When living in El Paso, Texas, or perhaps visiting for a weekend getaway, there are lots of glamorous gardens and beautiful wetlands to see and enjoy. Relaxing, strolling through the grounds, and taking in the sights is an enjoyable time to spend with family and friends. Spending time in nature is both beneficial and relaxing and will give you an appreciation of just how beautiful our earth can be. Here are some truly glamorous desert gardens in El Paso and what makes them so spectacular.
The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens were formally dedicated in September 1999. It contains over 625 species of different plants. The display of flora covers the Chihuahuan Desert and the adjacent regions of the area and compromises one of the largest captive assemblages in the world. There are plant lists and guides, written in both English and Spanish, located at the reception desk at the Museum. The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens are open from dawn to dusk, with free admission.
The El Paso Municipal Rose Garden is also known as The All-American Rose Selection public garden is a delight to the senses. It has over 100 certified gardens within the United States. This garden contains over 1900 rosebushes of over 500 varieties. Each year there are several new varieties added. With the new varieties, every two years, the highest-rated varieties receive the honor of the AARS symbol. The garden is surrounded by wrought-iron fencing with wide walkways for easier handicap accessibility. A Koi pond and waterfalls in the plaza area really make this desert garden design stand out.
Feather Lake is a wildlife sanctuary that is 43.5 acres and based on a 40-acre wetland. It was built by the City of El Paso in 1969 as a stormwater retention basin. In 1976, the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society has leased this land and turned it into a wildlife sanctuary. There are over 200 different species of birds, with waterfowl being the No. 1 beneficiary, observed at the sanctuary. Also living in the refuge are muskrats, spiny softshell turtles, striped whip-tail lizards and pond sliders to name a few other wildlife inhabitants. Sometimes, though, the lake is dry since Feather Lake’s water sources are irregular. When the lake has water, Feather Lake is open to the public from September through May, on the weekends. The admission is free and is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and 2 p.m. to dusk on Sunday.
4. Keystone Heritage Park
Keystone Heritage Park is a mixture of archaeological site, a desert botanical garden, and wetlands. The Middle Archaic Period site is over 4,500 years old and one of the oldest in the United States. The botanical gardens have a variety of native plants, a replica of an Archaic Period brush hut and a pavilion. The wetlands have over 200 species of birds during the seasonal migration and is the home to many other birds.
The Rio Bosque Wetlands Park is a 372-acre city park made up of riverside forest and wetlands. This wetland is home to more than 200 species of birds. Spring wildflowers of forb bittersweet, a bright yellow wildflower, can be seen in full bloom in April and May. However, these 6- to 10-inch beautiful blossoms have been known to be still blooming through the summer months.
Whether you’re strolling through the glamorous gardens of El Paso or hiking through the wetlands, nature can be seen at it’s best. Take some time out of your busy life to enjoy the beauty that the city has to offer.
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Feature image source: UTEP.edu / Chihuauan Desert Gardens