Yes, Phoenix Set a Record High (114)… But You Can Still Keep Busy This Month

Image courtesy of the Desert Botanical Garden

Check out what’s going at the Desert Botanical Garden… yes, we know it’s hot out there, but that doesn’t mean you can go out and learn about birds, trees and Antarctica (you read that right… the heat has not affected you just yet).

And remember, it’s a dry heat.


Herons, Egrets and Bitterns
Explore the lives of the surprisingly diverse wading birds found in our riparian areas. Discover the secrets of identifying white waders by foraging and flight behaviors. Learn how these birds make a living, and how we can contribute to their conservation. We will take a field trip to the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area during the Saturday class to see many of these species during prime migration time. Fieldtrip instructions given in classroom session. Instructed by Thomas Gaskill. Limit 24.

Wednesday and Saturday / August 8 and 11
Wednesday 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Members: $40 / General Public: $50

Best Plants: Trees
Learn about the best trees to grow in metropolitan Phoenix. It may seem challenging to find trees that tolerate the Sonoran Desert, but there are many, both native and introduced, that thrive in our area. This class will be conducted as a plant walk with instruction on identifying recommended trees. Cultural information on how to grow them will also be provided. This class is one of a five-part series offered throughout the year covering trees, shrubs, ground covers and vines, cacti and succulents, and grasses and herbaceous plants. Instructed by Jack Gilcrest. Limit 25.

Saturday / August 11 / 7:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Members: $35 / General Public: $44

Discover the world of Euphorbia, one of the largest genera in the plant kingdom and the source of many fascinating questions when it comes to desert-adapted plants. This classroom and trailside experience will be taught by Scott McMahon, cactaceae collections manager at the Garden. Limit 25.

Tuesday / August 14 / 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Members: $30 / General Public: $38

Antarctica: The World’s Biggest Desert
Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest and highest elevation continent on earth, but it is also the world’s largest desert, receiving less than eight inches of precipitation a year. Learn about the frigid landscape, arid environment, and what it is like to do research at the bottom of the world from firsthand experiences of Antarctic geologist Danny Foley, who spent a field season at a remote camp deep within the Transantarctic Mountains. Limit 24.

Tuesday / August 21 / 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Members: $20 / General Public: $25

Propagation and Cultivation of Herbs
Learn basic techniques for starting and caring for your own herbs. A diverse array of herbs grows well in the desert and can be planted in your herb garden, containers or elsewhere in your yard. Class includes a classroom presentation and demonstrations. Instructed by Liz Lonetti. Limit 25.

Saturday / August 25 / 9 – 11 a.m.
Members: $30 / General Public: $38

Drip Irrigation Design and Installation
Homeowners will learn how to design a drip irrigation system that will be efficient and able to handle their landscape as it grows to maturity. This course will help you avoid many of the common mistakes associated with drip system design and installation. Proper zones for plants, soils and microclimates will be covered, as well as concepts of hydraulics to ensure systems will function properly, both at start-up and over time. The installation portion covers the point of connection out to the end caps. You will learn how to connect poly tubing with a compression coupler, as well as three styles of emitter installation and when each should be used. Instructed by Jeff Lee. Limit 20.

Saturday / August 25 / 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Members: $35 / General Public: $44

Can It
Maybe your mother or grandmother canned produce from the orchard or vegetable garden, but who needs those skills today, when you can just throw stuff in the freezer? You do. Canning is green, canning is cool, canning is something anyone can do, even without fancy equipment. Learn how to prepare the containers and the contents, why acidity matters, how much salt to use, and whether to pressure can or use a boiling water bath. Join us as we put up fresh Hatch chiles, a staple of southwestern cuisine. Instructed by Ken Furtado. Limit 15.

Sunday / August 26 / 1 – 3 p.m.
Members: $50 / General Public: $62

The Producers: Fall and Winter
Fall and winter are beautiful times to enjoy your garden, and there are many plants that provide color and interest during the cool season. With proper planning and plant selection, you can add splashes of vibrant color to your garden with blooms, foliage and fruit. Learn about the many different producers and how to make these plants star in your garden. Instructed by Angelica Elliott. Limit 25.

Tuesday / August 28 / 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Members: $30 / General Public: $38

Prickly Pear Harvest and Feast
Ripening prickly pear fruits are among the most colorful and nutritious foods of our desert. Come join us for a careful hands-on experience to learn traditional Native American ways of harvesting the delicious purple fruits, de-spining them, and preparing them into some tasty super-nutritious dishes. Ethnobotanist Martha Burgess will share the knowledge taught to her by Tohono O’odham elders as we prepare a special mini-feast for the class of gourmet treats such as prickly pear salsa, meatballs with southwestern sauce, a surprise cactus juice drink and luscious prickly pear sorbet. It will be a smorgasbord of exciting nutritional food for the health-conscious desert dweller, giving us greater insight into our Sonoran Desert home. Limit 16.

Saturday / August 25 / 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Members: $55 / General Public: $68

Moonscape Photography
The beauty of moon-lit nights combined with the splendor of the Garden make for a fantastic evening of photos and fun. Class times are optimized for best shooting of moon-illuminated landscapes in cloudy or clear conditions. The August 31 class coincides with a blue moon, so called when a full moon occurs twice in a calendar month. This class is for amateur photographers who want to develop their nighttime photography skills through hands-on guidance and personal instruction on the Garden trails. This class is focused on creativity and experimentation to learn elements of lighting, exposure, camera settings and nighttime considerations such as painting with light. For digital or film SLR cameras with a tripod only. Limit 10.

Friday / August 31 / 7 – 10 p.m.
Members: $45 / General Public: $56


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