Monday, December 31, 2018

The Lodge on the Desert

It's New Years Eve and this is my last blog post of the year, let's go back to the desert and my favorite hotel in Tucson, The Lodge on the Desert...

Our first stay here—years ago—was a fluke. I booked it on one of those websites where you name your price and accept whatever hotel they award you, without knowing exactly what you're getting, is that still a thing? Anyway, I was smitten. When we planned a night in Tucson, between Phoenix and Las Cruces, last June, I couldn't wait to return. The patio below belonged to our room, once the sun went down we sat in those chairs and soaked up the warm evening air.

This was the next room over, which was empty. In fact we had the whole little courtyard to ourselves.

Naturally I went exploring...

A recently pruned Opuntia tree (you can see the "woody" cuts).

It's got a serious cochineal infestation.

A little history: "Dating back to 1931, the original main building served as a four-bedroom private residence. Built on two acres and surrounded by empty desert, it included a corral with horses and a bunk house... (later it) opened for business as Lodge On the Desert in 1936 with seven guestrooms. The early years reflected the limitations of the era. There were no dining facilities, little refrigeration or air conditioning and heat came from a coal furnace. Roads leading to the lodge were unpaved (present day Alvernon Way) with surrounding areas undeveloped. During World War II, it served as housing for Air Force officers in training, and on other occasions became a retreat for celebrities filming western films in Tucson. Additional rooms were added from the 1950s to 70s, bringing the total to 35." (source)

There was another expansion in 2009, which I believe must have occurred after our first stay, because the entrance was completely different than I remember it, updated and new (and not necessarily in a good way). Thankfully the rest of the facility retained the charm I was expecting.

I so appreciate the garden and the fact these plants are obviously cared for.

The Opuntia tree again, from a different angle.


They must regularly remove the pups, otherwise this would be an Agave patch.

Close-up of the flowers, and the moon...

There must be "activities" that take place on the lawn, otherwise how could they justify such an expanse of green (yes, the green continues into the dark shadows)?

We didn't eat at the onsite restaurant, maybe next time.

Okay, I'm back in "our" courtyard, outside our room. I didn't take any pictures inside...but the bed was comfy, the room spacious and clean, and the a/c kept us cool...I highly recommend a stay here the next time you're in Tucson. I know we'll be back.

Weather Diary, Dec 30: Hi 50, Low 34/ Precip .02"

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Boyce Thompson Arboretum Fridays, Part 4

Today is a wrap of my four-part series on our visit to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum last June. I can't believe it took us so many years to finally visit this garden. In my mind it was a day's drive out, beyond Phoenix, but it really wasn't that far, just an hour and ten minutes from my brother's place in North Phoenix. We will definitely visit again.

Agave ovatifolia with sun protection, must be newly planted?

Last week we walked the Chihuahuan Desert trails, this week we skip across the Silver King Wash...

And check out the Cactus and Succulent Garden...

With Boojum! (Fouquieria columnaris)

The fruit on that cactus looks soft, like velvet.

Agave gigantensis (seriously)

Lophocereus schottii var. monstrosus

Agave chrysantha bloom (Golden Flowered Century Plant)

Agave ocahui

The label says "crested saguaro" in case you can't read it.

Magical, simply magical.

Hey, no problem, we'll just grow out of this little nook in the rock wall.

Another Agave salmiana var. ferox.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Opuntia rufida ends this post, although walking back, through the central part of the garden, one of the park workers stopped me to share the sight of a mama bird feeding her young way up in a tree. It was pretty magical, all the more so because he called me over to watch. What it must be like to spend your days in this garden and watch it, and its inhabitants, change with the seasons.

The other posts in this series are here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Weather Diary, Dec 27: Hi 50, Low 39/ Precip trace

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.