Desert Botanical Gardens, Tempe AZ
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine in Tempe AZ. As I had never before been to a desert area, I stayed over an extra day to explore the native flora.
I was so surprised at the spectrum of colors. The conference is held at the perfect time of year as all of the plants bloom brightly in the spring. I headed over to the Desert Botanical Garden to get an idea of the local plant life. It was glorious! I spent 4 hours there wandering the paths.
Yes, it is somewhat of a false environment due to their ability to irrigate. While the garden held plants in abundance, looking out across the hills just outside of the preserve showed an obvious decrease in the number and variety of plants.
That being said, getting to see so many different types of desert plants and cacti in one area was breathtaking. The desert flora is so strong and grounded. The energy is determined and powerful. It was breathtaking and calming. I highly recommend a visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens if you ever get to Tempe.
Bonus info: According to the locals, the Desert Botanical Gardens are all wired up in lights during the December holidays. Although none of them had ever been there during that season, they’d all heard that it was amazing! Get tickets early. They swear it sells out every year.