Monday, September 30, 2019

The Chatfield affair...

I'm not finished with my 2019 Garden Bloggers Fling coverage—I still have several gardens to share—but I am jumping to the final event...

Our buses dropped us of here, in front of the visitors center, at Chatfield Farms, a 700-acre native plant refuge and working farm in Littleton, CO—it's part of the Denver Botanic Gardens organization.

Unfortunately it was late on a Sunday and the visitors center was closed.

And the sky was ominous.

They dropped us quite far away from where we were to gather for dinner, I'm sure the idea was we'd wander the garden en-route. But the thing was, rain threatened and my bladder called out for facilities (TMI?)...

Yucca glauca

So I didn't do much exploring beyond the main pathway.

Yucca baccata

I think it's fascinating to see yucca seedpods forming. We don't have the pollinator required for that to happen here in Portland. At least not that I've ever seen.

The long, low green shrub is Arctostaphylos x coloradensis.

Even just shooting photos from the main pathway there was a lot to admire.

However, after reading a recent blog post on Chatfield from the Miserable Gardener (here) I see that I did miss quite a bit.

The eremurus were fantastic.

And then there was this. It's the second Patrick Dougherty sculpture I've seen on a Fling, the first was in Reston, during the DC area Fling (here).

I did go off-path to check it out.

But once there I realized it was filled with mosquitoes.

They don't usually bother me, but this time it was different.

I made a hasty retreat.

But then realized I was required to cross a bridge over a low, still creek.

There were even more mosquitoes.

I still managed to snap a photo of the plants...

Then I came upon a trio of unexpectedly huge containers...

Ah, there's the red barn, our dinner destination.

Keep off water feature? Out of water feature?

Now that's cool. I want one in my garden...can you imagine having this as tall observation tower?

Okay time to head into the barn and hang with my fellow bloggers. And no, in case you're wondering, I did not leave mosquitoes behind. They were even in the bathroom...

Weather Diary, Sept 29: Hi 52, Low 44/ Precip .35" (that high of 52 is our lowest high temperature in 71 years here in Portland. We should be in the 70's this time of year)

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I knew that Dougherty installation was going to be buggy. The one I saw in Massachusetts was full of mosquitoes, and I just assumed this one would be too. I kind of regretted the beeline that Heather and I made for the barn, after seeing everybody else's great coverage, but also not.

    1. Interesting that you'd found a previous one to be buggy as well, I assumed the problem here was its proximity to that slow moving creek.

  2. Haha, so not your favorite destination then? I was thoroughly pooped by the time we got dropped off in this garden and pretty much just staggered to the barn (with a detour to explore the Dougherty twigwork, mosquitoes be damned). But with a little food and drink in me I rallied enough to do one line dance with the cowgirl instructor. I'll definitely need a repeat visit one day though.

    1. You touched on another issue, food and drink. No drink! At least not of the boozy nature. My table was considering a revolt. Plus by the time we got to the food they were out of the usual assortment of utensils and we had to improvise. It was frustrating to say the least.

  3. As a Midwesterner, I know a former silo when I see one. But not currently in use, so it would be fabulous as an observation tower. We are having so much rain (and now flooding forecast) that these scenes of dark skies feel very familiar.

    1. I am sorry your rain continues! We were threatened frequently over the 3 day event, but the only time rain actually fell on me was on our extra day, post Fling.

  4. You took many more pictures than I would have done if I had to go...
    The combination of the blue penstemon (?) and Eremurus is majestic and visually stunning; my attempts with Eremururs didn't succeed. The structures by Dougherty are jaw dropping. I wish he'd install something in the Northwest.

    1. My attempts with eremurus also failed. I think that in my case it's an issue with not leaving the foliage around post-bloom.

      There is a Dougherty work in Hillsboro, Oregon: I should go check it out someday...

  5. I love all the blue penstemon. You did well with your photos despite dodging mosquitoes. Those little blood suckers love me so I'd have been running as fast as my bum knee would allow.

    1. I still can't believe they went after me, that never happens!

  6. Mosquitoes are too annoying (and now that we have EEE in our area, frightening as well). Love the pale Eremurus and the prolific electric-blue Penstemon.

    1. It was a great combination (the plants, not the mosquitoes)

  7. I loved this garden,and oddly I ran into no mosquitoes until after dinner. They are not especially interested in me so perhaps the presence of more appetizing bloggers kept them at bay.


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