Our final visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix found most of the cacti in bloom.
While not in full bloom, which doesn't come until the temperatures rise a bit more, they provided a colorful hint of what is to come.
We spent a very enjoyable morning with cousin Raina photographing cacti in the Sybil B. Harrington Cactus & Succulent Galleries.
Using the “gallery concept,” the Garden has organized and connected displays and collections into meaningful, unified stories that communicate the Garden's message to visitors.
Each “gallery” has been designed to focus on one segment of the plant collection, by aesthetic and educational interest, through design and diversity.
Even though not all the cacti were blooming in this gallery, the needles for some appeared almost like spikes when viewed closeup. And there was a form of beauty in the arrangement of these very sharp needles.
At one point in our walk around the displays, a conversational reference to Pennsylvania elicited the question, "Are you from Pennsylvania?" from another visitor.
Once again, the "small world" reference fit the ensuing conversation.
"Where do you live?" was the question directed to us, after the questiioner heard our acknowledgement.
After a brief reference to our RV traveling, we mentioned, "We are renting our home north of Philadelphia in Bucks County."
"We're from Doylestown," was their reply.
What followed was a conversation about Doylestown and Wycombe, separated by less than 10 miles and now "joined" in the references to places and events.
While some cacti caught our eye because of their shape,
those in bloom were especially intriguing--whether it was a single blossom
or a "bouquet" of blooms on a cactus, the sight of cacti in bloom was a beautiful sight for us to experience.
As we walked around the Desert Discovery Loop Trail, we came across a small grouping of Joshua Trees. The top of this tree (left) seemed similar to the sculptures at the entry to the Garden.
Three glass sculptures, one of which is shown below, created by Dale Chihuly greet visitors, and to my untrained eye, they seemed very similar to the Joshua Tree.
Created in 2008 specifically to be displayed at the Garden's entry, the sculptures are currently on loan from the Chihuly Studios. The Garden's goal is to raise $1 million by June 2010 to purchase the artwork and provide an endowment for their care and maintenance.
We hope the Garden reaches its goal