Five great public gardens in the Southwest
Fantasy gardens, bison, bobcats, and more
Rio Grande Botanic Garden. Romp through a fantasy garden filled with silicone earthworms, a fiberglass dragon, and 9-foot-tall plants. Relish the Old World among Moorish walled gardens and fountains. 9-5 daily; $7. 2601 Central Ave. N.W.; www.cabq.gov or 505/764-6200.
Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park. Look for bison and bobcats as evening primroses and bougainvillea burst into bloom. 9-5 daily; $5. Off U.S. 285; www.emnrd.state.nm.us/nmparks or 505/887-5516.
Desert Botanical Garden. Lupine and poppies light up the desert; butterflies cling to brightly clad guests. Wind down with an evening concert ($16). 8-8 daily; call for concert schedule; $10. 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy.; www.dbg.org or 480/941-1225.