My sister recently visited from out of state, and while she was here, we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens with my dad, one of his favorite places. It was a great time to visit the gardens as the weather was perfect, and many of the cacti were in bloom. I had forgotten what an interesting and beautiful place it is. There is so much to see at the Gardens that I can only give you the tip of the ice berg or maybe I should say the needle on the cactus as to what is there so you will just have to go see it for yourself. But here is a glimpse of what you might encounter.
As you enter you pass by glass sculptures by Chihuly. Every so often his colorful artwork is displayed throughout the garden which just enhances your experience there.
One of the things that struck me immediately is all of the different textures that are represented.
You really have to watch where you are going if you are in the desert!
Fortunately, there are level paths all the way through the gardens.
The Palo Verde trees (our state tree) were in bloom all over the park. They added a lot of color to our walk.
Not only did the Palo Verde trees add color, the blooming cacti were stunning!
Look at the perfect ring of flowers on this cactus. So fascinating.
I love these yellow and orange flowers.
The flowers on the Ocotillo cactus remind me of fire crackers.
So many shapes and colors around every corner.
There are also some really strange types of cactus that I never knew about, and wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. This is a snake cactus!:( The name fits.
If you get tired, there are plenty of places to sit down.
We got thirsty about halfway through our time there and found a little cafe that had drinks and snacks. They even had macaroni and cheese. That is my kind of cafe.
The best part about our visit to the cafe, was while we were sitting at the tables taking a break, we saw so many little critters.
There were quail, squirrels, and even a Cactus Wren which is our state bird. I think they were hoping for some macaroni and cheese.
After our brief break, we continued on some trails we hadn’t been to yet. Seeing the giant saguaros was such a treat.
I think I had Easter on my brain as everything looked like a bunny to me.
The nearby mountains made a beautiful backdrop for the plants.
And the people (my dad and sister)!
There are different sections throughout the gardens, one of them being a section for plants that thrive in the shade. It contained a water feature and pond and was about 10 degrees cooler in that area.
The desert is full of some strange and wonderful things.
Did you know you can make wine out of the fruit of the Prickly Pear cactus? My husband tried it. It is definitely an acquired taste!
There is so much more you can see at the Desert Botanical Gardens. I highly recommend it as one of the premier things to do if you are visiting the Phoenix area or just want to explore the city you live in. It would be a great thing to do with company from out of town (as long as it’s not summer) or to take your mom to for Mother’s Day. They also have a gorgeous luminary display at night during the Christmas season. Whenever you go, you will come away with a greater appreciation for the diversity and beauty of the desert. Check out the link below to their website for lots more details about all they have to offer.
1201 N Galvin Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85008