Catching Water and Butterflies
It is the height of summer and gardens are (or should be) at their best. Our garden is recovering from a hailstorm, so I must look elsewhere for verdant finery. Conveniently, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill held their grand opening last weekend and our family toured the newly planted grounds. I've seen a few botanical gardens in my day and many focus on obscure and exotic plants from far-flung corners of the globe. The Museum Hill garden instead features many native, hardy and beautiful species which appeals to lazy gardeners like me.
I have no beef against gardeners that nurture exotic and delicate plants - I just don't have the time or energy to put into it. I seek out the hardiest and toughest plants so I can spend time on things beyond the garden. I was very happy to see lots of beautiful native and other hardy species in the Museum Hill Botanical Garden. I'm sure I'll find more planting inspiration for our garden from the Orchard Gardens.
The Orchard Gardens are the first part of the planned, three-part botanical garden. An orchard of fruit trees is surrounded by tiered perennials beds, cacti, roses and lavender, sculpture,
ramadas and a winding path leading to a historic bridge. As interesting as the plants are the well designed water catchment features. Rock-lined troughs and basins hold rain water, allowing it to absorb into the garden soil. A recent downpour had unleashed heavy rains on the gardens, but the newly planted beds looked great. With the intensity of recent monsoon rains and erosion nearby, the effectiveness of the water catchment was impressive.
The Museum Hill Botanical Garden is definitely worth visiting for southwestern gardeners. Not only is it thoughtfully designed for the climate and landscape, it reflects the sorts of gardens mortals like myself could have. I'm curious to see the next stages of the garden as they are built and as all the plantings establish and grow.