If you find yourself in Albuquerque in warm weather months and are looking for something to do, check out the Albuquerque Botanic Garden. This gem is part of the City’s BioPark. We were running errands on a beautiful day and decided to stop by. We’re really glad we did. It’s a magical oasis in the city.
The site is divided into distinct areas. Here are some highlights:
Children’s Fantasy Garden: The young and young at heart will love this Alice in Wonderlandish spot entered, appropriately, through a rabbit hole. Everything is giant sized including: garden tools, animals, insects and plants. There’s a lot to scramble and climb on and an amazing maze to get lost in.
Railroad Garden: If you love model trains, you’ll be mesmerized by this mini-railroad installation. G-scale trains run through the built-to-scale landscape with villages, hills, dales and tunnels; they even grow miniature plants here. Check out the bridges and trestles. They’re very cool.
Butterfly Pavilion: From May to October you can visit this corner of the garden and see butterflies. While lacking the variety of exotic species and the sheer numbers you might discover at larger butterfly pavilions, there’s something very peaceful and refreshing about this one. Pull up a seat and watch these wonderful creatures flit from flower to flower. If you’re lucky, one may land on you. But don’t touch the butterflies; skin oils can harm them.
Heritage Farm: Visit this recreation of a 1930s Rio Grande farm complete with barn and stone farmhouse. If you’re interested in homestead related topics; they offer classes here in things like canning, quilting and colcha (Northern New Mexico traditional embroidery) and more. You might even spot a roadrunner (the New Mexico State Bird) in the field outside the farmhouse. It may be the State Bird, but these birds with the funny walk are somewhat elusive.
Japanese Garden: Walk in this tranquil garden dominated by a water-feature with a cascading waterfall. Spend some quiet time reflecting or walk through and enjoy the zen-like ambience. What a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch!
Spanish-Moorish Garden: Behind the wall there’s a desert oasis. This Moorish-inspired garden with its sparing use of water, colorful tile and aromatic plants is well-suited to a desert climate.
Jardin Redondo: Over 70 varieties of roses perfume the air in this intimate garden-in-the-round.
Ceremonial Rose Garden: The arches here, entwined with climbing plants, evoke a feeling of a time long gone. Enjoy this romantic, lush garden with its perfumed aromas.
El Jardin de la Curandera: This garden is home to herbs used by the area’s traditional folk healers who’ve been part of life in New Mexico for over 300 years.
Mediterranean Conservatory: Though named for the European coastal area, the plants here go beyond that region. Find specimens from areas with mild, rainy winters and hot dry summers. Visitors will see plants native to the California coast, southwestern Australia, South Africa and coastal Chile.
Desert Conservatory: This is home to plants from desert areas including the American Southwest and the Sonoran Desert.
There are lots more things to see here; spend a few hours or an entire day. The Bio Park also offers a zoo, aquarium and Tingley Beach. They are open year-round. If you’re looking for a delightful way to spend some time in Albuquerque; Rio Grande Botanic Garden is a great choice.