Huntington Gardens

IMG_1312Huntington Botanical Garden in San Marino, California is one of the best gardens I have ever visited. Well-designed with a great variety of specimens, and vistas opening here and there, pleasure awaits the plant lover around every bend.

At the entrance, the xerophytic California garden demonstrates the beauty that can be had without the use of a great deal of water.

There are many different habitats represented over 120 acres– a forest of Palms from the world over, a large Desert garden (my favorite), Australian, Japanese (wonderful bonsai), Chinese with outdoor pavilions around a pond (fairly new and still becoming established), Rose, Herb, Children’s, Camellias plus a jungle Conservatory.

Also on the 207-acre estate are museums housing a fine research library (they have a Gutenberg bible) and art collections of Henry and Arabella Huntington (including ‘Blue Boy’ and ‘Pinkie’).

So much to see, but I’ll share my favorites, mostly from the Desert gardens (my IDs may be fuzzy, as many tags were tough to see):

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About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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100 Responses to Huntington Gardens

  1. derrycats says:

    I have fond memories of those gardens from many, many years ago when I lived in So. California. Wonderful place.

  2. Vicki says:

    Looks amazing and by the sound of it, enormous. I’ll bet the jungle conservatory is well worth a visit.

  3. sandyjwhite says:

    I think I could spend many happy hours exploring there!

  4. Kris P says:

    It’s definitely at the pinnacle of SoCal’s top public gardens. I’m glad you got a chance to spend some time there during your visit, Eliza.

  5. dawnbirdau says:

    Just gorgeous Eliza!

  6. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time traveling and seeing California’s beautiful gardens. They have such different flora than in the East. Have fun!

  7. Jim R says:

    Very nice. There must be an army of gardeners for that place.

  8. Ali, The Mindful Gardener says:

    That looks like a very special place; so different from gardens here. I love the diversity in gardening around the world!

  9. Anne says:

    This is a gardener’s dream …

  10. I adore the Huntington but haven’t been for several years now, I must get back! Your photos are superb.

  11. Cathy says:

    An oasis of colour and beauty! I love the golden aloe and the cactus cupcakes!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Cathy. They had many unusual plants in their collection, some so rare that they are hard to find online. I loved those ‘cupcakes’ especially! 🙂

  12. Chloris says:

    What a fabulous garden. Thanks for the slide show. I would love to visit and see all those wonderful succulents!

  13. Treah Pichette says:

    Thanks for the tour. It must have been wonderful to see it up close!

  14. Robin says:

    Wow! So many beautiful plants. And so many beautiful images of them. ♥♥♥

  15. What a place! No wonder you love going there.

  16. Absolutely stunning, Eliza!!! Bless you for sharing the color. 🌈🌈🌈

  17. Beautiful Desert plant captures of an exceptional garden!

  18. Such a visual treat! makes me want to go there

  19. Joanna says:

    Another wonderful place…I’m loving these tours! 🙂 Is this where you saw the old French garden book for King Louis?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Glad you’re enjoying my installments, which I’m slowly getting around to posting. 😉 No, that special book is in a private collection – it was a thrill to see it.

  20. What a wonderful place. A place to revisit often!

  21. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Amazing. Thank you for sharing Eliza

  22. Gorgeous, thank you for sharing,love the cactus.

  23. spanishwoods says:

    Just beautiful images!

  24. I’ve been savng this post to read when I had the right amount of time to give it. I’m glad I did – what a wonderful place. Your photos are fabulous, thank you for taking us with you Eliza.

  25. Alice Pratt says:

    What an awesome amount of unique plants……so different than this area….must have been difficult to leave….thankfully you took amazing photos!

  26. Kathy Sturr says:

    Oh my gosh, how I love to visit a garden! Thank you for this virtual visit. I bet I could lose myself for days there! Been working a bit on my gardens here Eliza and I’m very excited for this coming Friday because the FL museum/butterfly house is having a plant sale – I’m sure to come home with some plants for butterflies! Love, love, love the desert plants. Such wonderful foliage!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Kathy. You would certainly have loved HG and one could easily spend days there. I’ve been twice and still haven’t been inside the museums as the gardens take a day to see, covering all that acreage.
      I’m glad you’re putting more pollinator plants in the ground. I’m interested in promoting species bees this year. They all need as much help as we can offer!

  27. myplaidheart says:

    I can tell from your photos that I would be in awe over the number of unique plants I have never seen before. Is San Marino a nice place to visit for a vacation?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      San Marino/Pasadena is within the sprawl of L.A. so there is more than a lifetime of things to do there. As you can guess from my posts, I prefer gardens and nature to urban pursuits. From ocean to mountains, SoCal offers much.

      • myplaidheart says:

        I’ve been to CA twice but it was on business. I would like to see it one day for pleasure. Especially wine country.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I hope you get there – it is a state of great natural beauty.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, California is very big and very diverse. Although there is wine country in Southern California, the familiar wine country of Sonoma County is about 450 miles to the the north. There is more here in California than much of the rest of America. It is therefore difficult to generalize about a place like San Marino and the region. It is of course a nice place to visit in some ways, but so are many of the other places in the region. San Marino is actually not a very big town. Pasadena is a more substantial town. Nuccio’s Nursery is in adjacent Altadena. Well, like I say, there is too much to write about in just a few short sentences.

  28. Gorgeous photos! I recently visited a botanical garden here in Las Vegas, Spring Preserve, but at the time, a few weeks ago, most plants had not started to bloom. I might need to plan another visit. Thank you for sharing these beauties.

  29. A great expert review of this garden. Fun to see all the unusual desert plants. Love the ‘Cactus Cupcakes’ composition!

  30. Maria says:

    Great to know, thanks, it looks like a wonderful place to visit.

  31. pbmgarden says:

    Visited once several years ago. So much to see. Glad you enjoyed it and shared with us.

  32. Gorgeous show. You must have had a marvelous time.

  33. Bela Johnson says:

    I grew up in the foothills of east Pasadena – almost Sierra Madre. But I loved to ride my bike down to Huntington Gardens to bask in their beauty. Loved the museum as well. ❤

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Wow, I didn’t know you were a CA girl! (Guess I was thinking you hailed from Maine. You must like your geography in extremes. 😉 ) It must have been nice to live so close to the Huntington. Thanks for your visit, Bela!

      • Bela Johnson says:

        Yes! I left right out of high school and booked it for Maine and never looked back. Ever. When I grew up in the foothills of the mountains, it was very much a wilderness area. By the time I was 16, it had become fashionable to live in suburban communities, and the old neighborhood changed quite a bit. Heading for the woods and waters of Maine suited me just fine. 🥰

  34. Loved a glimpse of the fabulous garden tour and your beautiful photos, especially enjoyed the Aussie Cactus, Cactus Cupcake and the wonderful Aeonium photo!🙂

  35. Dalo 2013 says:

    Gardens are great to visit, there are the The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada that is special in the same sense you’ve created here ~ to absorb yourself in your surroundings…although I think having a Gutenberg bible may put the Huntington Gardens a bit higher on my list, that would be very cool to see. Great photos ~

  36. Looks like another world to me. Fascinating to see cacti displayed so beautifully.

  37. says:

    I love ur side

  38. Gracefully Global says:

    I’ve always wanted to go! You’ve inspired me. So glad you made it, Eliza! 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Oh, you must go if you get the chance. One of the best gardens I’ve been to, so beautifully laid out. And not too far away from you as I recall. Did you get to see the Super Bloom? I was so lucky to see it this year – such a gift!

  39. Pingback: Huntington Gardens — Eliza Waters – Rexton digital

  40. Flavia Vinci says:

    How nice😍

  41. Karen says:

    Thanks for this post, Eliza! I love reading about botanical gardens, especially ones I haven’t visited! I was recently at the Sadie Seymour Botanical Garden on the Big Island. It’s so fun to explore plants I can’t grow but can certainly dream about. Hee. Cheers.

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