We recently spent a week in Tucson, Arizona, visiting friends. While I’ve been to California and New Mexico, I was not familiar with the Sonoran Desert and was thrilled to visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, as well as Tohono Chul Park and Sabino Canyon, all in Tucson!
Nature is always a great inspiration for an interior designer; taking in the colors, textures and sounds of the landscape of the Southwest was inspiring! The saguaro cactus is perhaps the most recognized plant of the Sonoran Desert:
These plants are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25. Saguaros are covered with protective spines, white flowers in the late spring, and red fruit in summer. With the right growing conditions, it is estimated that saguaros can live to be as much as 150-200 years old. (From the Saguaro Fact Sheet on the desert museum.org site.)
The contrast of the deciduous foliage, turning in the fall, with the green of the cactus and the blue of the sky is a decidedly non-New England event!
At Tohono Chul Park, they had a variety of gardens to walk through, some more “built” than others…some with sculptures. Lovely textures, shapes and colors – rock, plant, etc.
We also visited the San Xavier Del Bac Mission, a lovely building! The mission has a Moorish facade, with Spanish and Native American influence. From the web-site sanxaviermission.org:
A National Historic Landmark, San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. The oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church’s interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings.