Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tucson Botanical Gardens

Driving on Alvernon in the middle of Tucson is hardly where one would expect to find  acres of beautiful gardens.  When the original owners of the land moved there, it wasn't even close to mid-town.  They used it as a home to raise their children, as a cattle ranch, and for gardens where they grew and sold plants for the growing community.  When the wife was old, she gave it to the city with the caveat that it be a botanical garden, and so it has remained.  Now it is run by the Botanical Garden trust, who do an amazing job. 

The gardens are divided into areas.  A home garden for the desert, complete with a beautiful circle herb garden.  Huge old shade trees keep the walks bearable during the summer heat.  The desert garden is full of wonderful specimen plants that make one want to hurry home and plant, so our yards will look like this!

They have plant sales throughout the year, where local growers bring their goods in.  Sort of a one stop shopping of local plants.  We have gone to two of them and have always returned with our hands full!  Plus, we have found new places to shop for plants. Their next sale is this month.

During the winter months, when it is cooler, the greenhouse is turned into a butterfly exhibit.  Many different kinds of butterflies are hatched and fly free.  The butterflies will land on your hands, head, clothing, most anything that attracts them.  They especially seemed to like reds.  You can't stay long in the greenhouse, though, it way too hot and humid.

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