Huntington 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):
I have fond memories of those gardens from many, many years ago when I lived in So. California. Wonderful place.
How fortunate you were to live close by. My friends are members and get to visit often. It really was a wonderful place.
Looks amazing and by the sound of it, enormous. I’ll bet the jungle conservatory is well worth a visit.
It really was. Many unusual specimens make it a very special collection indeed.
Thank you, Cindy!
Thank you, Cindy! Are you still on your trip?
I think I could spend many happy hours exploring there!
I hope you get to visit it someday!
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.
Thank you, Kris. It’s so huge, but what a pleasure to visit. Can you imagine their water bills?? 😉
Just gorgeous Eliza!
Thank you, it truly was!
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!
California is a beautiful state with more than a lifetime of things to see. Their summers are brutal, but the rest of the year is fine!
Very nice. There must be an army of gardeners for that place.
Thank you, Jim. I agree, but interestingly, I saw only a couple. Their endowment is huge, as you can imagine!
That looks like a very special place; so different from gardens here. I love the diversity in gardening around the world!
Thank you, Ali. It rarely freezes there, so the plants are tropical/subtropical/desert. Very different from gardening in New England!
This is a gardener’s dream …
Thanks, Anne. Truly it was and so well-designed, too. I could have spent days there.
I adore the Huntington but haven’t been for several years now, I must get back! Your photos are superb.
Thank you, Loree. I thought of you while walking around there – definitely a ‘danger’ paradise. 😉
An oasis of colour and beauty! I love the golden aloe and the cactus cupcakes!
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! 🙂
What a fabulous garden. Thanks for the slide show. I would love to visit and see all those wonderful succulents!
Thank you, Liz. I’m sure you’d love this garden – it is fabulous!
Thanks for the tour. It must have been wonderful to see it up close!
My pleasure! A really beautiful garden it was. I wish I had taken photos of the bonsai, I must have been tired by that point. 😉
Wow! So many beautiful plants. And so many beautiful images of them. ♥♥♥
Thank you very much, Robin!
What a place! No wonder you love going there.
Thanks, Laurie. I just wish it wasn’t so far away!
Absolutely stunning, Eliza!!! Bless you for sharing the color. 🌈🌈🌈
Thank you, Amy, my pleasure. We northerners are color-starved after the long winter!
Beautiful Desert plant captures of an exceptional garden!
Thank you, Donna. I had to laugh when I realized most of my photos were of desert plants! So different from New England. 😉
Such a visual treat! makes me want to go there
A gardener’s dream, better than Disney! ;D
Another wonderful place…I’m loving these tours! 🙂 Is this where you saw the old French garden book for King Louis?
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.
What a wonderful place. A place to revisit often!
Thank you, Belinda. Definitely!
Thank you, Val. A plant-lover’s heaven!
Amazing. Thank you for sharing Eliza
Thank you, Karina. My pleasure!
Gorgeous, thank you for sharing,love the cactus.
Thank you, Amy. What fun that place is to visit!
Yes. I want to go.
I hope you get there one day. btw, I visited Kris while in town and got to see her garden in person – it is as fabulous as her posts. I love meeting blogging buddies. Some day I hope to get to JB, too. 🙂
Yes, and grateful, too. 🙂
Just beautiful images!
Thank you, Sylvia!
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.
Thank you, Sandra. I’m glad to have you along. It was quite the spectacular garden, never boring!
What an awesome amount of unique plants……so different than this area….must have been difficult to leave….thankfully you took amazing photos!
Thanks, Alice. I was surprised that it was the desert plants that most captured me this trip. Must have been the focus on super bloom time!
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!
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!
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?
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.
I’ve been to CA twice but it was on business. I would like to see it one day for pleasure. Especially wine country.
I hope you get there – it is a state of great natural beauty.
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.
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.
Thank you, Maria. Spring blooms are always so welcome!
A great expert review of this garden. Fun to see all the unusual desert plants. Love the ‘Cactus Cupcakes’ composition!
Thank you, Denise. A truly admirable garden to walk through.
Thank you, Julie!
Great to know, thanks, it looks like a wonderful place to visit.
Gracias, it was all that and more!
Visited once several years ago. So much to see. Glad you enjoyed it and shared with us.
Thank you, Susie. Such an amazing garden!
Gorgeous show. You must have had a marvelous time.
Thanks, Judy. It truly was a lovely place to visit.
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. ❤
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!
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. 🥰
Loved a glimpse of the fabulous garden tour and your beautiful photos, especially enjoyed the Aussie Cactus, Cactus Cupcake and the wonderful Aeonium photo!🙂
Thank you so much, it certainly is such a special place!
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 ~
Thank you, Randall. Butchart is on my wish list as well, if I ever visit the region. Photos I’ve seen have always been beautiful.
Looks like another world to me. Fascinating to see cacti displayed so beautifully.
Their designs are so well laid out. If I lived in that climate, I might be tempted to copy a few!
Thank you, Sandra!
I love ur side
I’ve always wanted to go! You’ve inspired me. So glad you made it, Eliza! 🙂
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!
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Thank you, Flavia.
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.
Thank you, Karen. Glad you enjoyed the post. Huntington is a lovely place, I hope you get to see it one day.