Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Tucson Botanical Gardens

Entrance of the Garden

Close Up Experiment
Today was my first class at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  It was more of a nuts and bolts class about volunteering and the history of the garden which dates back almost some 50 odd years.  It was also today that I got to use my camera for the first time on the job.

Nancy, our historical guide

I won't go into the details of Rutger Potter and his wife Bernice as it is like everyone else's story in life, but I will tell you what I discovered at this class today.


1. I sat with wonderful people from all walks of life who are all passionate about some aspect in gardening....whether it be butterflies, plants, the community outreach program, education, or the many other activities that are related to just gardening.  I never thought about it until today....and discovered that my niche is "plant" related.  Next week's class is super focused on plants and their latin names....I personally look forward to this presentation as a plant doctor from the UA will be presenting. He has the reputation of freaking people out with his passion for plants and their behaviors:)  I can't wait to meet him. Again it is interesting to note that the word "garden" means different things to different's not just about the plants and collecting them:) There are those volunteers who come for the social part while others are there for the plants. I sat next to a funny lady who works at T.B.G. and she said to me, "This place is bizarre because you have those who just want to volunteer, laugh and work together while you will meet those who are just scientific doctor nerds."  That sounds like my kind of place:)  Almost everyone in the class has their own garden and some just want to be working in the garden community together....amen:)

The Tropics Green House

Example of art in the garden

2.  It all starts from nothing. A man, who loved gardening, made his home an oasis and that it comes down to you, some dirt, and experimenting. I visited this garden in the 90's and what a transformation it has undergone!! Trees have grown and so has the garden!! The place is located in a crappy part of town, but when you enter the gates, you don't feel like you are in an ugly neighborhood.  Your personal garden can "screen" that nastiness away and create a bubble of joy and happiness. I came back to my place today thinking that life was good and that it will all be okay. I felt rejuvenated and hopeful.

Example of color in the garden

3. I discovered something inside of me that has been locked up for many years.....a passion that I can share with others about gardening. This has been something I have only celebrated by myself and it's nice to know that I am not the only one that feels that way.  Best of all, as a volunteer, I can do as much or as little with T.B.G as I like.  I am not an organized religion person(for example, Catholic, Mormon, etc.).  I am, however, a spiritual person.  My parents told me, when I moved to Tucson, that if I wanted to connect with good people, I'd have to join a church.  I really didn't like that advice, but the meaning behind it is solid.  "Find what you love and join."  Today it was wonderful being around people seeking the same thing. And I think gardening is religion with Mother Nature as our guide.

Example of wildlife in the garden

I look forward to the upcoming sessions that run until November.  Happy Gardening everyone!!

An example of the odd in the garden


Forgive my shaky hands as I "perfect" my video technique. Unfortuneatly, I will always have shaky hands....I sometimes feel like Katherine Hepburn.  This Canon camera is super amazing...the video on the IS 20 is superier to any mobile camera I have.  I will be able to do so much with this feature from the camera.  I have to work on my lighting a bit...I still don't have that down.




  1. Looks like a nice trip. I have yet to visit any botanical garden. The baseball plant is really unique!

  2. Dear Rohrerbot, First, thank you so much for becoming a 'Follower' of my weblog. I have added your weblog as one of my 'Favourites' in Blotanical so as not to miss your future postings.

    I have much enjoyed reading this, and previous postings, and am fascinated by what you have to say. Years ago I too was passionate about plants as individual species. Whislt that passion remains, over the years I have become very much more interested in the design of gardens and, most recently, in both interior and garden design which is what, increasingly, my postings are about.

    That said, I feel that you have great variety in your life which will make, I am sure, for unusual and interesting postings. I shall much look forward to them.

  3. Aaron-that baseball plant is one of the weirdest plants I have seen and I still remember it from 15 years ago. It hadn't grown at all!!! But the textures are unique. I just started several years ago going to gardens...most are extremely amazing places. They also give you lots of ideas:)You have the most amazing plants growing at your place.

    E.H. Thank you for reading. I am truly fascinated by your pics and they transport me to other spaces. I love plants so much and I need to work on my design better...I admit that I am a plant horder:) The tropics fascinate me...especially that of the Amazon and Central America. Green is such a welcome color in dry places. Most people have an Arizona Room here which allows us to eat outside and enjoy our climate. So I am slowly understanding design a bit....although I admit it takes me months to process how to "fix" a space:)....oh and money. Thanks for your postings as well....great ideas come from sharing our blogs:)

  4. I haven't been to Tuscon in 40 years. ( I was born there.) But it will be nice to read your blog on occasion and see what you post about my birthplace.
    Thanks for following my blog, I am following you now. Have a great weekend.

  5. Nice blog you've got here! :D

    That was a really cool post. The photo of the wall with the bottles reminded me of a place I visited earlier this year called the Airlie Gardens, in Wilmington, NC. There was a whole building made out of coloured bottles and small tile. Coolest ever! Here's teh link to my post about it:

    Anyway, always glad to meet someone new in the blogosphere. :)

  6. I have not visited the Tucson Botanic Gardens before, but I did visit the Sonora Desert Museum which was fantastic. I imagine you will have a much easier time learning the botanical names then I did since you are a Spanish teacher. I look forward to more 'virtual' visits of this special place :-)

  7. How fun - it will be nice to have updates on this gorgeous place.

    I remember when I was taking my master gardener classes earlier this year, I was positively giddy during each class. Have a great time!

  8. I am absolutely excited for the classes. Thank you all for the well wishes. This has really been an awakening for me and it feels good to be a student again and learning things I want to learn:)


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