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. (February 2012)
The ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden is a 36-acre (15 ha) botanical garden located at 2601 Central Avenue NW in Albuquerque, New Mexico, beside the Rio Grande. The garden showcases plants of the Southwest and other arid climates, and includes a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) conservatory, formal themed gardens, and a demonstration garden. One wing of the glass conservatory houses plants native to the Mediterranean climates zones of Spain, Portugal, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, Chile and California. A second wing features xeric plants from North American deserts. Paths behind the conservatory showcase New Mexico Habitats, including desert, grasslands, lava flows and sandhills. Medicinal plants are highlighted in El Jardin de la Curandera. Railroad Hill includes miniature trains and villages, and Children's Fantasy Garden is a "garden" of gigantic vegetables and insects . From mid-May through September, the PNM Butterfly Pavilion showcases hundreds of North American butterflies. The Heritage Farm represents farm life along the Rio Grande in the 1920s and 1930s, and Colores offers delights in every season with blossoms, seed pods and interesting foliage. Opened in the fall of 2007, Sasebo Japanese Garden features a 16-foot waterfall that tumbles into a large pond, surrounded by winding paths.
The gardens contains a series of outdoor and indoor spaces:
- Spanish-Moorish Courtyard and Walled Gardens. These outdoor gardens, located just inside the entrance, contain a Spanish-Moorish themed garden displaying aromatic plants such as rosemary, Spanish lavender, fig and pomegranate trees; a small, round garden with a raised bed of cultivated roses called the Jardin Redondo; and the Ceremonial Rose Garden which contains a scenic trellis covered with wisteria and rambling roses.
- Mediterranean Conservatory. This large greenhouse displays a variety of plants native to coastal areas with hot dry summers and mild rainy winters, such as the Mediterranean, the California coast, southwestern Australia, South Africa and coastal Chile. rockroses, bottlebrush trees, olive trees, myrtles, oleanders and numerous mints and sages are displayed here. This conservatory is also the locale for several flower shows, including Winter Fire Colors, Bulbs in Bloom and the Orchid Show. In 2009, an exhibit on arthropods was added as a preview for a future insectarium to be built at the botanic gardens.
- Desert Conservatory. Located next to the Mediterranean Conservatory, this second greenhouse simulates a dry climate and displays a collection of plant life from deserts of the American Southwest, such as saguaro cactus and palo verde trees from the Sonoran Desert, creosote and yucca from the Chihuahuan Desert, and elephant trees from Baja.
- Curandera Garden. This is a traditional herb garden based on the practices of Curanderos, or Spanish folk doctors, who have a long history of herbal medicine in New Mexico. The garden also contains a bas relief sculpture by Diego "Sonny" Rivera depicting a Curandero.
- Camino de Colores. This garden is divided into four area, each themed to one of the four seasons, with plants chosen to represent each season's colors year-round. This garden also contains a water feature in the winter garden, and large rose planters.
- Sasebo Japanese Garden. A classically designed Japanese Garden, containing Japanese architecture and design elements such as the tile-capped garden wall and tile-roofed entry gate, an elevated bell tower, stone lanterns and pagoda sculptures, a ceremonial hand-wash basin, a waterfall, koi pond, an arched-moon bridge, and a viewing deck. The plant palette includes both traditional Japanese and American Southwest plantings.
- Heritage Farm. A re-creation of a 1930s era Albuquerque-area farm, containing a kitchen garden, crops, an orchard, vineyard and berry bushes, as well as replicas of a farmhouse, a barn, and a stables. Demonstrations take place in the farmhouse, and farm animals such as cows, goats, sheep, and horses live at the stables. This garden won the 2007 American Public Gardens Association award for excellence in programming and was invited to place an exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. from May through October 9, 2007.
- PNM Butterfly Pavilion. An indoor butterfly house, open seasonally.. The exhibit features several species of butterflies from North America. Species include monarch butterfly and blue morpho. On one side of the pavilion, visitors can see small displays with dozens of other insects and arachnids and talk with the arthropod experts.
- Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond. In spring, summer and fall, the Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond is buzzing with activity as dragonflies and damselflies fly, hunt and search for mates. The exhibit is the first dragonfly sanctuary pond in the United States. The pond features aquatic habitat perfect for attracting and breeding dragonflies and damselflies. Plants for perching grow around the pond, allowing guests to view and identify several species of dragonflies at once. A stream bubbles into the exhibit from a rocky desert landscape, and a deck overlooks the vibrant scene. A stunning glass mosaic depicting summer insects shimmers on the north wall of the courtyard.
- Cottonwood Gallery. The five-acre Cottonwood Galley is located at the north end of the Botanic Garden. The garden showcases a restored forest with a canopy of mature cottonwood trees and an understory of native trees and bushes. The natural area attracts interesting wildlife, including roadrunners, kestrels, porcupines and great-horned owls. The palette of plantings includes species used by animals for forage and shelter. Wetlands and shaded paths provide quiet places to watch for animals.
- "Garden" Railroad. An outdoor model railroad layout.
- Children's Fantasy Garden. A 14-foot-high (4.3 m) dragon stands at the entrance of the Fantasy Garden that gives visitors a mite's eye perspective on the garden. Giant bugs, gardening tools, and huge pretend vegetables tower over visitors to this garden. A walk-through "pumpkin" 42 feet (13 m) in diameter and two stories high is the centerpiece of this garden.
- BUGarium. The new 3,500-square-foot building will feature different insect and other arthropod species from around the world, including Malaysian walking sticks, giant bird eating tarantulas and southwest velvet ants. Some of the exciting exhibits include:A working bee hive, A tropical tree home to leaf cutter ants, aquatic insects that seem to connect to the outside dragonfly sanctuary pond , a nocturnal exhibit allowing viewing under infra-red light of tarantulas, giant katydids and African scorpions, and a cluster of individual bubbles housing the social communities of naked mole rats.
Winter Wool Festival- An event held at the Heritage Farm to celebrate the connections between plants, animals and people! Watch artisans at work, learn about natural dyes made from plants and follow the process used to turn Navajo Churro sheep wool into sweaters and blankets.
Earth Day- One of the biggest events at the botanic garden, Earth Day is a day when visitors can learn more about our planet and what they can do to protect the animals and plants that inhabit the Earth. Discovery stations and hands-on activities are set up around grounds to introduce visitors to the wonders of nature.
Children's Seed Festival-Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Albuquerque. Celebrate the connections between seeds, plants and humans with some "seed-happy" people during this annual event at the Children's Fantasy Garden.
National Public Gardens Day-Visitors can learn more about gardening, the environment, and how to grow plants and use water wisely. Garden staff are on hand to offer tips on home gardening and landscape design.
Summer Night's Concert- Summer Nights concerts feature an array of musical styles performed by local and regional talent on Thursday evenings in the beautiful setting of the Rio Grande Botanic Garden.
Collections include Achillea filipendulina, Abelia grandiflora, Acanthus mollis, Althaea rosea, Anacyclus depressus, Anigozanthos flavidus, Aquilegia chrysantha, Asclepias speciosa, Berlandiera lyrata, Bougainvillea glabra, Buddleia davidii, Buddleia marrubifolia, Calliandra californica, Callirhoe involucrata, Callistemon citrinus, Calylophus hartwegii, Calylophus serrulatus, Campsis radicans, Carissa grandiflora, Carnegia gigantea, Carpenteria californica, Caryopteris clandonensis, Centranthus ruber, Cerastium tomentosum, Chilopsis linearis, Chitalpa tashkentensis, Chrysactinia mexicana, Cistus ladanifer, Cistus salviifolius, Cistus × purpureus, Clematis sp., Cleome serrulata, Coreopsis grandiflora, Dasiphora floribunda, Datura wrightii, Dietes grandiflora, Dipsacus fullonum, Echium fastuosum, Fouquieria columnaris, Fouquieria splendens, Gaillardia x grandiflora, Galvezia speciosa, Gaura lindheimeri, Geranium sp., Glandularia gooddingii, Gossypium harknessii, Hemerocallis sp., Hesperaloe parviflora, Heterocentron elegans, Hymenoxys acaulis, Hypericum calycinum, Ipomoea fistulosa, Jasminum odoratissimum, Justicia californica, Kniphofia uvaria, Lavandula 'Munstead', Leonotis leonurus, Leucanthemum vulgare, Leucophyllum candidum 'Thunder cloud', Leucophyllum langmaniae 'Rio Bravo', Lobelia laxiflora, Lonicera japonica 'Halliana', Lonicera sempervirens, Melaleuca elliptica, Nandina domestica, Nepeta × faassenii, Nerium oleander, Oenothera missouriensis, Oenothera speciosa, Olea europaea, Penstemon barbatus, Penstemon pinifolius, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, Philadelphus sp., Phlomis cashmeriana, Phlomis fruticosa, Phlomis russeliana, Phygelius capensis, Plumbago auriculata, Plumbago scandens, Punica granatum, Ratibida columnifera, Rosa sp., Salvia greggii, Salvia repens, Sambucus mexicana, Sapindus drummondii, Spiraea japonica 'Anthony Waterer' & 'Goldflame', Stachys lanata, Tecoma 'Orange Jubilee', Tulbaghia fragrans, Yucca brevifolia, and Yucca linearifolia.
Coordinates: 35°05?36?N 106°40?53?W / 35.0933°N 106.6813°W