A visit to one of the highest elevation public gardens in the world.

The “Betty Ford (1918-2011) Alpine Gardens” located at Ford Park ( base of Vail mountain) in Vail, Colorado.

I never expected the flower colors to be different but they truly were more vibrant because of the high altitude intense ultraviolet light in the cool, thin mountain air.

Many perennials survive at this elevation because of the heavy blanket of snow that covers them during the winter. Since the season is relatively short, many perennials that I could only dream of blooming together are doing so here at this wonderfully maintained alpine garden.

There is quite a nice plant collection including perennial borders, a sempervivum wall, a Himalayan garden, waterfalls, bog area, alpine pool and an Aspen grove. One of the missions at this public garden is to preserve plants of the American West. They have educational programs for children and adults, high altitude horticultural therapy, guided tours, a yearly butterfly launch, lovely shop for souvenirs and even yoga time in the garden.

Vail mountain is known for it’s winter sports and especially skiing, but summertime at Vail is spectacular. The cool air is so refreshing and the flowers seem to last much longer than usual; probably because of the cool nights.

Great place to be in the summer!

visit WWW.BETTYFORDALPINEGARDENS.ORG

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