The votes were tabulated by Readers Digest in 2005. Americans elected The Tucson Botanical Gardens the "The Best Secret Garden in America." Fueled by breakfast burritos courtesy of Fiskars, I took a stroll with my fellow garden communicators through the 5 acre oasis in central Tucson with the objective to learn what captures the American gardening public's heart. What is it about this garden to which we instinctively relate.
Want butterflies? Plant flowers. Let them dance to the rhythm of seasonal breezes.
Americans don't like to take ourselves too seriously. Jessica Reinhardt was a good sport about posing with the Monarch wings so that I don't have to show you how silly I look wearing them):- .
|The shade of a pomegranate tree fills the role of the apple tree in warmer climates.|
We are naturally inquisitive. Since the Europeans got lost and ended up on our North American shores, we are a nation of explorers. I don't know what this cactus is, but its a happy discovery. So exotic- I have just the spot if California Cactus can source for me.
We believe in the power of boldness. Such as the pomegranate- red wall embracing the water wall.
We are a nation of contrasts. As a people, we are as cohesive as the background tile on the water wall. Yet because we embrace individuality, even when it seems this means we are celebrating fruits and nuts as literally as the relief tiles, we are not dull.
|'Bone Trooper" by Jana Imblum|
We are a nation of immigrants, proud of our individual cultural roots. To celebrate the Mexican-American celebration of the Dia de los Muertos, the gardens sent out a call to local artists to create life-sized dancing skeletons.
'Quetzally Hernandez Corondo' dressed to dance with other dearly departed, by Camila Catrina.
As a continent wide nation, we are blessed to have pockets of artistic regionalism. Ceramic artist Nina Borgia- Aberle is just one of the practitioners in the vibrant Tucson arts community.
We are a nation built on the imagination of our people. Chris Kennedy Bubany celebrates everyday life through her decorative ceramic garden scene.
Whatever our differences, when we walk through a garden, we are a nation of friends.
Whatever our family's stature in its country of origin, like this firethorn, 'Pyracantha coccinea' , in America, because this nation is exceptional, we have the potential to rise to barely imaginable heights .
May God Bless the USA, all her gardeners and gardeners to be.