Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Garden Party Revisited -- July 28, 2015

I decided it was time to back up some photos....realized it had been awhile....only 3,783 behind!  So, as I was going into my external hard drive, I was revisiting some older folders -- pre-RV-travels -- and thought...."Hmmmmmm....I've done a lot of exploring/traveling...just because these visits aren't under the current RV-belt, there's no reason why I can't share them.  Others may want to go to some of these places -- RVing or not."

Since I'm parked here in my friend's driveway in Payson, AZ for a little while, there's not much to blog about as far as this particular spot.  But....travel is travel, right?  So, I chose an Arizona "attraction" that I have visited 2-3 times...when I lived in Phoenix.  It's an ideal place to visit if you aren't necessarily inclined to tromp around in barren deserts, but want to see and feel what the desert is all about.  Plus you'd have to tromp a long, long way for months...maybe years...to see all this site has to offer. 

These are film photos (miss my film camera!)...this series is from my visit in August 2009. Obviously, at the time, I wasn't planning to give a guided tour...these photos were simply for my own enjoyment, but hopefully, they will spark your interest to stop by this beautiful desert garden if you are in the Phoenix area.  

Ready to go???  

Desert Botanical Gardens

I really love this place....it is all so naturally natural!  And it is designed for anyone to be able to enjoy it.  The Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix began 70 years ago.  It has 55 cultivated acres with over 50,000 desert plants.  There are 821 volunteers and 107 regular staff member taking care of this museum of living desert plants.  I always liked to go first thing in the morning when it's coolest (they open at 7am for that very reason) and the light is good for photos at that time of day.  It is rather contemporary in it's styling....the simplicity of the architecture helps to not detract from all the wonderful plantings.  

The red contrasts artfully with all the desert greenery....
you will see the red/green combination in many of these photos,
both man-made and natural

These canopies provide shade when you are ready to get out of the sun! 

There are several manicured trails with rest areas and water features. 
 All the plants have identifying markers.

If  you are not inclined to walk on the gravel pathways, or just simply can't due to mobility issues, there is a large area with paved and/or packed gravel paths which is laid out very nicely.  Nothing is lacking in the experience of seeing so many wonderful desert plants by staying only in this area.  

Looks like the quail prefer the pavers!

In addition to the contemporary architecture, there are also outbuildings in the adobe-style...in keeping with the southwest vibe.  

Ok -- let's take a walk-around....

When you can photograph cactus in the early morning, often the highlights of the
needles will be enhanced....

The way these gardens are situated, you feel far away from the fifth largest city in the U.S.

August is HOT in Phoenix!  Most folks probably wouldn't be visiting during the summer months, but you won't encounter hoards of tourists, for sure!  I had the whole place practically to myself.

Yes, there are bloomers in August in the desert!  It is beautiful here all year round!

Along one trail, there is a primitive section devoted to the Native American 
culture....the way some lived in the desert....

In addition to plant life, you are likely to come upon
native desert wildlife....

The water features throughout the garden attract aquatic insects...

 This guy look pretty annoyed!

Even the non-blooming desert plants are pretty....
Note how the red/green mix (complimentary colors) is found in nature...
Many of my "abodes" have been decorated in reds and greens...even my RV!

Cut away of a saguaro cactus....

This is one of my favorite cactus.  I'm thinking that this particular iconic cactus has 
come down (due to natural disease or age....can't remember) since I was there...
but don't quote me!

This almost doesn't look real....could be something from the original Star Trek series!  
Spock would have known!  LOL!  

 I was lucky to be there when the famous glass artist, Dale Chihuly, had a special exhibit...
It was pretty spectacular!  Cactus made from glass and installed in the outdoor gardens...

There are a couple of cafes, and of course, there is a gift shop....some pretty nice items to take home!
The blankets are gorgeous!  

Love the colors in these whimsical sculptures!

And you can purchase plants for your own indoor or outdoor gardens.
They have a bi-annual plant sale every year...all kinds of desert plants.

What can I say???  I love the desert!  The Desert Botanical Gardens give everyone a chance to experience and learn about the desert.  They have many events throughout the year....

Music in the Garden (all kinds of music venues)
Flashlight Tours (see all the night creatures and night blooming plants)
Las Noches de las Luminarias (a holiday fantasy setting!)
Dinner on the Desert (the big fund raiser of the year....a very fancy dinner for 550+ guests)

....and more!

They also conduct classes (Desert Landscape School) and gardening symposiums and many more educational events 

To learn more visit

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the Desert Botanical Gardens. I enjoyed revisiting! Many of you might visit the Phoenix/Scottsdale area on vacation or for a business seminar.... be sure to set aside some time to visit this wonderful display of the desert!  It is well worth the $20-22 admission price....and those funds go to keeping the desert alive and accessible for everyone!  

Depending on how long I'm in Payson, I may have another trip in my back pocket to share with you!

Thank you for shopping via  my blog for Amazon products!

Someone - I never know who - recently ordered Bil-Jac Dog Food  (Thank you!) I recommended this brand several months ago.  I would never feed Nikko anything else!  And he loves it!  In just a matter of days it started transforming his coat and teeth, both dull from being in shelters for so long with generic, mostly grain, dog foods.  It has done the same for other dogs I've had, and for friends' dogs to whom I have suggested this food.  Because it is so nutritious, a smaller amount at feeding time is quite adequate.  Try this product -- from a family-owned, Ohio business! 
Think about a large bag (30 lbs lasts Nikko about 7 weeks).... get free shipping with  


  1. Love all these pictures! I am glad you are showing some of the things you have seen even prior to your new RV lifestyle. You have always taken such good photos and it's great you are sharing those!

  2. I missed the Botanical Gardens there on my one visit to Phoenix... now I know I'm going back - early AM and maybe late PM for the photography shots?

    Thanks for the memories.....

    1. Always early or later for great light for photos! But, anytime is pretty at this desert garden! Definitely try to visit!

  3. Thanks for the photos. ..all are great! Like the early ones.

  4. Love, love Botanical Gardens. Really helps when they have identification tags. I ordered the dog food for my little girl Lilly. She loves it and is very perky. I have my MH at a local campground so that I can hook up to power and run the AC while I re-decorate. Gonna take Lilly out tomorrow to get her used to the camper.

    1. Thanks for your order! Glad Lilly likes the new menu! I should have mentioned to introduce new foods slowly...but it sounds like she's doing ok! Have fun with your redecorating! It's always fun to change things up!

  5. Very beautiful photos.....I like it. Thank you so much and keep sharing......

  6. These cactus images knock my socks off! Love the framing, and inspired to grab a real camera instead of always using an iPhone. Love them! Thanks fro sharing!

  7. Such a beautiful picture and thanks for share....