Tucson Botanical Gardens

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Such a Departure from the City - In the Center of Tucson!

Many people may not be aware of the magical gardens that are a part of Tucson, AZ. Tucked away right in the center of town, where if you didn't know what to look for, you might miss it, even if you've lived here for years on end.  If that is the case for you, we hope you'll take the time to discover the magic that is Tucson Botanical Gardens!

Tucson Botanical Gardens began back in 1933 by the Porter family. They were nursery people and they built this house where today, you walk in into the gift shop. That was the original home. And then our greenhouse, you know, was built to house the cold sensitive things. The Porter family just began planting a lot of trees, and this was, you know, place that they could enjoy, surrounded by plants and work and live with their nursery. So today we have a real array of plants here.

Some other parks or Botanical Gardens, may focus on just native plants or tropicals or whatnot, but the gardens at Tucson Botanical are 17 residential science gardens. So they're varying from herb gardens for the kitchen, to floral to the barrio garden, which is represents the Mexican-American style of gardening and is very whimsical.

Then we have a huge xeriscape gardening, which is very low water, very desert-appropriate. We also have the cactus garden and Children's Garden, and a historical garden, so it's many different types of gardens, not just one.

Here we do harvest pomegranates, we did some this morning and then, if you go into the kitchen ramada, of course we're going to have lots of seasonal vegetables, whatever we're producing right then. The herb garden is always full of really nice flavors, of course countless edible plants all around here.

Tucson Botanical Gardens is really a special place because it's right in the heart of Tucson. People who don't know it would never expect to find something like this in tucked right into the Grant and Alvernon neighborhood!

For people here in central Tucson, there are other museums and parks that are a little bit farther away, but I feel like this is a community garden and it's it's in neighborhood and it's right in the heart of Tucson, so it's very special to be here, really interacting with Tucson citizens... you know, just the neighborhood community.

Besides just the gardens, Tucson Botanical Gardens is also well known for its butterfly exhibit. They have a seasonal exhibit that features about 400 tropical butterflies as well as orchids, and they also have a dart frog exhibit that's open October to May. It's a wonderful afternoon outing to do, something to do with your friends, family, loved ones or even by yourself. Absolutely a must-do for anybody who hasn't been. There is just no place in Tucson that has anything like this. I mean you feel like you're walking into the tropics you're, just surrounded by hundreds of the butterflies. Then you get to see this terrarium with about five different kinds of dart frogs, they're, super colorful and amazing, and you can spend an afternoon in there.

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If you're looking for something else to engage with in Tucson, perhaps more 'mechanical' and 'historical', you could always take a short drive out to the Pima Air and Space Museum to get your fill of amazing aircraft and history.