The Iris and Daylily Garden at the Denver Botanic Gardens has some new, metallic flowers added thanks to a North Denver couple. Amoreena Corbin and her husband Joshua run the 23rd Ave Sculpture Studio at 23rd Ave and King St. Their team has designed four new gates, called arbors, for the Botanic Gardens. Amoreena Corbin describes their work as “Custom artistic pieces that are also functional.” The arch and gates are delicately wrapped in metallic flowers, and each of the four gates has a different design, encouraging a guest to take time with each of them individually. They’re also more than decorative — beyond the artistic appeal they serve as foldable gates to side areas from the main garden.
Kevin Williams, a horticulturalist at the Botanic Gardens who tends to the iris and daylily garden area, believes the new installation as a boon for the garden. “They’re a major step in where I want the garden to go over the next few seasons,” explaining the improvements to the area. One of the gates leads to a new, currently protected area where they’ve replaced grass with more drought-friendly plants: fine fescue, covers, vermica, and others. He believes the “sinuous branchwork” complements the organic plantlife. “We hope it’s a flower pathway that grabs people’s attention.”
The new installation is a first for Amoreena Corbin, but not for the sculpture studio overall. Corbin’s father Dennis West has another arbor a few yards away at the entrance to the Birds and Bees garden. West, a Denver native, ran the sculpture studio for over 20 years until his passing, when he left it for his daughter.
“It’s an honor to be at the Botanic Gardens permanently,” said Corbin, noting that while many artists have an opportunity to briefly showcase their art, not everyone gets a permanent installation.
The 23rd Ave Sculpture Studio is open and selling already designed and custom pieces. Corbin said that they’ve been fortunate this year — with many Denverites spending more time on their home and yards she’s seen an increased interest in custom pieces like they design. The courtyard is open for anyone to see the sculptures, along with the turtles that live in one of their permanent displays.
The four arbors can be seen in the Anne Montague Iris and Daylily garden at the recently reopened Denver Botanic Gardens.