A Colonel Found His Passion.
Demonstration Garden – perhaps the most unique of the distinct botanical zones, the Demonstration Garden brings together both landscape and hardscape into artful collections of patios, arbors, pathways, water elements and decorative rock formations. This concept garden displays the best of the desert plants in real life designs that can easily be recreated once visitors go back home. Guests can also learn about plant selection, how to design their own sites, and what to do when their desert soil appears inhospitable to even the most basic of plants. Whether backyard enthusiast or professional landscaper, a stop at the Demonstration Garden will inspire and excite your creative design senses.
Heritage Rose Garden – although found deep in the Sonoran desert, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum boasts one of the most beautiful collections of Heritage roses, Old Garden roses and Antique roses in the west. No matter which time of year you visit, the blooms fill the air with fragrant reminders of their resilience and beauty. If famous roses are your passion, the Heritage Rose Garden is also home to descendants of the original Tombstone Rose and the Yellow Rose of Texas.
Ayer Lake – this man-man reservoir is a botanical zone in itself, offering refuge to two endangered fish, the Gila Topminnow and the Desert Pupfish. In addition to supplying the Arboretum with all of its irrigation water, Ayer Lake also provides an aquatic oasis for many different migratory waterfowl, which can be observed from one of two ramadas gracing the shores of the lake.
Herb Garden – a culinary masterpiece, the Herb Garden displays several species of native herbs as well as the popular European plants. There are separate areas for the different types of herbs found there, such as herbs used in the healing arts, herbs dedicated to cooking and herbs that have repellent properties and can be used to combat an insect infestation.
Cactus Garden – of course no Arboretum in the desert of Arizona would be complete without a cactus garden and the garden at Boyce Thompson is no exception. It contains succulents from every region of the Western Hemisphere and contains several trails that wind across three scenic acres. Visitors can stroll the forest at their leisure, taking in the brilliant colors of the desert sky against a rich landscape of succulent blooms.
Getting to Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
Located at Milepost #223 on Highway 60 (Superstition Freeway), the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is three miles west of Superior and just an hour from downtown Phoenix along the Superstition Freeway. Operating hours vary according to season and the Arboretum is open every day except December 25th. Visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum website for summer and winter hours. Nominal fees apply with children under five admitted free. The Arboretum is consistently voted “Best Day Trip” in polls of residents from both Phoenix Az and Tucson Az.
Map Directions To The Arboretum.
Also see Desert Botanical Garden.