Boyce Thompson Arboretum is not only the oldest and largest botanical garden in Arizona, it is the fourth oldest west of the Mississippi River. It’s spectacularly situated, drawing on hundreds of acres of borrowed scenery, courtesy of the surrounding Upland Sonoran Desert vegetation and mountains of Tonto National Forest. A travel guide, like Fodor’s, might correctly describe this part of the desert as “saguaro-studded,” and, indeed, it is.
Anyone who has traveled to Globe, or Roosevelt Lake, or the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, has passed the Arboretum, perhaps without even noticing. It’s easy to whiz by, particularly because much of the grounds lies below your car’s line of site along US Highway 60, and because many of our plants are hidden from view between two tall volcanic ridges. If you find yourself driving east through the historic mining town of Superior, you just passed the Arboretum about three miles back. [Read more…]