Tucson Botanical Garden
Located on the site of the historic Porter property, The Canadian Garden Council and the American Public Gardens Association named Tucson Botanical Gardens as one of the top 10 North American Gardens worth traveling for. A lush oasis in the heart of Tucson offering mature trees and expertly cultivated foliage, specialty gardens such as the Cactus & Succulent Garden, Barrio Garden, and Herb Garden highlight the diversity of native plants. Tropical butterflies from around the world are featured in the Cox Butterfly & Orchid Pavilion Oct.–May. Experience year-round art exhibits, classes, and events, as well as the creative, seasonal menu of Edna’s Eatery. Now celebrating over 40 years of living beauty, The Tucson Botanical Gardens is a unique gem not to be missed.
The entity known as “Tucson Botanical Gardens” was originally founded in 1964 by horticulturist and collector, Harrison G. Yocum. The gardens at his home on North Jefferson Street were open to the public, and contained an extensive collection of cacti and palms. Memberships became available in 1968, and the group became chartered as a non-profit corporation the next year. As the organization grew to 100 charter members it found a temporary home at Randolph Park, using display space available in a greenhouse. Dr. Leland Burkhart, UA professor of Horticulture, was president of the TBG at the time and the society began formulating a dream for its future. Plans were then created for a larger, permanent home. Friends of TBG and local garden clubs organized fund-raising activities to further this purpose. In 1974, Tucson Botanical Gardens attained its current location at the historic Porter Family property.
The Tucson Botanical Gardens is a 5.5 acre (2.2 ha) collection of sixteen residentially scaled urban gardens in Tucson, Arizona, United States. Paths connect these gardens, which include a Zen Garden, a Prehistoric Garden, a Barrio Garden, a Butterfly Garden, a Xeriscape Garden, and a Children’s Garden. The Cox Butterfly & Orchid Pavilion is home to orchids, bromeliads, and jungle vegetation, along with a display of live tropical butterflies from five continents from October to April. The Cactus and Succulent Garden contains hundreds of cacti and arid plants arranged to imitate the arid Sonoran desert, and is embellished with exotic stones and minerals collected by the Gardens’ founder, Harrison Yocum. The Native Crops Garden illustrates the prehistoric agricultural practices in Central and Southern Arizona. The Tohono O’odham Path winds among edible and utilitarian plants of the Sonoran Desert.