No matter where I go, one item is always on the travel itinerary: gardens. Museums and hiking may find their way on my list of things to see, but gardens are always on the top of the list. However, I’ve come to find that my affinity for gardens is more than my desire to get to the outdoors. Gardens are more than being with nature and pretty flowers, they’re also about promoting conservation through knowledge and inspiration. Luckily for me, a recent visit to the Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah with my friend Trisha provides me with all of these things. Having recently toured the gardens, Trisha provides me with a few interesting tidbits from her tour.
- Red Butte Garden contains plants that grow and blossom at different times during the year. This ensures that visitors can come at various times and seasons to experience a different arrangement and see what’s in bloom. Currently, a few roses are in bloom, but many have dwindled from the heat. Instead, what thrives during my visit are the lavender, herbs and other desert florals in the hot summer sun.
- The rose gardens at Red Butte are structured differently than most, including Portland’s International Rose Test Garden. Rather than plant a large grouping of roses throughout the walkways, this garden places roses among other plants that accentuate the various breeds so they aren’t lost among one another. Although I’ve loved many rose gardens, including the few blooms I experienced at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, I admire the thought behind this plan to admire each blossom for its own characteristics and charm.
- Like many gardens, Red Butte promotes conservation and sustainability by inspiring others to plant their own gardens. By providing visitors with species that will survive and do well in the Utah weather (whether they are native or not), Red Butte Garden aims to show people what is possible in their own backyard when they can’t come visit. Walking among the various herbs and bushes, I can’t help but think of my front yard where my mom thoroughly researched and determined which plants would be best to plant and thrive in the southwestern Utah desert. Knowing what will work best in your climate is essential to starting and enjoying your own garden.
While there are many things that are satisfying about my personalized tour of the Red Butte Garden, the best part was seeing how this company takes on preservation of the natural world. Their next endeavor, the Water Conservation Garden is a display that will show how exotic and native plants with different soil and water requirements can co-exist in a garden. With intricate plant selections, irrigation techniques and design, Red Butte Garden hopes to not only create a beautiful landscape, but also teach people how to make their own scenic garden that uses water wisely. From this new project and my afternoon visit, I find that natural beauty is always a sight to see, but understanding the story behind it is even more rewarding.
Hours and Location
Red Butte Garden: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, Utah, Open January 2-March 31: 9am-5pm, April 1-30: 9am-7:30pm, May 1-August 31: 9am-9pm, September 1-30: 9am-7:30pm (When outdoor concerts are scheduled May 1-September 30 only open 9am-5pm), and October 1-December 23: 9am-5pm.