On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
J R in WV
When I saw the several beautiful garden posts, I realized that I had taken photos of “gardens” in Tucson, when I stayed at one of my favorite hotels there, Lodge on the Desert. This hotel was built way out on the desert floor, far from old Tucson, back in the 1920s or ’30s. Since then it has been enlarged, and the city of Tucson has greatly expanded past the Lodge.
Our tiny ranch in AZ is more than 2 hours SE of Tucson, so when we have business or pleasure in the city, we try to stay at the Lodge, which is very comfortable, and not expensive for the area. The plantings are full of local foliage and the buildings are very in character for the South West desert country — very thick masonry walls, very silent inside perhaps excepting overflights from the local USAF base right in town.
This is a really nice room at the Lodge on the Desert. The fireplace is so traditional, as is the furniture and feel. I thought it might help some folks relax, as I always do staying there.
Old plantings with a walkway between buildings at Lodge on the Desert. Amazing plants living well in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona. You can see that the Lodge is composed of many buildings, masonry, the older buildings appear to be adobe, I imagine the newer ones are more modern materials, but out there you can’t really be sure.
I think these two foreground plants are called Spanish Daggers, and you can see that they are surrounded by other typical desert plants. Sorry I can’t really tell you more about the plants, I just thought they were great looking plantings and took some pictures one afternoon while I stayed there.
A walkway between the buildings, with an amazing variety of plantings. Cacti, agave, all kinds of Arizona Desert plants.
Fuzzy-looking cactus with blooms. Do Not Touch!!! No plant in the desert is safe to touch. Even if it looks like grass, it will have vicious edges and cut you. This fuzz is probably impossible to get out once you touch it. But so pretty…
Close up of the fuzzy-looking cactus in bloom.
Barrel Cactus in bloom… this guy is doing really well too, probably because it’s gardened and irrigated. We have some of these around our place, they do pretty well up there at 5500 feet too, but I doubt they bloom like this every year.
Tucson is around 2500 feet IIRC, much like the southern WV town I grew up in. Phoenix is 1700 feet, and gets really hot compared to Tucson. Altitude makes the weather in this country.
This is our cabin in the Desert mountains near Gleeson. You can see the solar panels, the water tank, the little house, and behind is the southern end of the Dragoon mountain range, which runs along the western side of the Sulfur Springs valley.