Friday, May 27, 2011

Albuquerque Botanical Garden Part I

Two weekends ago I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the first time I visited the Albuquerque Botanical Garden and boy, was I glad that I did. This botanical garden is fabulous! It is pretty obvious that they invested a lot of  thought, love, and money in this place. It made me happy that the City of Albuquerque decided to do so and that they consider a botanical garden important enough to spent a probably good chunk of public money on it. I enjoyed my visit very much and would go again any time. Unfortunately I only had my "point and shoot"-camera with me, so the quality of the photos is partly not that great, but at least you can get an impression of what I saw.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

Right when you enter the botanical garden you come across this amazing tree, which was in full bloom when I was there. Unfortunately I don't know what it is. If you have any idea what variety it might be, please let me know.

To the left after you enter the botanical garden you get surprised by this lovely planting of evergreens and flowering plants.

Close-up of the iris and the rose. I have to say that in my own garden I would never combine a bright yellow/orange/red rose together with a light blue/lilac iris, but here it works out well and the contrast of the colors makes it a quite interesting pair.

When you go further you see the Children's Garden also to the left side announced by a huge dragon and the towers of a castle in the background. I loved the dragon and I can imagine that children are quite attracted to it. It is really pretty tall!

Here is a view of the dragon from the back.


 And one more from the front. I was really impressed with this installation!

Another romantic entrance to the Children's Garden.

After you pass the Children's Garden you come across this area, which I also liked quite a bit. It invited children to play with the clear water and adults to enjoy the cheerful mosaics and also to sit down and rest.

They also have formal rotunda rose garden there, which reminded me of an Italian cemetery. Four wedge shaped  beds similar to this one are positioned in a circle, with spaces in between them and a fountain in the middle.

Another of the wedge shaped rose beds.

Here is a shot of one more rose bed and the fountain as the center piece. Unfortunately the water was not running.

As far as I remember the formal rose beds in this area were planted with hybrid tea and floribunda roses exclusively. Some of them were doing quite well, others not so much. But I didn't mind it. In my opinion that is what a botanical garden is there for: to show the interested rose grower the roses that are growing well (in this particular climate) and the ones that don't, so that they can make informed choices. In the following pictures I show you a few roses that were doing particularly well and looked very beautiful. 

'Veteran's Honor' was one of the very impressive red hybrid tea roses.

Since I am always on the hunt for good white roses 'Garden Party' caught my attention. It looked exceptionally good.

A perfect bloom of 'Ebb Tide', a floribunda. I had heard already good things about this rose, but had never seen it in reality and I have to say it is very pretty in person and the color is quite intense and unusual dark purple. My camera was not able to capture it properly. 

'Julia Child' certainly seems to be good floirferous floribunda, but it is not for me. I am pretty picky with colors that I choose for my garden and the yellow of 'Julia Child' is just too intense and bright for my taste and my garden style and it would certainly clash with the muted colors of the Old Garden Roses and modern roses that I mostly grow. But for someone, who loves bright yellows this rose could be a winner.

The good old 'Mister Lincoln', blooming nice and smelling terrific. I wish mine would look like this. It seems to be the case that this rose really likes the heat.

Another enclosed garden area, I forgot how they called it. I loved the shape of the fountain in the middle, the colorful tile work and the containers, especially the big blue glazed ones.

Here is a closer look at one of the tall, blue, urn-shaped containers. Besides a wonderful color it has an interesting texture, too. I would love to have something like this in my own garden.

The photo at the end of this post captured an area designed for people to get married in. It had a quite wonderful atmosphere to it. The filtered light that came through the canopy of plants growing up the roof of the structure build to cover the sitting area was very soft and pleasing. The harshness and brightness that the light sometimes can have in a desert was completely taken away. And of course it was also much less hot under this plant roof than under the blazing sun.

Stay tuned there will be coming up a part II feature of my visit to the Albuquerque Botanical Garden on this blog soon.

See you in the garden!



  1. What a great tour! Beautiful place. Loved all the different garden areas. The wedding area is beautiful - looks like it's planted with wisteria? The dragon is quite impressive!

  2. That was quite an extravagant garden, Christina. Albuquerque must be a great place. Thanks for the tour!!

  3. Oh wow!! All there years I lived there and never went to the gardens. I could kick myself. The wedding area is so magical. I am in love with Albequerque all over again.

  4. Cudowny i ciekawy ogród. Chętnie by tam tez pospacerowała. Pozdrawiam

  5. Holley, thanks for leaving a comment. I also loved the distinguished different garden areas in the Albuquerque Botanical Garden. They keep it quite interesting. Maybe that is something to repeat in my own garden, on a much smaller scale of course!

    Sherry, thanks, extravagant is quite a fitting word to describe this botanical garden. And yes, Albuquerque is a wonderful city with a lot of atmosphere.

    Stephanie, I agree the wedding area is very special. I am happy that my post rekindled your love for Albuquerque, again. It is a great place to be.

    Giga, thanks for visiting my blog. It is so nice to have someone over from Poland! I love that blogging is so international!


  6. Christina, Thanks for this post! I love seeing what's out there. I am only 3-4 hours from Albuquerque but I didn't even know there was such a place! Much warmer climate than mine, but still high desert. Thanks!

  7. Christina, this is quite a treat. This garden has a unique feeling for me, serene and open, with beautiful individual areas. The last picture with the lovely pool and blue pot is very reminiscent of a Moorish or Persian garden, the kind you would see during the Muslim domination from Spain all the way to India. It's more spare here, without the fruit trees that would usually be grown in such an area. I can't wait to see part II.

  8. Sandra, thanks for your comment. I didn't know that you were living that close to Albuquerque. Maybe it is worth a trip for you to go there? Albuquerque has many things to offer and Santa Fe, which is also very beautiful is just an hour drive away.

    Ingrid, I am glad you enjoyed my post. Interesting that you think that one garden area could be a Moorish or Persian Style garden. I am not familiar with these types of gardens, but will do some research on them now. Thanks for the tip. There is so much more to learn and know about gardening. It never gets boring!


  9. Thanks for the tour! I am glad you have been traveling too, I love to read about new places. We haven't been to that botanical garden, but your post makes me want to go and see all these plants.

    The orange rose looks a lot like Austrian Copper, doesn't it?

  10. Masha, I am pleased that you seem to like my post. I looked up 'Austrian Copper' and you could be right, that it is the rose in the 2nd and 3rd photo. You are my rose identification hero!


  11. Christina, I just discovered you through your comment on Holley's Dreaming of Roses post. I live in Albuquerque and love the Botanic Gardens--it's such a pleasure to see how much others enjoy it, too! The walled garden with the pool is called the "Spanish Moorish Garden." They just did some major replanting in it this year, especially of the trees in the middle, so it's a little startling to see your lovely photo of the pool in full sunshine instead of shade!

  12. Stacy, thanks for visiting my blog! Lucky you that you are living in Albuquerque. Thanks for providing the name for that part of the Albuquerque Botanical Garden that I had forgotten about. Can't wait to see the "Spanish Moorish Garden" again with the newly plantings!


  13. The tree is called Japanese Tree-Lilac. =) Oh and Albuquerque's Botanic gardens is voted one of the best by Travel Channel.