Public Native Plant Demonstration Gardens to Visit

Note: This list is not complete and doesn’t distinguish gardens with a focus on native plants from those that don’t. We plan to research and update this page over the winter.

Visiting public gardens that showcase native plants is a great way to get ideas for your own yard, learn about natives and just enjoy their beauty! Listed below are sites with maintained native gardens and some also have wild areas. Please check with each garden for hours, fees and special programs. 

Bluff Lake Nature Center – Central Park East urban wildlife refuge and outdoor classroom.

Centennial Flower Gardens -The Centennial gardens are patterned after the formal Gardens of Versailles–only they use native and xeric plants.

Commons Park – South Platte River, the park’s west edge emphasizes the river’s natural character with native grasses and wetlands. 

Carson Nature Center at South Platte Park -Enjoy a walk along the South Platte River to see plenty of other natives.

Chatfield State Park – Audubon Center -Encounter one of 345 bird species that live or migrate through the area.

Denver Botanic Gardens – York Street -Colorado’s premium public garden where conservation programs play a major role in saving species and protecting natural habitats. Stroll the Dryland Mesa, Laura Smith Porter Plains, Ponderosa & Bristlecone Pine Borders, Wildflower Treasures and Western Panoramas gardens to see Colorado native trees, shrubs, groundcovers and perennials.  

Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms 700-acre native plant refuge and working farm located along the banks of Deer Creek featuring both dryland and riparian species.

Ekar Farm Native Plant Demonstration Garden – Beginning in 2020 Wild Ones Front Range Chapter has collaborated with Ekar Farm to design and install a 900 ft2 demonstration garden to showcase Coloradoscaping with native plants. Ekar Farm provides space and water for irrigation and WOFR has designed, installed and maintained plants. The garden shows how native plants can be used to create a beautiful sustainable landscape.

The Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins

Prairie garden at the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins, CO
Prairie garden at the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins, CO

Hentzel Park and Babi Yar Park – Native vegetation and trees encourage solace in these memorial parks. They were recently redesigned and include a restored native prairie area as well as other areas planted in natives. Find 72 species of native wildflowers and grasses.

Hudson Gardens Experience the beauty of a 30-acre landscape with garden exhibits, trails, open spaces, and event venues in a self-directed exploration.

The Gardens at Kendrick Lake Park – Once a weedy patch of struggling Kentucky bluegrass, it has been transformed into a beautiful, water-thrifty landscape featuring many Colorado and regionally native trees, shrubs and perennials.

Lookout Mountain Nature Center – Connect with the natural world. Interactive exhibits take visitors on a tour of the flora and fauna of the foothills ecosystem.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge – Step into nature and see the native wildlife that call the Refuge home. Planting and restoring native grasses and plants provide shelter, food, and nesting materials for wildlife and animals: bison, deer, raptors, songbirds, waterfowl, prairie dogs, and coyotes are just a few of the animals you will see. 

Rocky Mountain Native Gardens – Opened May 2021, in Lyons, CO, this public garden fosters an understanding and an appreciation of our Rocky Mountain native plants and wildlife.