The grounds of the Gilbert Arizona Temple are stunning. I can see scores of wonderful angles for taking pictures of beautiful brides and grooms at their weddings. I can see beautiful places for families to have their pictures taken. I was quite taken by the flora around the temple and wanted to capture it for you. I had to get the help of one of my horticulturist sons, Lucas Henry Proctor, to identify the plants and trees. Without him I could not have done this photo essay. I hope you will enjoy these few images.
Snapdragons accentuate many of the flower beds around the Temple.
The Phoenix canariensis or Canary Island date palms are all around the temple. The large palms around the temple are date palms; the smaller one in the foreground is a fan palm.
The sound of running water is prominent on the south side of the temple. Here is the sunset with date palms in the background.
Here are agave flowers. The agave is a theme used throughout the Temple design—in the windows, the carpets, the furnishings, the accessories, the outside facades. All the tubular orange flowers around the Temple are from agave plants. The landscapers timed this just so they would be blooming the day of dedication.
You can find agave of various sorts all around the Temple.
This is the Cycas revolute King Sago palm. This is actually what is called a cycad and was king back with the dinosaurs. Their seeds can take a few year to germinate. You can see the geraniums and pansies in the foreground.
Another date palm accentuates the beauty of the Temple here and leads our eyes heavenward.
Here you can see how the Temple is surrounded by these beautiful, mature date palms.
These are Pachycereus marginatus or organ pipe cactus (also called Mexican fencepost). These were so reminiscent of the desert surroundings.
Here again is an extreme close up of the agave flowers.
This is called “booting” a palm tree. You leave part of the woody end of the frond on the trunk and it leaves this amazing pattern on this date palm.
The water features are already attracting birds of many varieties. We saw hummingbirds enjoying the flowers and many other birds flying in to check out this new water source.
Here you can see the actual agave plant. The pattern of these leaves is throughout the Temple.
This is a Texas Mountain Laurel with a fan palm behind it.
Lucas said the small bush with the red flowers in the foreground looks like a pomegranate but he would have had to see it closer up to tell. The Sago palm is behind it with date palms all around.
This is either French or Spanish Lavender.
Here you can see the myriads of snapdragons that surround the Temple.
Here we see Alyssum lining the sidewalk with pansies on the right.
The gardens that lead up to the Temple from the east include the date palm colonnade, agave shrubs in the front and snapdragons accentuating the beds.
I loved this Texas Mountain Laurel. It really was a nice contrast to the Temple.
The sun reflecting off the Temple windows in early evening gave a nice backdrop for this fan palm. As I finished capturing these images I thought of the promises of the Lord to those who live the law of the fast as recorded in Isaiah: “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” (Isaiah 58: 11, 12)