Gardens in the Desert

Phoenix Arboretum Entrance

Phoenix Botanical Garden Entrance Way

The Desert Botanical Gardens located between Phoenix and Scottsdale are the perfect primer to desert plant life for someone like me whose mouth drops open and gets wide-eyed at the sight of a mountain with saguaros dotting the terrain. By the looks of the crowd last weekend, it must be as popular with the local crowd.

Papago Mountains

Papago Mountains

This was the view as we sat eating our lunch at the Botanical Gardens cafe. I’m certain that I enjoyed the food, but I can’t quite remember what it was I ate. The scenery was absolutely too distracting.

Jumping Cholla

Jumping Cholla

This cactus has an great story. Seems if you brush too near the plant, a bit will break off and “jump” onto you. It seems a clever means of dispersing the plant to other areas.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Well, it’s also mean enough that “external violence” is required to get the darned things out!

    I’ve gotten some of my favorite shots from there.
    Roger Bourland

  2. I’m in heaven with your Arizona stories and photos. Keep ’em coming!

  3. Thanks for your wonderful photos and your two stories about Phoenix. Keep up the great work.

  4. Your photos have brought back some good memories. I have visited the Gardens many times.

  5. Love your view of the Arizona desert. Excellent!

  6. These are wonderful! I especially like the Jumping Cholla. I would be so into the landscape there! It’s been since I was a kid when visiting Arizona. How I would love to be there now to ‘see’ with a photographer’s eye. I’m enjoying your Arizona captures, Bo. đŸ™‚

  7. Sounds like the jumping cholla is quite a bit like the hitch hiker plants in the midwest – always happy to take a ride for the sake of the species.

    The pix at the beginning of your post was fascinating. What is it?

  8. lady.percy says:

    I love the cacti! And the picture of the entry way is really cool!

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