On the third day of the Denver Garden Bloggers Fling we visited the home garden of Rob Proctor and David Macke. Rob Proctor used to be the director of horticulture at the Denver Botanic Gardens, so I was looking forward to this visit with keen anticipation.

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The front garden suggests a garden designed with Denver’s dry climate very much in mind.

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I loved the parkway plantings, so colorful with purple Salvias, pink hardy Geraniums, and yellow Achilleas.

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To get to the back garden, we had to make our way through the house.

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Emerging outdoors again, we came into a garden with a very different feel.

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For one thing, there are some 600 containers filled with succulents and flowering annuals.

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How on earth do they water them all?

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Looking from the patio at by the house, you can see a sort of double-decker gazebo towards the back of the garden.

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An herb garden carpeted with Thyme.

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There are long borders that suggest Victorian lushness with abundant roses and flowering trees. Still, the garden is designed with the limited rainfall in mind. For example, beds are sunk below grade level so that they can collect water.

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Overall the garden is just a third of an acre and yet it seems much larger. There is always another border, another planting, another seating area to discover.

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A really sumptuous mix of flower and foliage colors.

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Someone told me the name of this plant, but now I forget. It’s boldly handsome, yet somehow ominous. It seems to be whispering, “feed me!”

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Hardly an opportunity missed anywhere to place another flowering container.

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Ah, to sit beneath the flowering boughs.

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There were some truly massive Weigelas just bursting with bloom.

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Update: I meant to include this picture of the house from the far end of the borders.

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Another seating area, this one beneath a flotilla of hanging baskets.

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And here are Rob Proctor and David Macke, who generously shared their home and garden with roughly 100 garden fanatics from across the country. In addition to his career at the Denver Botanic Garden, Rob Proctor has written nearly 20 gardening books and makes frequent television appearances.

On a third of an acre they have created a world apart, a world that seems to be a hybrid of the Front Range and an English garden from a bygone day.

35 Comments on “Victoria on the Front Range”

  1. I adored this garden, it was like stepping into another world hidden behind the house. It was impossibly over the top magnificent. And obviously a labor of love. Not sure my photos fully do it justice; multiply everything Jason has posted here by five.

  2. Quite extraordinary. Do they do all the work themselves?
    I have half an acre and have lived in the same house for forty years. When I think back to my younger self and the amount of work I put into garden beds and how overwhelmed I am with it all at this stage of my life, I cannot conceive how two people could keep that up! Most impressive.

  3. This is the first garden you’ve shared that didn’t appeal to me at all. There’s just too much — at least, for my taste. The parkway border is nice, and I do like the grassy walkways between the beds. Dropping some of the beds below grade to collect extra water is an excellent idea, too. But, honestly? If this were a manuscript, I’d say it needs a good editor. Of course, I’m no gardener, so there’s that!

  4. I enjoyed this garden and there is much here for Aussies to admire, as we have to consider rainfall ( lack there of) all the time. However I was surprised at how many pots they have as ( in my experience) plants in pots dry out faster. Lovely garden and thanks for the tour.

  5. Glad to see I am not the only one who took photos of the Blue Onion dishware (porcelain?). I kept thinking about the creeping thyme while looking around my garden. I liked that as a ground cover. Like a few of the other folks commenting, I found 600 containers overwhelming, but loved the cobalt blue!

  6. Ooh, what a gorgeous garden!
    The photos are wonderful, even when taken in the harsh midday sun. It’s lovely to imagine how the garden looks early in the morning or in the sunset.
    This post gives so much inspiration. About plants, of course, but about other things too: for example the blue pots and cushions fit so well to this garden.
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. That’s an amazing garden and it looks so much bigger than 0.3 acres. I love a garden that’s packed full (and beyond). The borders are full and lush despite the lower rainfall. It looks like you caught it on a hot day too. I’ve no idea how they keep all the pots watered either, if most of them are succulents then that does bring the workload down.

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