Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

Papago Park is home to the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden, which is located in Phoenix, AZ area, a complex that beautifully blends art and nature. The gardens have art works that add a new depth to the already stunning scenery. Tens of thousands of plants from deserts all over the world, including the United States, are on display across the facility’s 140 acres. The abundant hummingbirds and butterflies are a result of intentional garden design to encourage these winged visitors.

The Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society established the garden in 1937 and constructed it on this site in 1939; it now houses over 50,000 plants from over 4,000 taxa, one-third of which are native to the area. The garden also has 379 species that are rare, vulnerable, or endangered.

A handful of concerned residents of the region in 1939 saw the value of protecting the indigenous desert habitat. Another example is the Swedish botanist Gustaf Starck, who set up a sign in a desert town reading “Save the Desert” to draw in others who shared his views.

Gertrude Divine Webster and other prominent figures of the day helped boost the Garden’s profile, leading to a surge in visitors. Nearly eight decades after its founding, Desert Botanical Garden has transformed from a dream into a living museum thanks to the vision and contributions of many people.

The large collections of agave (4,026 plants, 248 taxa) and cactus (13,973 plants, 1,320 taxa), especially the Opuntia sub-family of cacti, are especially remarkable. Plants that thrive in milder temperatures can be protected in shadehouses. Particular emphasis is placed on desert-adapted plant life, with examples from as far afield as Australia, Baja California, and South America. Mesquite bosque, semiarid grassland, and upland chaparral are just some of the ecosystems that are included.

Due to the vast number of possible exploration paths, you can anticipate spending a considerable amount of time here. In the spring, plants come to life and bloom in a rainbow of colors, making this season one of the best. Tours, workshops, and presentations cover a wide range of themes, from desert landscaping and horticulture to fine art, photography, and health and wellness.

Since 1978, the Garden has featured art exhibitions, Las Noches de las Luminarias, and an open-air acoustic performance series in the spring and fall. Southwestern Americans celebrate the holidays with the Luminarias Festival, an annual event that features live music and 8,000 luminaria lit by hand.

Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix
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