Not so much, although I do like photography in flower gardens. That's why I decided to visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens. It's not exactly easy to find. I drove past the entrance twice before finally getting it right. The entrance to the garden itself is not visibly marked, so just drive to the back of the parking lot and walk towards the building.
Take the white door to the right into the gift shop where you must pay for entry. $13 each for seniors. The very first thing I saw was this beautiful flowering cactus. Wait ... what? I walked closer. It was a metal water fountain, so real looking it had me fooled.
Everything is of course posted with name tags so I would know what it was I was killing should I plant some of these in MY back yard.
Although I thought for sure they would all be blooming like crazy, I was wrong. The blooming season is short in the desert and this is the only cactus bloom I could find. Weird how there is one flower just at the tip.
As I pretended to be on a great jungle expedition looking for the elusive tiger to photograph, I ran into another beautiful fountain. It's rather hard to see due to the dappled shade, which I was very thankful for.
It was only 9:00 am and I was sweltering. Just look at these happy campers!! Interestingly enough, there were very few drip systems set up. Several employees, or maybe volunteers, were watering everything by hand.
Maybe if I just sit under the shade of this tree and enjoy the morning, I will cool off a tad. It's a magnificent setting to be sure. There is a restaurant on the premises, but it was too early for lunch.
FINALLY ... a critter!! In the butterfly garden there were hundreds of these beauties flying around. Timing is everything. I probably took thirty images of these guys before I got one with it's wings open.
There were two monarchs that weren't cooperating at all. This is the best I could come up with because by now the flies were driving me crazy. They are definitely sticky little guys.
This was originally the home of Bernice and Rutger Porter dating back to the 1920's, who operated a garden nursery here. They even built their house out of adobe, which still stands today, being used for administration.
Around the back side of the house are more familiar roses, vines and trees showing off their finery.
With absolutely no one in sight, since they are all smart enough to stay home in the heat, I walked around this beautiful area by myself. Another fountain made it feel cooler than it was.
At long last the wallflower jungle trekker spotted a critter. A horned lizard ... and a BIG one probably 12 inches long. Please, please stay still till I get a picture!!
There are garden rules ... do not climb the trees (??), smell the flowers but don't take any cuttings (this one is directed towards Miss Patty Chance and her nurse scissors) and pets or dogs are NOT allowed, nor is smoking or vaping.
I was looking forward to the butterfly and orchid pavilion, but alas it is only open October to May. Taking a picture of this sculpture will have to suffice.
You are usually directed to exit through the gift shop, but in this case, you ENTER through the gift shop. Time to head back around and see if anything in there floats my boat. Sure enough, standing forlornly outside the back door was this little table.
It called my name. The nice lady said "why yes, it's for sale - I'll even give you 25% off if you take it because it's terribly faded". Okie dokie ... and I loaded it up in the Jeep. Once home, I gave it a quick cleaning and a spray of sealant to bring all the life and color back. It's perfect for coffee in the mornings.
In case you were wondering, yes you CAN get married here in the gardens. You can also have your engagement pictures taken here, as did the couple who arrived just as I was leaving. Be forewarned, it costs extra if you are using a "professional" camera. I instantly stuffed mine in my backpack.
I'm sure this wallflower would have spent much more time here if it weren't for the heat. Stop by in the wintertime and bring a snack. There are several areas in which to relax and enjoy the things that grow.