Tohono Chul means "desert corner" in the Tohono O'odham language. This is a 49-acre, non-profit desert preserve established to enrich people's lives by providing them the opportunity to find peace and inspiration in a place of beauty, to experience the wonders of the Sonoran Desert and to gain knowledge of the natural and cultural heritage of this region. It is no wonder that Travel and Leisure has called this one of the World's Great Botanical Gardens.
Our day begins in the desert living courtyard where there are ten distinct garden vignettes featuring a variety of landscaping themes combining color, texture and function. We hike the Desert View Trail, Saguaro Discovery Trail and Desert South Loop Trail. Along our stroll we were reminded that the Saguaro Cactus lives to be 150-200 years old. Since they will outlive the surrounding trees, the cactus generally begins its life as a seed in the shade of a tree and then grows slowly up under it. A 10 year old Saguaro might only be 1 ½ inches tall. The "Nurse Tree" will eventually die of old age just as the Saguaro is large enough to displace it. Saguaros grow to be 40-60 feet tall and when rain is plentiful it can weigh between 3,200-4,800 pounds!
Our visits to the Butterfly and Hummingbird gardens were relaxing and allowed us to enjoy the flights of these colorful winged creatures. Throughout our walk, we observed mature budding artists taking a watercolor painting class and then later observed the students scattered throughout the park sketching and painting.
We found it quite easy to spend the day especially when the "Tea Room" served up a wonderful Prickly Pear Margarita. We also enjoyed their famous Chili Reno with grilled chicken and a taco sampler.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.