This is one of those places that just doesn't describe well. It is one of my places. Sacred space sounds too reverent, special place too juvenile, and meaningful place doesn't have the right ring to it, but no matter what you call it, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is one of mine. I had a season pass there when I was a new mom and it always helped me take a break from the bleak depression that haunted most of my minutes. I still remember the recharge I got when my colicky baby girl took a nap while I read a book on a shady bench in the rose garden. It was a little moment of peace I could retreat back to when I needed it.
The desert isn't always beautiful but this place is green, and flowering, and bright. It has enough elevation change and rock hoodoos to feel like you have hiked somewhere. On top of the high trail you get the change in air quality I associate with being on top of a mountain. It cleanses and inspires and gives perspective.
There is always a new little something to discover, whether it is a flower you haven't ever seen or little hidden sculpture tucked away in a corner. While the Desert Botanical Gardens feels open and very much a desert, the arboretum is cultivated on a different scale. There are tall eucalyptus trees giving you shade and bushes and shrubs to make you feel like you are the only ones in the place. Birds are every where, some in the brightest reds and yellows you would never expect in a place with less of 9 inches of rain a year.
And the arboretum in the spring! It's beautiful! Here are a few of the pics I snapped on the most recent trip with my sister.
This is the aptly named rainbow garden.
This fountain was the highlight of the outing and they were all temporarily soaked. It is still Arizona so they were dry in about 5 minutes.
We found this statue in a new location but the girls remembered this picture from the scrapbook and tried to recreate it even though they are 2 years older and a couple feet taller.
These blossoms are the size of dinner plates and were stunning! I've never seen a cactus blossom so large. The petals are the width of a quarter.
A week before and these irises must have been prolific. They were in so many colors, my favorite being the wine colored ones off to the right.
Here are the boys riding in style
The humming bird garden is always full of humming birds (go figure) and has the most amazing scent.
We spent most of our time in the children's garden because, seriously, we had 5 kids between us. The animal sculptures were a real hit since they were just asking to be ridden. M even had a short conversation with this javelina. I always laugh at that word because I can't help but imagine how someone would pronounce it would didn't grow up in Arizona. Java-lie-na?
I made a little video of our adventure so Grammy and PopPop can feel like they went with us. Enjoy!