In search of places to take morning walks before it gets too warm, or after dark, the Desert Botanical Garden is a good choice. Planning to go at least once weekly, I took advantage of my membership.
The light and shade were amazing, and as some of you know, that’s important to me.
On my last visits, I missed this massing of lower Chihuahuan Desert native Candelilla / Euphorbia antisyphilitica (arid z 8a), with Bolivian native Caripari / Neoraimondia herzogiana
Cardon / Pachycereus pringleii (arid z 9a). As usual in Phoenix these days, there’s Elephant Food / Portulacaria afra (dry z 9b) trailing over a wall.
Across the main walkway was this wall, which really uses graphics and embedded tiles well, providing grade retention and some sitting. Or at least a place to let your water bottle or camera bag to rest.
The agaves and Bunny Ears Cactus are “massed to great effect…”
Speaking of massing, it’s Tamaulipan Shrubland native Queen victoria-reginae Agave victoria-reginae (z 8a). I must use that compact rosette plant like this, somewhere.
Onto their Herb Garden area, the colored walls pulled me in. More reason for plant massing of Mediterranean native Dusty Miller / Centaurea cineraria (annual or z9b) and Chihuahuan Desert native Spineless Prickly Pear / Opuntia ellisiana (z 8a) with some randomness of the Cereus cacti (z 9b).
Inside the walls, more massing of gray Dusty Miller, green Trailing Rosemary / Rosmarinus officianalis ‘Prostrata’ (dry z 7b), and the purple buttons of Globe Amaranth / Gomphrena globosa ‘Firework‘ (z 8).
That potted Aloe adds structure like the wall does; without them, this would be less powerful and settled into the space.
Artichoke in bloom and dancing is almost as striking as spikiness…
Finally, leaving after our walk, it’s southern Africa native Desert Rose / Adenium obesum (z 10a). It’s really a great container plant for the low desert, such as here in the Valley of the Sun.
The Desert Botanical Garden reveals so many more paths and planting areas, which I hope to explore during my months of living nearby.
Unlike some public gardens, the effective design of plant communities rules here. Also appealing is how most areas incorporate a variety of hardscape ideas with plantings from the Sonoran Desert, plus other arid and dry areas of the world that can survive in Phoenix.
That’s a plus among many other pluses.
101F / 77F / 0.00 or 38c / 25c / .00