Our dog Owen likes flowers, so he liked the idea of going on a flower hunt. The Albuquerque Botanical Gardens has wonderful flowers, and had a bonsai show last weekend, but that is a dog free zone. Too bad, they have wonderful summer evening concerts starting in June.
With Owen curled in my lap, “helping”, we used Field Trip (a useful app from Google’s internal startup, Niantic Labs) to find the Albuquerque Rose Garden. For those who don’t have a helpful dog to help you find great apps, Field Trip is one of the best ways to find out underappreciated gems to visit, whether in your home town or while traveling. As you go through a neighborhood, cards pop up telling you about great restaurants, historical sites, unique architecture, and other items you probably would have missed if it weren’t for the app. And if you want to get deeper into the magic, Niantic Labs has created an online, multiplayer, science fiction and GPS-based game that uses the sites from Field Trip, often as portals to be hacked. Ingress basics are explained on Wikipedia. The game is currently available only on Androids, but is scheduled for IPhone distribution in the future. If you want to get into a world-wide phenomenon, download the game from Play Store, and then go here for the back story before you start playing. Once you choose a side, Resistance or Enlightenment, you can’t change.
Anyway, after taking some time off to play Ingress, Owen and I went to find the Tony Hillerman Library using Waze, my favorite navigator app because it combines chat, cute graphics, and good navigation. Despite my lack of directional ability, Waze got us to our destination, a simple local library surrounded by beautiful rose beds . Somehow, it just seems right that all these beautiful roses surround a library dedicated to one of my favorite authors. Of course, anyone living in New Mexico who hasn’t read his Navajo Tribal Police novels just doesn’t belong here. After his death, his daughter added to the series, but we still miss her dad. As we admired the roses, and snapped some pics, volunteers from the Rose Society were busy weeding, watering, and spraying the roses. This time of year it is almost a full time job for the volunteers, which is probably why several asked me whether I’d be interested in volunteering, black thumb and all.
With approximately, 1,200 roses, and more to come, the Albuquerque Rose Garden is a fabulous place to wander, read a book, or close your eyes and smell the rich aroma of the older types of roses. As scientists worked hard to make the most beautiful rose buds and flowers, often the glorious scent was lost. But fortunately, the garden has many beautiful older varieties that smell just like your memories of your grandmother’s rose garden.