Fish frenzy at Thanksgiving Point GardensOn business in Salt Lake City, we took an afternoon off for a little adventure. Hopping the light rail south to Lehi, we went to explore Thanksgiving Point and the Ashton Gardens there – 55 acres of a lush oasis just south of Salt Lake.

The afternoon was a relaxing one, wandering along paths, through gazebos, under trellises, enjoying the flowers and lawns. There are 15 themed gardens and of course we wanted to hit up every one!

If you are a garden fan, Thanksgiving Point is a don’t-miss. If you take light rail, you will have a bit of a walk to the entrance. Plus, the Ashton Gardens entrance is about two miles past the main plaza, so that’s even farther. Plan to spend a number of hours or even stay for a lunch or beverage.

The subject: Koi fish at the Koi View Pier, where you can drop a coin into a machine for fish food, kick up quite the fuss in the water. The koi turn into a colorful frenzy as soon as you get close to the water’s edge since they have been trained to know that food may be coming. Surprised they aren’t fat!

The inspiration: It’s difficult to not be impressed with the twisting and turning koi with their mouths gaping open. Their yellow, oranges and browns mix up with lily pads, causing a bright eye-catcher. You think somebody turned the Jacuzzi jets in the pond on high, their feeding frenzy is so loud in their fight for food. No, there aren’t any jets, just greedy fish.

Artist’s tools: I didn’t pack along my Nikon on this summer 2014 trip to Thanksgiving Point since it was “just business.” Silly me. But it turned out the photo I managed on my Samsung Galaxy S4 didn’t turn out half bad. No zoom since that adds too much noise on older smartphone cameras. And this isn’t cropped at all either. I did use the so-called “richtone” mode for fun, and it didn’t over-HDR the shot.

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Salt Lake City — home of murky salt lakes, vast salt flats and towering mountain peaks – isn’t the first place you think of when conjuring up images of lush gardens. But Thanksgiving Point Gardens, just 30 minutes south in Lehi, is a beautiful respite that leaves you gaping in awe as you stroll the grounds.

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Heads up! This information on Thanksgiving Point Gardens was accurate when we published it on HI Travel Tales, but, as we know, traveling is all about changes (and inflation, sadly). Please be sure to confirm prices, transportation schedules, hours of operation, safety and health considerations, request for perfect weather during your entire visit, and any other important details before your adventure.

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