The Denver Botanic Garden’s Horticulture Library: A Resource for Front Range Plant Lovers

The Helen Fowler Library at the Denver Botanic Gardens is the largest horticultural library in the Rocky Mountain region. The library supports the mission of the Denver Botanic Gardens, connecting people with plants. unnamedWe hold in our collection more than 20,000 specialized book titles, over 100 magazines and journals, a VHS and DVD collection (popular and technical titles), as well as archival and special collections. Our collections highlight agriculture and food, botanical art and illustration, botany, Colorado and Rocky Mountain plants, gardening, landscaping, world flora, sustainability, children’s gardening and more.

The library is also host to Denver Master Gardeners who volunteer at the Gardens staffing our Garden Help desk. Hours vary throughout the year as the schedule follows the gardening season. In January, February, and November master gardeners are available on Tuesday; March, April, and October on Tuesday and Saturday; May through September on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. All shifts are from noon – 4pm. Additional shifts are added on SCFD free days.  Master gardeners can also be contacted anytime at 720-865-3575 or via email at gardeninghelp@botanic gardens.org. Photos (close up and whole plant) and/or samples of the plant in question aid in answering questions.

In the spring and fall, librarian Rory O’Connor-Walston hosts a book club at the library. Literature of the Land is a book club series where we read three books over three months, focusing on a specific topic of interest. We delve into literature related to the land and to nature, discussing topics that may range from environmental issues to the culture of food and drink, from the American dust bowl to the cinnamon trees of Southeast Asia. Check our website, http://www.botanicgardens.org/gardening-resources/helen-fowler-library, for more information about the fall series where we will examine water and the American west.

The library is located at 909 York Street, within the Boettcher Memorial Center and is open Saturday through Thursday from 10:00 to 5:00.  Members of the public and visitors to the Gardens are encouraged to peruse shelves, research within the library, and consult with library staff and volunteers. Members of the Gardens can check out most materials for a three week period.

Stop in during your next visit to the Gardens!

Submitted by Allaina Wallace, who has been the Head Librarian at the Denver Botanic Gardens for about two years. She holds a Masters of Library Science, with an emphasis in archives, from Emporia State University. Someday she hopes to have the knowledge and free time to garden

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