Have you seen the Chihuly art display at the Desert Botanical Garden?  

What did you think?

Do you love seeing his beautiful artwork displayed in the garden?

Or, are you of the opinion that it detracts from the plants and their more subtle beauty?

For those of you not familiar with Dale Chihuly, he is a famous, glass artist whose work is displayed throughout museum and botanical gardens throughout the world.

Chihuly glass displayed on the ceiling of the lobby at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

I have many friends who are huge fans of seeing Chihuly’s art displayed throughout the garden.

There are others though, who feel that the art overshadows the surrounding plants.

My three youngest kids and granddaughter.  Note the flowering Aloe Vera and the orange Chihuly art in the background.
Last month, my husband and I took our kids & granddaughter to the Desert Botanical Garden.

While they thought that the glass artwork was ‘cool’, the kids were more excited about visiting the Butterfly Pavilion and in my granddaughter’s case – smelling all the flowers.
I am a strong proponent for including color in the garden, usually by adding plants with variegated foliage and/or flowering plants.

Of course, a brightly-colored wall or container is also a great way to introduce color to the garden.

My personal opinion is that art in the garden should be complementary and not overshadow the plants.  In most areas, I feel that the Desert Botanical Garden got the right balance, but there were a couple of areas where I felt the art overwhelmed their surroundings.

While walking through the garden, I did enjoy seeing unexpected sightings of the glass, artfully displayed alongside some of the plants.

For many visitors, the Chihuly exhibit is the highlight of their visit to the garden.

I must admit that while I did admire the art, the horticulturist in me tends to focus more on the plants.

But, that didn’t stop me from having my picture taken next to some of the beautiful art 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanic Garden (or any other garden).

**If you want to see the Chihuly Exhibit, you’d better hurry – the last day is May 18th.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

5 replies
  1. xericstyle
    xericstyle says:

    Beautiful pictures of a beautiful lady and family 🙂

    I share your thoughts….I love the art when it was less scattered. That yucca rostrata-like piece is AMAZING! And compliments the plants around it so well!

  2. RobinL
    RobinL says:

    I'm torn. Our local conservatory has a beautiful display of Chihuly art, and I love it, especially the large orange and yellow one in the rainforest garden. But I think the reason that it looks so good there is because the room is just green, without any other colors. I guess that says that I like it best when it doesn't compete.

  3. James Mikkelsen
    James Mikkelsen says:

    Ugh! I appreciate Chihuly art and garden art as much as anyone else but those pieces were competing so fiercely with the natural beauty of the desert plants that I could not force my eyes to focus on just plant beauty. Chihuly art has it's place in elegant halls, foyers and other similar places but not "Where The Wild Things Are".



  4. Helen
    Helen says:

    The Chihuly exhibit spent the summer in my area at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The glass sculptures were “planted” throughout one of the walking paths as well as throughout one of the exhibit halls. It was quite something. But, I’m kind of with you. If I’m going on a hike, I’d rather be surrounded by plants and trees than weird giant pieces of glass.

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