Spring Egg-cellence

Are they under that bush? Behind the chairs? Perhaps one is smack-dab in the middle of the pavilion!

Of course, finding the eggs during the Tucson Botanical Gardens' Spring Egg Hunt will prove to be a challenge for kids of all ages—and the egg hunt is only one aspect of what promises to be a fun morning spent in the beautiful gardens.

"Right now, the gardens are at their most beautiful, which will make the egg hunt wonderful!" exclaims TBG marketing and communications director Jocelyn Robertson.

The fun starts on Saturday morning—the day before Easter—at 10 a.m., with the egg hunt getting underway at 10:30. Children will be divided into three groups: 4 and younger, ages 5 to 7, and 8 and older. Parents should not feel left out: You can participate, too.

"These events are meant to be for the whole family to participate in," Robertson assures us.

Immediately after the egg hunt, the shell-shattering egg toss will begin, followed by an egg roll and a raffle featuring gift certificates and special gift baskets from the Tucson Botanical Gardens gift shop. All guests will be automatically entered into the raffle.

Aside from the various egg-centered events, various educational tables will be set up, including a plant pollinators' booth, in an effort to teach attendees about the gardens' unique flowers, plants and more. The annual Butterfly Magic exhibition—which was recently extended through April—will offer another great attraction during the day. According to the Tucson Botanical Gardens' Web site (tucsonbotanical.org), the Butterfly Magic exhibit now includes "Asian and other unique butterflies that (they) weren't able to showcase previously."

For those unfamiliar with the city's most popular garden—the Tucson Botanical Gardens are the perennial winner of Best Public Garden honors in our Best of Tucson™—the history of this midtown oasis is rather interesting: The gardens were founded in 1964 by horticulturist Harrison G. Yocum at his home on North Jefferson Street. In 1968, Yocum began to offer memberships; eventually, the gardens became an official nonprofit organization. In the early 1970s, the Tucson Botanical Gardens moved to their current location, then the home of Bernice Porter, who "was looking for a way to preserve her house and gardens," according to the TBG Web site. "... In 1974, the Tucson City Council passed Resolution 9384 which stated that the property would be used for the development of a botanical garden to serve as a horticultural center, a sanctuary for wild birds, and as a center for education."

As the mission statement says, "The Tucson Botanical Gardens promotes responsible and appropriate use of plants and water in a desert environment through education and demonstration and provides a place of beauty and tranquility for Tucson residents and visitors."

In any case, these words just can't do justice to the blooming beauty of the Tucson Botanical Gardens—and if you have kids, this Saturday may just be the perfect time to enjoy this beauty during wonderful spring weather. In fact, Robertson says guests should consider "mak(ing) a whole day out of the egg hunt by bringing a picnic for the whole family."