We know, we know: Desert Botanical Garden is one of the gems of our Valley and a go-to destination for out of town company. But for some of us — we’ll admit it — it’s hard to get excited about walking around, looking at a bunch of plants.

If you count yourself challenged in the foliage-appreciation arena, try timing a visit during Avant-Garden. The 21-and-older Thursday-night cocktail parties revolve around a different theme each week and draw a young professional set, says special events manager Katy Spratt.

In addition to the stunning grounds, you’ll find crowd-pleasing beats from deejay Rani “g,” a full cash bar (offering a signature nightly cocktail and $5 house wines), and a chef-attended food station. Specialty vendors also offer samples and shopping.

Amid this week’s “Fashion Forward” theme, you’ll find the garden’s Ullman Terrace decked out in Michael Kors “vignettes.” Staff from the designer’s Scottsdale store will model the latest looks and host stations, where visitors can handle clothes, purses, watches and accessories and place orders. They’ll also give away Michael Kors tote bags.

Tucson Americana group the Silver Thread Trio will play live, along with the Rosano Brothers, who do old-time jazz and big band numbers. A cocktail of sparkling wine with a splash of Chambord — called the Jet Setter — will be available at the bar, and Fabulous Foods Fine Catering and Events will dish out $12 grilled salmon fillets on a bed of greens with Parisian-style potato salad and a baguette.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or azajac@evtrib.com

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