we get to see all of his beautiful grounds. This year was the same weekend I was planning to visit my sisters, so of course we went to see the gardens.

Back porch

Sunday’s visit was a cloudy and cool day, and the weather was mild at best. We got a little rain on our way back to the car, but other than that it was a very beautiful day.

We started off on our plush, enclosed front porch by giving the sweet lady a $10 donation to the Dumb Friends League which is, you guessed it, our network of animal shelters in Denver. We adopted our first two silly dogs from Dumb Friends, many years ago. I missed taking pictures at home for the most part, we were headed to the park. I was able to come to my senses as we were leaving and took some pictures of the living areas and the enclosed back porch. I’ll get to those, GUG, promise! I mostly took pictures of the garden of course!

Birdbath, not sure what was in it but maybe barley for mosquitoes?

Arrange a bird bath.

The outside porch had lots of annuals in pots.

Stadiums. What a pop of color!

Many of the plants were in pots and clearly not suited to our climate, such as many of the succulents, dracaena and cacti. Rob and David spend every fall and spring hauling a lot of pots up and down the stairs and into the basement for the winter, but it’s worth it.

Beautiful patchwork on the back porch.

They also have a small greenhouse.


Most gardens are built as formal spaces with seating areas and small grass paths to lead you to the next small sub-garden.

One of the many seating areas

The back of the house was a vegetable garden and a compost pile. The path was through an arbor with large vines and a grassy area with a wheelbarrow reused as a planter. Many things were used in this way. If only Mr. Light would let me have the freedom to leave it like this! He still has some grass to mow…

The wheelbarrow is useful

A feature of the backyard area is the carriage house and the spiral staircase that reaches to the roof. It was clear that the structure would no longer hold a person’s weight. It didn’t matter, it was beautiful.

Transport house

I loved the plant ladder

Lots of utensils here

We noticed Hugelkulture on our way out the door but didn’t get a picture. Another friend of mine creates several huge cultures on her property near my house. We had just toured her property and admired the many piles of brush turned into gardens so I recognized her immediately. The back of the property had compost piles and vegetable gardens.

Fertilizer behind Datura
The vegetables are there. truly!
More back garden

A secret garden on the side of the house led to the sunken garden, which was the original outdoor kitchen of the house as seen in the top photo.

Sunken Garden
Details of the sunken garden

Pictures of the house…

Books and antiques
Fireplace in front hall
Front lounge
The stairs

What a treat! We had so much fun, we went for lunch afterward. For more pictures of the garden in 2020, here is a link to a very nice blog about it. Paint box garden

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A few beanbags.

I can’t forget Charlie! He stayed at home and kept Mr. Light company, but later last week he helped pick out moss rocks for the garden.

This is beautiful

I saw a lizard! it is big.

His tail grows back, so he’s a survivor!

What happens in your gardens?

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