As a photographer and plant lover, I always make a point to seek out botanical gardens whenever I travel. So, when I found myself in Phoenix, Arizona waiting for my friend to arrive for our girls’ trip, I knew exactly where I wanted to go – the Desert Botanical Garden.

But before I made my way to the garden, I decided to take a quick hike up to the famous “Hole in the Rock” landmark in Papago Park. The hike was short but steep. When I finally reached the top, the view was breathtaking. From my perch high above the desert floor, I could see for miles in every direction, and the orange and pink hues of the rock formations seemed to glow in the early afternoon light.

As I started to think about making my way back down the trail, I noticed that the sky had grown ominously dark. I knew that within moments, the clouds would open up, and heavy rain would begin to fall. As I waited, I took the opportunity to take some photos of the surrounding desert landscape. The rain arrived quickly, and I sought shelter in the cave-like opening of the Hole in the Rock, hoping the storm would pass before long. Even though I was standing in the highest part of the ‘hole,’ the rain was so fierce that I still found myself getting wet.

When the rain finally stopped, I made my way to the Desert Botanical Garden. The cool air and the scent of wet desert plants were a refreshing change from the heat and dryness of the city. When I arrived at the gardens, I was told that many of the areas had flooded due to the rain and were off-limits. But because of this, I was granted free admission. With only a couple of hours left before I met up with my friend, this seemed like a lucky turn of events. Despite the flooding, I was still able to explore and capture the beauty of the remaining parts of the gardens. The limited time I spent there left me with a sense of awe and appreciation for the resilience of desert plants.

The garden was a paradise of cacti and succulents, each one more intriguing than the last. I spent my time wandering through the garden, photographing the intricate details of the plants and the stunning colors of the desert landscape. From the towering saguaros to the delicate blooms of the wildflowers, every corner of the garden offered a new and exciting photo opportunity.

The rain lent a softness to the scene, and the plants seemed to come alive in the moisture. I captured images of the saguaro cacti with their arms stretched up to the sky, the agave plants with their spiky leaves, and the small wildflowers that dotted the landscape.

As I made my way back to my car, I realized that the rain had added an unexpected beauty to my visit to the Desert Botanical Garden. The soft light and the moisture had made the plants seem more vibrant and alive than ever before. And while I had originally come to the garden to pass the time while waiting for my friend, I left feeling inspired and energized by the stunning beauty of the desert.