Sunday, January 15, 2017

DESERT BOTANICAL GARDENS

In all the times we have visited the Desert Botanical Gardens I don't think I have ever seen the cactus looking more stunning. Maybe fall rains have refreshed the plants. Maybe the cool cloudy day just brought out their best. It was perfect for a little iPhone photography.


 You can call me a frustrated cactomaniac. Frustrated because of where I live; the limited number of cactus I can grow and most of those in pots. That is doubly true this year as my garden plants were recentlysubjected to night-time temperatures in the teens for several nights.





There was a sign in the garden suggesting the the Agave Victoria-Reginae is endangered by collection for the ornamental trade. They have an amazing number here and rather like the one I have these look like the type that produce offsets. Maybe it is the tightly furled ones that are endangered although I don't think they make a distinction in the name. You can see the pups around the base of the one in the bottom right hand corner.


Even cactus need shade at the hottest time of the year. Here provided by this permanent shade structure in cactus and succulent galleries. In other parts of the garden trees such as the Chilean mesquite and members of the legume family provide a source of nitrogen as well as shade.


This South African tree aloe, Aloe Hercules takes pride of place under the arching shade structure.


We noticed that there is new signage throughout the park in both English and Spanish.




Looking at the tuna on this cholla I can imagine the spectacular flowering earlier in the year.


It is a little too early for many blooms but a sprinkling of aloes were in bloom though out the gardens.






I am always left drooling over these golden barrel cactus.


I remember visiting shortly after the terraces were built. Low level raised beds edged in cut stone    bring more formal structure to this part of the garden.


Touches of color here and there. I wonder if they chose these colors because they are the colors of flowering cactus and aloes.




When we visited last December the colored glass had not been added to the Founders Wall in the Sam and Betty Kitchell Family Heritage Garden. The wall pays tribute to the people and plants who have helped shape the gardens including people and plants.


And even though the cactus add structure to the garden there is always room for sone hardscape. The garden provides many places to sit and contemplate the beauty. There are also some beautiful water features.



A collection of watering cans among the pots dress up this ledge.


You might easily miss this tucked in behind a wall.


A memory wall.


I left even more of a cactomaniac.

12 comments:

  1. I can understand why! I'm more impressed every time I see photos on this wonderful botanical garden. I've always thought of The Huntington's desert garden as the gold standard but I think this one may surpass it. I've yet to visit but I'll get there one day.

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    1. The Huntington is certainly a wonderful garden but I think the DBG is my favorite. Maybe because it is easier for us to visit as we have a son in Phoenix. We are hoping to visit the H again soon.

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  2. I was there in October and thought the garden was looking especially lovely. It's such a treasure!

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  3. Thanks, Jenny, for all the years of inspiring and useful garden info. Best in 2017.

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    1. You are very welcome. I hope we all have a wonderful year of gardening in 2017.

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  4. I've been there several times and it never ceases to amaze me. Funny, though, my pictures don't ever seem to do it justice. Perhaps next year, I'll have to pick you up and YOU can take the photos-LOL!
    Hope your winter is going well. Happy New Year

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  5. I will put a visit to the gardens on my to do list when we visit Phoenix at the end of the month. Do you still travel in your Airsream? My husband and I purchased one six months ago. We have it in Arizona at present and intend to use it mostly in the winter months to escape the Mountain Cedar season in the Hill Country.

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    1. How exciting for you. We loved all the travel we did in our Airstream. After many years of travel we passed it on to our son in Phoenix with a plan to use it from time to time. We too must escape the cedar pollen hence our visit to Arizona in January.

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  6. probably should not have read this wonderful post right now: the contrast between these stunning cacti and the pitiful remains in my garden just makes me want to weep!

    seriously, thanks for sharing your visit - the garden is absolutely astonishing, and I believe I would cheerfully trade both Evil Offspring for one of their tree aloes!

    best to you both in 2017!

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    1. Yes, I'm afraid I have some horrible things waiting for me back home to be dealt with in the spring.One day I may get more sensible with my choice of plants.

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  7. I wonder where those cacti that require partial shade in Phoenix get it in their natural habitat. Or are those species from milder climes?

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    1. Many of them do come from Mediterranean climates where the summers are more moderate. But in the wild the cactus do often grow in the shade of desert trees.

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