The centerpiece of the garden -- an orchard of semi-dwarf fruit trees, including peaches, pears, apples and apricots -- is just getting established. And the trumpet and edible grape vines have not yet begun to climb the patinaed steel ramadas created by sculptor
But succulent and spiky chicks and hens are already clustering in the microclimates of the nooks and crannies created by the escarpments made from locally quarried stone, and clumps of purple chives are in full bloom.
And already the public is beginning to enjoy the open and orderly outdoor space enhanced by the large-scale origami-esque sculptures of the garden's currently featured artist,
Two of the 14 acres overseen by the nonprofit have been developed into gardens, with stone walkways, benches and shade structures; 2 more acres, including more edible and ornamental plants, will be developed in the next phase.
"It has a collection of plants just like an art museum has a collection of paintings," she said. "But it's also about beauty."
Cole said the beauty part has prompted people to begin booking the garden for weddings and other special events.
"We've had two weddings since we opened and have quite a few reserved and a bunch pending," Cole said recently. "They say
"People call every day to see the garden," said Cole, adding that her role has morphed a bit, from just doing PR and organizing special events hosted by the garden to giving tours to people who would like to rent the space, such as engaged couples.
"It's endearing and funny to be in on their conversations," she said. " 'Where should we stand? Where should we walk? How should we decorate?' With creativity, you can turn an amazing spot into a more amazing spot."
The garden does not allow amplified music or bright lights, so events there are more likely to be daytime or early evening affairs. And the facility does not own tables, chairs or tents, so those wishing to use the space often also need referrals for caterers and party planning services. Cole is beginning to compile a list.
What the garden does offer is several "settings" where chairs can be placed, and celebrations and ceremonies can be staged.
Three steel ramadas -- one at the entrance and two on either side of the orchard and the Rose and Lavender Walk -- provide focal points and space for seating. The Welcome Ramada accommodates 75 people standing or 50 seated. The north and south ramadas accommodate 30 people standing. A sunken "dry garden" flanked by
Larger parties can be accommodated on
It now spans the Arroyo de los Pinos, and, according to the garden's pricing sheet, can accommodate 100 people standing, 64 seated at tables or 80 seated theater-style. The price for renting it ranges from
The garden's ever-evolving backdrop of native and non-native plants -- fringed sage, coral bells, Apache plume, penstemons, pussy toes and
If you go
Where: 715 Camino Lejo on Museum Hill
Cost: Daily admission to the garden is
Learn more: Visit www.santafe botanicalgarden.org.
(c)2014 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.)
Visit The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.) at www.santafenewmexican.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services