My Tucson sojourn took in terrific meals at restaurants like Cafe Poca Cosa and Feast. There were wonderful hikes in sublime desert settings,
and gardens, of course!
My timing was perfect to catch full bloom on the ornamental, evergreen trees, Sophora (aka Calia) secundiflora, at Tohono Chul Park located on the city's Northwest side on Paseo del Norte.
Common names for the showy beauty in the photo include Mescal bean, not to be confused with the Agave used to make mezcal. Another moniker you might be familiar with: Mountain laurel. But I like the sound of Sophora secundiflora as it rolls off the tongue.
When I first saw the lavish blooms I thought of the Empress Tree, Paulownia tomentosa, which produces gorgeous purple panicles in Spring. They appear to be unrelated.
You can easily spend hours exploring the Park's demonstration gardens and walking trails, art exhibits and gift shops, sign up for a daily tour, or plan your visit for to coincide with special event or class at Tohono Chul. The inviting patio of the Tearoom -- a popular spot with locals and garden tourists. To read more, see the Tohono Chul feature on Alice's Garden Travel Buzz - click at the top of the page on the right.
And stay tuned for more Tucson highlights!