Carefree Desert Gardens



The Carefree Gardens Park, located on 4 acres surrounded by Easy Street in downtown Carefree, AZ, was approaching it's 10th anniversary when dedicated Master Gardeners June Reilly and Marilyn Maloney came together on a quest to refurbish it. Some of the plants were showing their age, and natural attrition had taken it's toll.




The ladies contacted Carefree residents Juanita and Mark Wdowiak, owners of Desert Foothills Landscape, knowing they had a history of generous community service. The beautiful and extensive landscaping at the Desert Foothills Library was designed and donated by renowned landscape architect Mark Wdowiak, as well as the landscaping at the Carefree Fire Station and at the entry signs into Carefree. Juanita and Mark were immediately on board with the project, and it was presented to the Carefree Town Council, which accepted their offer with gratitude.




Desert Foothills Landscape went far above and beyond any expectations, to produce a fabulous Carefree Desert Botanical Gardens "Wonderland" in downtown Carefree. You can visit their website at




Other donors to the project include the following:

Bill and Cindy Cox of Arizona Wholesalers, who provided additional plants. Vista Professional Outdoor Lighting, and Bryan and Steve Gold of Let There Be Light provided the landscape lighting and the LED bulbs. Southwest Greens of the Valley supplied the sections of artificial turf. Foothills Granite and the Myers Family Trust donated the gravel and rocks.




The result is an amazing oasis in the desert, the Crown Jewel of Carefree, and one of only two public botanical gardens in the Valley. The Town has installed free WiFi and added a full playground, separate from the Gila Monster slide already in place. The historic sundial, second largest in the world, has recently been powder coated and has acquired new LED lighting from Let There Be Light. The Gardens official opening ceremony took place in November of 2011. The park will be an ongoing project, with constant improvements by both Desert Foothills Landscape and the Town of Carefree.




The first Desert Gardens Photo Contest took place in the spring of 2012. This will be an annual event, sponsored by the Town. Calendars using the winning photos will be produced and sold. Donors to the event will be thanked on the inside front page of the calendars each year. Photos may be taken at any time of the year, so bring your camera to the park and take that "perfect" picture. You may be a winner next year!