Summer Series: The Desert Garden

1 minute read

The Huntington Botanical Gardens Summer Series

The Desert Garden

This Summer Series explores some of my favorites gardens. Today let’s discover the Desert Garden.

The 10 acre Desert Garden was created in 1907-1908. With more than 2,000 species, it is one of the largest and oldest succulents, desert plants, and cacti gardens in the world.

Back in the 1900s, landscape gardener William Hertrich convinced Henry Huntington to start a Desert Garden. The former traveled in the Americas to acquire various species. Some plants didn’t survive the Californian climate but many others have grown well over the years.

Stroll the “Heritage Walk” to discover some of the oldest acquisitions.

Did you know?

Pachypodium horombense is the oldest plant in the Desert Garden. It was collected in 1928 in Madagascar.

Fun fact: Disney cartoon with cactus inspired Gary Lyons, former Desert curator, to study plants.

Plants growing in the desert climate developed strategies to deal with low precipitation, predators, and temperatures. One of the core elements is their sharp structure: spines, thorns, and prickles.

  • Spines are derived from leaves
  • Thorns from stem
  • Prickles are from dermal tissue

Spinescent plants developed spines structure to reduce water loss and to protect themselves.

Did you know?

Albert Einstein visited the Desert Garden in the 1930s.

Ready to explore the Desert Garden?

*COVD-19 update as of November 2020*

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

Tips:

  • Location: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and 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 weekend for adults.
  • Duration: from 2 hours to the day
  • Parking: Free on-site lot
  • You can’t bring food inside but the Café provides dining options
  • More information available at https://www.huntington.org/

Article based on my visits in 2019 and 2020


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Summer Series: The Rose Garden

1 minute read


The Huntington Botanical Gardens Summer Series

The Rose Garden

This Summer Series explores some of my favorites gardens. Today let’s discover the Rose Garden.

The 3 acres Rose Garden was created in 1908 to provide floral arrangements to the Huntington home.

Continue reading “Summer Series: The Rose Garden”

Summer Series: the Japanese Garden

The Huntington Botanical Gardens Summer Series

The Japanese Garden

The Tea House and Pagodas

The 9-acre Japanese Garden was created in 1912. At this time, some World fairs – like Philadelphia’s Fair in 1876 and Chicago’s Fair in 1893 – sold the Asia culture to the West. It became fashionable to have a Japanese Garden.

Continue reading “Summer Series: the Japanese Garden”