Covering over 140 Acres of land, home to 50,000 different plant species, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix Arizona is a remarkable location. This garden goes beyond the typical desert offering of cactus and succulents, with gorgeous landscaping featuring flora from the most parched and scorched locations around the world.
Once inside the park there are 5 different paved trails to follow. The Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Uphill Trail and the Desert Discovery Loop Trail immerse you in the stunning desert habitat with amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
While flowers may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the desert, the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower loop trail introduces visitors to vivid wildflowers particularly in Spring. The edible garden is another interesting spot, showing familiar fruit and vegetables, resilient to heat such as eggplants, tomatoes and artichokes and agave. A number of wooden huts and roofless kitchen like structures, provide an excellent insight to how native cultures used the desert and nature to their benefit be it food, medicine and shelter.
The garden is open between 7am and 8pm with the last admission being an hour before closing. Admissions are at $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for children between 3-17. The Garden offers different dining options with Patio Cafe offering small bites and Gertrude’s, which is also a Diner’s Choice Award Winner, offering delicious meals using produce from the Garden. The gift shop has some unusual and useful souvenirs such as sustainable bags made with Supernatural Paper, prickly pear produce, and water color painted thermal water bottles. Those willing to further their knowledge about desert botanical studies can visit the library.
Part of Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden is a real treasure. It comes to show that nature can thrive even in the driest of landscapes, creating a magnificent environment, which civilizations have always used to their advantage. So if you are in the area, a drive to this garden will not disappoint.