Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Class and Glass

While we stayed pretty quiet this past week following our busy rally, we did make a trip to Phoenix to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens. The DBG is home to one of the world’s finest and most diverse collections of succulent plants, including rare, threatened and endangered species.

Right now it is also a temporary home to a splendid collection of glass art by Dale Chihuly. We’ll show you a few pictures here. For more of the glass and the cactus, click on any picture and the web album will show up, just like magic. You can scroll around the album, see a slide show, or just ignore the whole thing. To get back here, click on the "Back" arrow on your browser.

We were welcomed to the garden by this display, called Desert Wildflower Towers.

From Desert Botanical Garden

The centerpiece of the entire collection is “The Sun.”
From Desert Botanical Garden

We learned that each piece of this sculpture arrived carefully packed in foam in cartons, to be assembled on site by one of Chihuly’s crew. The pieces are labeled, for example, as “top,” “middle,” or “bottom,” and it is up to the worker to decide where to put it, so that each time it is installed it is unique!

As we traveled through the several sections of the gardens, Chihuly’s glass creations seemed to be everywhere, and like the other tourists, we seemed to be directing our attention to the glass more than to the multitude of God’s green creations.
From Desert Botanical Garden
A half-hour tour (which turned out to be a full hour) led by docent Friendly Phil drew us back to the cactus and other desert plants.
From Desert Botanical Garden
But all in all, it was the glass that entranced us. We are going to have to come back some day to really appreciate the succulents and cactus that are here on display.

From Desert Botanical Garden
From Desert Botanical Garden
After our tour, we stopped in the gift shop and arboretum, purchasing a small Saguaro and an equally small Golden Barrel cactus for our casita lot in Benson. The Landscape Committee will give us instructions on exactly how to plant them.

Then it was picnic time in Papago Park!

From Desert Botanical Garden
The Park actually includes the Desert Botanical Gardens, but this area was set aside for family time, with a soft surface play area featuring desert animal sculptures.

From Desert Botanical Garden
Please do, if you have a few minutes, visit the Web Album. You'll find 63 pictures of some beautiful glass art and some strange and wonderful desert plants. Just click on any picture above, then you can select a slide show, or just march through the pictures on your own. If you choose slide show, you'll want to increase the interval time to at least 5 seconds so you can give the pictures a chance to focus, and you can read the captions! To come back here, click the "Back" arrow on your browser.

Phoenix knows how to have a good time, and we shared it in this day of ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Beautiful pictures! Thanks again for sharing!

    Donna Daniel

  2. Jerry and Suzy,
    We really enjoyed the glass display too. Weren't the colors just beautiful and quite a interesting way that they were displayed.

    Connie and Art

  3. BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks for the tour.


  4. Yes,,,,, Glass!!
    That's a different twist. NEAT!!!

    Hope that PressurePro is doing its job!!!


  5. Glad you had such a good time! We were there on Tuesday as well (with Brad's parents this time). It was nice to see more of the cacti flowering then when we were there in Janaury.

    Take care!

  6. Your pictures are beautiful. I'm like you, the glass work is what really draws me in. Is the glass sculptures only on display for a limited time? If so, how long? We'd love to see go there while we are still in the area.

  7. Kings, yes the display is there only through May. Hurry hurry!

  8. Jerry and Suzy!!!
    Wow! What spectacular views of the Desert Botanical Garden. We were there in '06 but the Chihuly glass art kicks the tour up a whole bunch of notches ... for sure! Dale is a local boy from Tacoma and although we don't know him personally, we are very proud of him.
    Joy and Phil

  9. That glass certainly makes the whole thing spectacular! I just got home from a 2 week trip to the Calif. desert: Anza Borrega and then further down towards Yuma, back up to Salton Sea and then up towards Mojave. Got a few cactus in bloom but I think I was about 2 weeks too early for a real stunning display.

    Mary in Angels Camp


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