Friday, March 29, 2013

The Desert Botanical Center in Phoenix AZ (Part 1)

I was recently invited to teach workshops and give lectures to the Arizona Quilters Guild at their annual show in Mesa AZ.  I enjoyed my time in the area very much, and on my day off between workshops and lectures I was invited by one of my students to a "back stage tour" of the Desert Botanical Center, where she volunteers as a master gardener.  I was thrilled to see this beautiful place, and we had a wonderful lunch at their brand-new restaurant.
This center covers 145 acres, 65 of which are currently under cultivation.  It has been in the community for over 70 years and is a vibrant, active place that serves the community in a wide variety of ways, from cooking classes to children's education.
I had lunch at Gertrude's, the newest restaurant on the property.  This is a farm-to-table restaurant, my favorite type of place to dine, especially when I travel.  Since my companion is good friends with one of the chefs we were treated very well!
Our little dessert surprise:  smoked-chocolate parfait with a basil-infused milk ice-cube!

A sculptural installation at the Center was especially captivating:  the work of Philip Haas depicting The Four Seasons, inspired by the work of Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted portraits of heads using a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few shots of the pieces in the garden.  
Haas' "Winter" (in foreground)

Arcimboldo's "Winter" painting, c 1573

close-up of face

this image offers a sense of the scale of these pieces


  1. How cool are these sculptures! thanks for sharing

    1. You are welcome! I would love to get back for the upcoming Chihuly exhibit late this year.


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