In the Rear View Mirror-Visiting the Desert Garden at the Huntington.

 Back in March I did a multi day swing through various Southern California locations which included a stop at the Huntington Gardens in San Marino. I managed to produce one post that focused on the entry garden a couple of months later , which you can see here. By the time June rolled around I had been to Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin among other places and the garden visits and photos were piling up. I'm almost (almost) looking forward to winter down time so I can get my photo files in order . 2018 has been a particularly rich garden tour year, and plans for 2019 are already in development, with many options on the table.

 This time around we'll have a stroll through the iconic Desert Garden, one of the premier collections of its' type world wide.  The Huntingtons' website states that this garden is 100 years old, the accomplishment  of William Hetrich , the first curator of the gardens. Clearly ahead of it's time-the terms dry-adapted, summer dry, drought tolerant were not in use in the early 20th century that I am aware of , and Los Angeles was busy diverting water from farmers in the east part of the state to quench the thirst of a growing population.

 I took many many photos.




 Because the garden is so mature and densely planted strolling the paths  is an immersive experience; large plants loom overhead and the smaller specimens gather along the edges.





 Rock walls and outcroppings bring the plants to a level that invites closer observation.









Many Agaves !


 Only posting 2 of the numerous images I took of this Agave ovatifolia. Don't the rocks set it off nicely ?




 I got really carried away with my camera in this area.These below are a drop in the bucket.








A goner !

Along one of the outside perimeters, the Desert Garden bleeds into the more traditional LA garden fare of wide swathes of lawn sporting palm trees.



  This would appear to be a giant multi stemmed Yucca rostrata still sporting its under carriage of old foliage.


Fine examples of Dracena draco


 A grove of Echiums, I didn't see a label so can't say which one, but this ought to be a pretty dramatic sight when the blooms arrive. 



 There were a few blooms to be seen as well.






 A few assorted shots to close this out. The Desert Garden is a must-see if you find yourself in the vicinity and can brave the LA area traffic-I always strategize routes and timing heavily before  venturing on to the Socal freeway system. There are reasons no one shows up at Dodger Staium til the 4th inning.





Comments

  1. March is a good time to see The Huntington's Desert Garden, even if last winter was dismally low on rainfall. Your photos, as usual, are spectacular and make me want to jump in the car and pay the garden another visit myself - almost. The traffic does suck. If only Elon Musk would target the expanse between the South Bay and San Marino for the first leg of his Hyperloop.

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    1. I'm pondering a winter visit that might include some blooming aloes .

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  2. Wow, those photos are breathtaking Kathy, they almost have a hand-tinted, romantic feel. I always enjoy a visit to the Desert Garden...thanks for the morning eye candy.

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    1. Well thank you Loree , I really lucked out to visit on a bright overcast day. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

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  3. Good Heavens, these photos were a fabulous delight! Every time we visit southern California I intend to make it to the Huntington, but the prospect of freeway traffic always freaks me out and I've never made it there yet. Some day.

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    1. I recommend zooming in from the north on 118 to the 210 on a Sunday morning and then getting out the same way, preferably about 9am Monday morning. Don't tell anyone.

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    2. Land at Burbank or Ontario and stay in Pasadena. KS I would take the 5 to the 210, much quicker.

      Anyway the perfect time is mid to late January.

      The 210 corridor from La Canada-Flintridge to Arcadia has many great gardens.
      From west to east: Descanso for camellias, Nuccio's Nursery for camellias, Norton Simon Museum,Huntington for aloes and camellias, California Cactus Center, Los Angeles Arboretum for magnolias and aloes.

      The distance between these gardens is 12 miles and takes 17 minutes without traffic and 2 hours in the afternoon with traffic. As I said stay in Pasadena

      If you want to go further along the 210 there is Rancho Santa Ana in Claremont and the Maloof Garden in Alta Loma. The Maloof Garden is a great favorite of mine.

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    3. Jane , I do 5 to the 210 if I am coming down that way , but I almost always do 101 and stop in Santa Barbara or Morro Bay on the way down. Thanks for the heads up on the Maloof-never been there, so it's on the list.

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  4. Beautiful work! I feel like I've visited without the drive...

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    1. Since you hosted me you did in fact visit -didn't you have an issue with your camera ? Anyway, thanks for steering me in the right direction. I hope to stay longer the next time. The Cycads !

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  5. Beautiful lighting conditions, great photos.

    The Huntington has removed a huge amount lot of lawn in the past 3 years, to their credit. Two areas where tents are erected and "events" are held, and the Palm Garden area, are about all that remains.

    Dodger fans could have skipped the whole of 4 of those 5 WS games--4 of 6 really, I guess, since one was 18 innings! :(

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    1. The late-great double header ! There are lawns that are at least useful-I have to say I still have a small amount of lawn that is just a path. The grass is turf type fescue and it gets water rarely-maybe once a week in summer and never in any other season. Right now it looks really good. Sink or swim.

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  6. Inspiring shots! I'm not usually a big Cleistocactus fan but the dense stands of mature specimens are striking the way they create a solid backdrop. I'm hoping to visit in January when I have some time off from work.

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    1. I'm thinking about January too-would like to see some of the Aloes blooming. The maturity of the garden is such a great feature . Too bad Lotusland is not open in Jan. They need to rethink that.

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