The Tucson Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Exhibit

Date and Venue Sunday May 17, 2015 | 2150 North Alvernon Way, Tucson, Arizona.

Reviewer Patricia Cassidy

I recently attended the Tucson Botanical Gardens and Butterfly exhibit on a beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning. The Gardens are a quiet oasis in a busy city, and as it was early in the morning, the birds were out en masse, and the whole Garden atmosphere was conducive to meditation and serenity.

The Botanical Gardens really are a living museum which houses and displays its exhibits in seventeen specialty gardens on 5½ acres. As we walked along the many paths (with excellent signage) we experienced a visual feast of cacti and succulents from regions around the world. Wildflower gardens and a herb garden, sculptured plant holders, and a prehistoric garden showing how the region may have looked millions of years ago.

The Exhbit plaque
photo: Don Cassidy

We entered the backyard bird garden, a shade garden and a garden showing the plants of the Native Americans in the area. I particularly enjoyed a lovely 10 minute, quiet moment and reflection in the Zen Garden where I could hear the nearby chime (cleverly made out of the native Jumping cactus and Saguaro cactus ribs) moving gently in the background.

The Butterfly Magic in the Greenhouse at the Gardens is Arizona’s only live tropical butterfly exhibit open to the public and it is delightful. It contains thirty five different, exotic butterfly species from eleven countries and some gorgeous looking tiny frogs in the tropical foliage were also on hand - for added educational information and visual attraction. Excellent volunteers had answers to all of our questions re the life and death of the butterflies and we were able to get up very close and personal with many butterflies and take some great photos.

Apart from the visual splendor, the Gardens offer much educational information for lovers of horticulture and gardening: How to develop low water use for home landscapes and drip irrigation techniques, composting and more.

The Gardens are a great place for all of the family and child friendly. Kids will enjoy the butterflies and the miniature train garden and the Children’s Discovery Garden and the Gardens have a Plant Camp for kids in the summer. Also, because it gets so hot in Tucson in the summer, I was delighted to hear that this coming summer our canine family friends are welcome in the Gardens every day. My next trip – I can take the dog!

© 2015 Patricia Cassidy