Secret gardens in the high desert

There’s something about flowers. They make people smile and feel good. By extension, gardens are special places. Whether ornamental or functional, people seem to love them. I’m a big fan of garden tours, especially in Santa Fe where oases are hidden behind walls and fences. I love touring gardens (and homes) and clearly, people love them too. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden Tour, always held the first two weekends in June, recruits incredible homes each year. Places that I’m probably not getting invited to (in this lifetime).

Santa Fe gardens

A patio garden at a John Gaw Meem designed house on the 2012 tour, photo/Steve Collins

Last year the tour included the garden at a home designed by John Gaw Meem (one of the fathers of the Pueblo Revival movement) and a fabulous estate with an infinity pool — a rare sight in the high desert.  The gardens at these and every other home on the tour were fabulous. It’s a special treat to get to see them.

Santa Fe gardens

An unexpected infinity pool in the midst of lush growth on a Santa Fe estate, photo/Steve Collins

Every year there are two tours. The first weekend always features an optional box lunch (for an additional fee) eaten at a location not included on the tour. Enticing? You bet.

Santa Fe gardens

A water feature gives a feeling of lushness in our high desert city, photo/Steve Collins

Ticket prices vary, depending on when you buy them, from early bird pricing to paying a premium at the door. If you love gardens and want to see behind some of the ubiquitous adobe walls and coyote fences that make Santa Fe, well, Santa Fe, here’s your chance.

Santa Fe garden tour

A garden runs wild, photo/Steve Collins

The 2013 Santa Fe Botanical Garden Tours are Sunday, June 2nd and Sunday, June 9th from 1 to 4pm. Ticket prices are on their website. The tours, begun in 1996, are a fund raiser for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden.  The long-time dream has come true. The first phase of their permanent home on Museum Hill opens to the public on Sunday, June 19th.  We previewed it last week. With about two months to go, it’s looking great.

Santa Fe gardens

Candyce Garrett’s sculpture “Emergence” at the new Santa Fe Botanical Garden, photo/Steve Collins

Tickets are available at the Lensic box office in person, by phone at (505) 988-1234 or at Tickets Santa Fe. For more information call the Santa Fe Botanic Garden or check their website.

Here are more home and garden tours held throughout the year.

Have you been on a Santa Fe garden tour?


6 Responses to “Secret gardens in the high desert”

  1. Leigh
    May 24, 2019 at 7:33 am #

    I LOVE garden tours. When we lived in Vancouver I would religiously drag my husband to the Van Dusen Garden Tour - with about 10-14 gardens. Some were marvelous, some average but always great fun to see. I would love to visit Santa Fe during a garden tour and will have to keep that in mind.

    • Billie Frank
      May 24, 2019 at 9:32 am #

      I so want to visit the Butchart Gardens in Victoria. Check out the list of garden tours. The Santa Fe Garden Club does several over the summer. They’re supposed to be great.

  2. TravelDesigned
    May 25, 2019 at 4:18 am #

    We love garden tours too. It’s a good way to see new plants and new garden ideas. Now we have ANOTHER reason to visit you and Samta Fe.

    • Billie Frank
      May 25, 2019 at 7:15 am #

      You’d love these, Steph. The homes and gardens featured are so wonderful. Check the yearly schedule at the bottom of the post for annual tour times. We’ll now have the permanent garden and Albuquerque has a great little botanical garden. There are flowers in the high desert.


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