AAA Editor Notes
Hillside Desert Botanical Gardens is at 3405 Hillside Pl.; from I-82 exit 36, take E. Valley Mall Blvd. w. to Main St.; .5 mi. s. on Main St. to W. Ahtanum Rd.; 1.25 mi. w. on W. Ahtanum Rd. to Goodman Rd., which curves w. and becomes Meadowbrook Rd.; 2 blks. s. on S. 5th Ave., then 2 blks. w. on Hillside Dr. to Hillside Pl.
This half-acre backyard garden is the result of the owner's 40 years of experimentation with a wide variety of desert plants to test their tolerance of the region's climatic extremes (hot summers, cold winters and average annual precipitation of only around 6 inches). Twenty raised beds contain about 300 varieties of cacti and other succulents. A greenhouse displays exotic succulents from around the world. Peak bloom is from May into July.
Guided tours are available.