05 Mar Chihuly in the Garden at the Desert Botanical Garden
It was my first visit to Arizona, so I was overjoyed to see cacti everywhere we went, and even more excited to be guests of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix for a deeper look into the beautiful desert scenery. Filled with cacti and many other desert plants, it is unlike other botanical gardens as it focuses on a different type of vegetation, and perhaps, why we enjoyed the display so much.
The Desert Botanical Garden is home to over 50,000 desert plant displays, such as cacti, succulents, and desert wildflowers. Five different trails lead you through the interactive and visually exciting exhibits in the garden. Conservation is also a priority of the garden—their touchstone is biodiversity and they are committed to conserving the biodiversity of North America’s desert regions. In addition to the garden itself, special events and educational programs are also held on an ongoing basis. Events such as Music in the Garden, Spring Butterfly Exhibit, Spring Plant Sale, and Agave on the Rocks are held throughout the year. Currently, their special exhibit on display is Chihuly in the Garden.
Although the gardens themselves are very impressive and worth a visit in their own right, the special Chihuly exhibit brings the garden to an entirely different level. Dale Chihuly has his art on display at over 200 museums around the world, and this is the second time he has created an exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden. Due to an injury that impaired his physical ability to create the art by himself, Chihuly has a team that he utilizes to bring his larger than life visions to reality.
The Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden is stunningly integrated with the gardens of cacti and desert displays. Each piece of art is made from blown glass and appears to be strategically placed to enhance the natural beauty of the garden. I was surprised to see how large and vibrant all of the sculptures were—the size and volume of the sculptures was truly impressive.
Chihuly in the Garden is running through May 18th, 2014, and during the exhibit, time in the garden is limited and admission is granted during one of three time slots: 8am-noon, noon-4pm, 4pm-8pm. We chose to visit the garden during the 4pm-8pm time slot so we were able to experience the best of both worlds and view the sculptures at both day and night. During the transition from day to night, the sculptures undergo a transformation. As the sky darkens and the lights begin to illuminate the sparkling glass, the sculptures light up and almost start to glow. Although the sculptures are beautiful during the day, viewing the works of art at night is even more stunning.
Make sure you allow yourself enough time to walk through all the trails in the garden—the garden is quite large so you will want time on your side to enjoy each display and sculpture to its fullest.
Have you ever seen any of Chihuly’s sculptures or been to the Desert Botanical Garden?
Many thanks to the Desert Botanical Garden for providing us with complimentary admission.
As always, all opinions are our own!