Boyce Thompson Arboretum is one of my favorite springtime destinations in Central Arizona. It would be a great destination at any time, as there are always interesting plants and at least a few blossoms; but I am particularly fond of it in spring when the new growth is brilliant green and many of the plants (both native and exotic) are bursting into bloom.
The gardens are laid out along a loop and our visit in late March started with a blast of color around the Australia Desert Garden.
There are a few other things along the way too.
There are very few blossoms this early in the year, but the spikey cacti and succulents glow dramatically in the morning light.
From the Cactus Garden we circle around Ayers Lake and follow the trail through the canyons beyond Picketpost House where the garden’s founder lived. There are very few wildflowers blooming in this area right now, but the scenery is still dramatic.
The walk along the creek is cool and shady and – best of all – my favorite yellow trees are still in bloom.
While the arboretum has a rose garden, it’s most famous (and dramatic) rose is a humongous yellow climber located along the cliff in the herb garden near the (tiny) Clevenger House.
This rose has been here since the 1800s, so it has had plenty of time to establish itself. Still, it is amazing to see it draped over the trees and clambering up the rocky cliff.
And then we are back where we began.
The Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is located in Superior, Arizona. The Arboretum was created during the 1920s as a museum of living plants to help instill in humanity an appreciation of plants. It is owned by a nonprofit organization and operated in cooperation with the Arizona State Park system and the University of Arizona. It is open to the public daily throughout the year.
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