There is a treasure tucked into the foothills to the east of downtown Salt Lake City: a beautifully designed botanical garden. Every time I visit Red Butte Garden, I discover a shady path I’ve never explored or fall in love with a new flower in bloom. I’ve enjoyed some incredible live music in the amphitheater and shed more than one tear at wedding ceremonies there. I’ve gotten soil under my nails as a planting volunteer, and painted tiny faces during the “Garden After Dark” Halloween extravaganza. The garden looks different with each visit, based on the season and the weather. It had been a while since I wandered its paths, so on a warm day last week, I packed up my big-girl camera and did just that.
The gardens are wonderful to share with others, but I prefer to explore alone. There is so much to see, smell, experience. I love to pause in the fragrance garden, closing my eyes and inhaling deeply. Is there a more intoxicating aroma than mature wisteria vines in the height of bloom?
I love to sit on a swing and watch children gleefully discover something new. I love to stop and turn my gaze upward, away from the rainbow of flowers at my feet and into the leafy canopy above me. I love the hidden benches tucked into dense foliage, inviting me to stop and take in the view from a different perspective.
I love the birds chirping around me and the bees buzzing from blossom to blossom and the occasional plump squirrel that isn’t even startled by my presence. And the color: vibrant color is everywhere, in each petal and leaf and stone.
On this visit, I was mesmerized by the most beautiful flower I’ve ever seen, its blossom as big as my face and its deep magenta hue unable to be captured appropriately on camera. What a gift!
It’s easy to lose track of time here. Time in the garden makes me feel connected with the earth; it’s a refreshing dose of calm and beauty. I always leave feeling grateful and inspired.
I won’t wait as long before I visit again.