Tucson Morning Blend


AZ Adventures: Soaking up the Beauty at the Botanical Gardens

A five-acre backyard, laced with lovely paths that lead you to different gardens.
Posted at 1:24 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 16:24:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pack your camera for this Arizona Adventure because it will take you beyond Southern Arizona to Indonesia and South America.

Welcome to the Tucson Botanical garden, home to interesting, beautiful, rare and unusual plants and flowers from several different countries, but it's most known for our native species.

It's the only barrio garden in the world which shows a very typical Mexican backyard. But on a whole other level. The Tucson Botanical Garden is a five-acre backyard, laced with lovely paths that lead you to distinctly different pocket gardens either tucked away around corners or hidden behind charming wrought iron doors.

"Our gardens are intimately designed 17-18 gardens in one style. It gives you that feeling of your own backyard," said Michelle Conklin, who has been with the Botanical Gardens for 18 of the 40 years it's been open.

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Michelle and has worked with hundreds of people from horticulturists to volunteers to help create this beautiful and also educational wonderland. Conservation and pollination are taught by garden employees and by nature's workers too.

"The butterfly exhibit was created in 2004 It just took off. We have larvae from all over the world. Beautiful but incredibly vital."

Not so beautiful but incredibly popular is their corpse. The Corpse Bloom is a flower so elusive it sparks intrigue from almost everywhere.

"When we had Rosie the Corpse Bloom, we had people from all over the world.. massive driving trips. People flew in from Dubai to see the corpse plant."

Last year, it was the entire garden that got an invitation to travel to the Nation's capital. The barrio garden was packed up and shipped across the country and re-created and set up on the National Mall.

The Tucson Botanical Gardens offers not only in-person viewing but horticultural therapy classes for emotional support for children and adults with special needs, online courses and special events like their winter wonderland display with their stunning luminarias.

Tickets are online as well as memberships. And even better, you don't have to walk the path alone.