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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Newly Opened Sam and Betty Kitchell Family Heritage Garden a Must-Visit

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By Hunter Kossodo

If you haven’t paid a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix recently, then you are missing out on one of the best exhibits they have to offer.

The Founders Wall illuminates the Cardon Plaza in the Sam and Betty Kitchell           Heritage Garden. Photo credit Desert Botanical Garden on Facebook.

The Sam and Betty Kitchell Family Heritage Garden, opened in early February, houses some incredible species of plants and cacti. Just some of the plantings you will see include giant Mexican blue palms, creeping devil cactus, and many different species of cardones, or elephant cactus. When you enter the gates of the exhibit, you will be greeted by plants found in Baja California and riparian zones including plants that were collected by the Desert Botanical Garden’s first executive director, George Lindsay.

The Kitchell Heritage Garden encompasses two new areas: the Cardon Plaza, where you will witness those aforementioned cacti, some of which have been tended to the past three years by members of the Garden’s Research, Conservation and Collections Department.

The Fine Family Contemplation Garden is the other new area found inside the Heritage Garden. The Contemplation Garden is a nice, quiet area where Garden visitors can relax and stop to look at the reflective water features and cacti that surround them.

Sam and Betty Kitchell were very influential and important people to the Desert Botanical Garden. Betty, as well as their son Jon, worked for the Garden on the Board of Trustees and co-chaired Dinner on the Desert galas.

The Fine Family Contemplation Garden is named after Peter Fine and Rebecca Ailes-Fine. Rebecca served three terms on the Board of Trustees, was a Cabinet member and served on other committees.

Those who helped bring this amazing idea to life with their generous contributions are honored on The Founders Wall, located in Cardon Plaza. The Founders Wall is made up of colorful glass circles of different sizes which adds a very exciting element to the Garden.

The exhibit is found just north of the Webster Center and is open daily. For more information visit dbg.org.

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