The Huntington Botanical Gardens : Nature Show Time

1 minute read

Stroll over 120 acres of gardens and marvel at 15,000 different varieties of plants. Welcome to the Huntington Botanical Gardens!

I discover this botanical garden in 2019 and WOW. It is an explosion of colors, diversity, and varieties of flora. Every time I step in, its a new exploration. New paths, new blooming flowers, new hidden spots, new species.

This article is a quick introduction to the 16 gardens.

To continue the exploration, check out the summer series of short articles highlighting some of my favorites gardens: the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese Garden.

A pinch of history

  • In 1903, Henry Huntington purchased a 600-acres ranch for $240,000.
  • Henry Huntington and superintendent William Hertrich developed the gardens.
  • The musical Mame with Lucille Ball (1974) was the first movie shot in the garden.

Back in 1905, Henry Huntington hired William Hertrich as a landscape gardener. Together, they transformed the ranch and created most of the gardens we are enjoying today.

First, William started a nursery and developed an irrigation system. Then he purchased a large variety of plants from nurseries, public parks, and private residences. He also traveled, especially to Mexico to complete the collection.

Did you know?

There is a cryopreservation lab to preserve rare plant germplasm in liquid nitrogen (-196°C).

Today, the Huntington Garden encompasses 16 different gardens: Desert Garden, Australian Garden, California Garden, Camellia Garden, Children’s Garden, Desert Garden, Herb Garden, Japanese Garden, Jungle Garden, Lily Ponds, Palm Garden, Ranch Garden, Rose Garden, Shakespeare Garden, and Subtropical Garden. Wow!

Did you know?

Monet’s Giverny home in France inspired the lily ponds.
The Chinese Garden: Liu Fang Yuan

Did you know?

There was
a private railroad on the property to deliver Mr. Huntington’s plants and art purchases.

Ready to explore the Huntington Botanical Gardens?

*COVD-19 update as of September 2020*

  1. Online reservation required (every Tuesday at noon).
  2. The gardens are open and the galleries remained closed.
  3. All visitors must respect health and safety protocols.


  • Location: The Huntington Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108
  • Hours: 10am-5pm. Closed on Tuesday. Summer evening walks 4:30 pm- 7pm.
  • Admission: $25 on weekdays and $29 on weekends for adults.
  • Duration: 2 hours and more
  • Parking: Free on-site lot
  • You can’t bring food inside but the Café provides dining options
  • More information available at

Article based on my visits in 2019 and 2020

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