Huntington Botanical Gardens

 I recently stopped by the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, CA for the first time after what seems like years of reading about the trips of others. I was truly surprised by the size of the grounds and variety of plants across the many themed gardens!

Huntington Gardens entrance alley
Entrance Alley

The Huntington is like Disneyland for plant aficionados - complete with a 'Main Street". Along both sides of this alley are many patios for small groups, families or just individuals to relax. I thought it was a brilliant idea!


Huntington Gardens private alcove patios
One of many alcove patios offering privacy


Aloe bainesii aka Aloe barberae in a large pot
Lots of treasures in the alcove patios

Large planted pot at Huntington Gardens

At end of the entrance alley is a rill with paths on either side leading visitors toward the heart of the botanical gardens.

The Huntington Gardens entrance top of the water rill
View from the top of the rill


The Huntington Gardens entrance bottom of the water rill
View from the bottom of the rill


Aloe and grass meadow near the entrance

Of course I was looking forward to the Desert Garden in a big way but I truly enjoyed walking through the rest of the gardens as well.

There was a lot to be inspired by in the Desert Garden.


There were magic spots hidden throughout the garden.





The collector in me found many plants to admire.

Euphorbia grandialata close up
Euphorbia grandialata




There's something to be said for mass planting.



Most of the Desert Garden feels like a "collectors garden" which is what you would expect of a botanical garden... a few of everything. There are a few sections (like the above and below shots) that look as if a designer had some input.


mammillaria geminispina planted enmass on hillside
Snowy looking mammillaria species dot hillside


Notocactus magnificus
Notocactus magnificus


cleistocactus borzicactus
cleistocactus borzicactus





Fouquieria columnaris "Boojum Tree"
Fouquieria columnaris "Boojum Tree"


Fouquieria columnaris close up of leaves
Close up of "Boojum Tree" leaves


Fouquieria columnaris
Boojum Tree catching the last rays of light

If I get the chance I'll plant a few of these Boojum trees in my front yard!


Magic hour in a cactus wonderland
Enchanted hour in a cactus grove

 

It was mid November when I took these pictures which means lots of dramatic lighting was free for all.


Mature Yucca filifera at Huntington Gardens
Yucca filifera


pachycereus pringlei
pachycereus pringlei


Oreocereus celsianus "Old man of the Andes"
Oreocereus celsianus "Old man of the Andes"


15 foot tall Echinopsis terscheckii
A very tall Echinopsis terscheckii


Aloe bainesii aka Aloe barberae
Aloe bainesi (Aloe barberae)


"Staff Only" path sign at Huntington Gardens

There seemed to be a lot of intriguing, off limit paths such as the one above - not to mention several older parts of the Desert Garden closed for renovation.

 

Aloes

 

Wheelbarrow of Aloe principis cuttings
Aloe principis cuttings

Each of these cuttings was around 4 ft long and could have made small trees! They were headed for the mulcher.

 

Mature Aloe ferox X A. microstigma
Vary mature Aloe ferox X A. microstigma




Mature Aloe reitzii
Aloe reitzii


Mature Aloe sabaea
Aloe sabae


Mature Aloe ferox
Looks like a very mature Aloe ferox


Aloe tomentosa X A. secundiflora
Aloe tomentosa X A. secundiflora


Aloe mitriformis "Mitre Aloe"
Aloe mitriformis "Mitre Aloe"


Aloe framesii
Aloe framesii


Aloe cryptopoda in bloom
Aloe cryptopoda

Always good to see a friend in the garden and compare it to my own specimens growing back home.


Aloe cryptopoda flowers closeup
Aloe cryptopoda in bloom


Aloe tororoana in bloom
Aloe tororoana in bloom

Aloe tororoana is completely new to me. What caught my attention was the red blooms and thin, dark, reddish brown stems. Had they not been in bloom I probably would have walked right past them.

I took a lot of pictures - but too much of a good thing can get old. I have to admit that after walking through the gardens for hours I felt a bit overwhelmed. There is definately enough to keep you busy for an entire day - but you might be exausted at the end. I broke my visit into 2 half days - not on purpose but it ended up being a happy accident.

Until next time - hans


Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your tour, Hans. I haven't been to Huntington Gardens since before the start of the pandemic and I miss it (and the garden's plant sales). It was a good idea to split your visit in two as it is overwhelming - I think you could spend a week there just in the gardens and not see everything. One area or another is always changing too so there's always something new to see.

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    1. It's really only because of this great garden blogging community that I even thought about going to the Huntington!

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  2. Great that you finally got to visit! Ain't it amazing? There's so much to see.

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    1. It's great that a "gilded-age" family loved plants enough 100+ yrs ago to create this space and open it to the public. The price of lunch at the Huntington is another matter.

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  3. How exciting to see it for the first time! I never try to take it all in at one visit -- in fact, I skip quite a bit of it other than the desert garden!

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    1. I have to admit that seeing it for the first time evoked a sense of excitement I hadn't felt since being a kid and going to a carnival or theme park for the first time.

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  4. Love that garden. Been there several times pre-pandemic. Thanks for the photos. If you haven't been to Lotus Land in Santa Barbara, you should go. It's just as beautiful.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jeff - I tried booking Lotus Land on this same trip but they were all booked for rest of the season :( It's definitely on my bucket list.

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