There are more than 16,000 lavender flowers ready to bud at the Denver Botanic Gardens

There are more than 16,000 lavender flowers ready to bud at the Denver Botanic Gardens

DENVER, CO – MAY 11: Annie Ertz, 1, of Denver smells the scent of tulips at the Denver Botanic Gardens during their spring plant sales on Saturday. May 11, 2019. (Photo by Hyung Chang/The Denver Post)

Spring has sprung up in classic Colorado style this year, alternating between cold, snowy days and warm, sunny days. It’s a combination that has flower lovers wondering when one of the Denver Botanic Gardens’ most popular attractions will be ready for display: beds filled with more than 16,200 lavender flowers in vibrant shades of orange, yellow, red, pink and white.

The answer, according to parks spokeswoman Erin Breed, is that it won’t take long. Buds can already be seen at the base of some tulip plants, but the stems have not yet extended.

The recent snowfall, which covered Denver in a 6.5-inch layer of snow, hasn’t bothered the plants, Byrd says. “The snow does not harm the bulbs and will not harm the leaves and flower beds. It insulates the plant and protects it from freezing,” she explained. “Flowers that bloom during a snowfall can look worse for wear after the thaw, but the plant is not damaged and will come back next spring.”

Spring flowers always attract more visitors to gardens, but tulips are especially popular. Many locals plan their trip to the gardens around the tulip schedule, and the organization shares tulip status updates and bloom alerts on social media.

Flowering will begin in mid-April if temperatures are warmer, said Bridget Blomquist, associate director of horticulture at DBG. “My best guess is that in the next three weeks we will actually start to see flowers appear if temperatures stay on the warm side.”

Temperature also affects how long the blooms last. During periods of warm weather, flowering usually lasts for a few weeks. Cold weather keeps tulips in bloom longer, but snow and wind can reduce bloom time.

Most annual garden tulips are grown in raised, raised beds. The shape of the bed determines how the tulips will be arranged. Bloomquist said she likes to fill each piece from edge to edge. “During peak bloom, the view is absolutely stunning with large beds tightly packed with colorful tulips. It’s a beautiful celebration of spring.”

Coloradans are lucky because tulips won’t grow in a lot of places, says Bridget Bloomquist, Denver Botanic Gardens horticulturist of annuals, who designed and planted the Annuals Garden and Pavilion. (Denver Post file)

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