Oh, gardens— I love you so! And while Arizona’s Desert Botanical Garden might not have the charming formality of a traditional European-style garden, it’s gorgeous and breathtaking all the same.
Located 15 minutes from PHX and just a 20 minute Uber ride from Scottsdale, the Desert Botanical Garden is an enchanting slice of Sonoran beauty. From cacti to wildlife, to colorful flowers and fruit trees, the DBG offers eye candy for every garden lover who visits.
This past May (2019), I traveled to Arizona for a week of coworking with my team (yay, day job!). One of the perks of working for a fully remote company is that at least once a year, we alllll get together in person. This unique benefit means I’ve had the opportunity to visit some places that I may not have chosen for a trip otherwise — but I always come away with fond memories! In Arizona, we stayed at the ultra-instagrammable Hotel Adeline in Scottsdale, and during one free afternoon, I ventured to the Desert Botanical Garden for a fix of Southwestern flora and fauna.
Visiting the Desert Botanical Garden
As a member of the New York Botanical Garden back on the East Coast, I received complimentary admission to the DBG as part of the reciprocal access program through the American Horticultural Society. Entry is otherwise $24.95 per adult and $12.95 per child, and Children under 3 are admitted free. (prices as of 2019)
The grounds feature a cafe, a full-service restaurant, and a surprisingly un-kitschy gift shop. The garden also hosts delightful events throughout the year, like painting classes, art exhibitions, light shows, celebrations and more.
The Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran Desert stretches from Arizona and California in the USA down Mexico’s Baja coast and throughout the state of Sonora. Despite being a desert environment, this region boasts immense biodiversity and is home to over 1500 species of wildlife and over 2000 types of plants!
The DBG is a living homage to the Sonoran region, and visitors will find artfully designed trails thoughtfully curated with all sorts of desert-friendly trees and plants, and inhabited by native animals.
Plants, plants, and more plants
Like any good botanical garden, artistry abounds here. And for someone used to evergreens and temperate perennials, this garden, teeming with Saguaros, is a rare delight.
With countless variations of the desert rose, Saguaro cactuses affably beckoning, and succulents as far as the eye can see, the Desert Botanical Garden is a must-visit. Heading to Phoenix anytime soon? Add this to your list.