The Desert Garden at The Huntington

 

Yesterday we took a look at just one of the happenings going on at The Huntington Art Collection in San Marino, California.  Today were heading outside for a look at just one of their fourteen themed gardens!

Golden Barrel cacti © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Golden Barrel cacti © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington touts that this magnificent Desert Garden, “is one of the largest and oldest assemblages of cacti and other succulents in the world. Nearly 100 years old, it has grown from a small area on the Raymond fault scarp when in 1907-1908 William Hertrich brought in plants from local nurseries, private residences, public parks, and from collection trips to the Southwest and Mexican deserts. Today the two dozen families of succulents and other arid adapted plants have developed into a 10-acre garden display, the Huntington’s most important conservation collection, a most important mission and challenge.”

Desert Garden © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Desert Garden © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The Desert Garden alone covers 10 acres and contains, “more than 5,000 species of succulents and desert plants in sixty landscaped beds.”

Euphorbia altrispina © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Euphorbia altrispina © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Here in the desert garden there are there are many Euphobia originally native to South and East Africa to ponder and photograph.

Euphorbia grandialata © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Euphorbia grandialata © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

These Echeveria (seen below) are part of the Crassula family.  According to the Huntington, they are “unarmed leaf succulents found mostly in Mexico and Africa. Cool autumn brings out pastel leaf colors in aeonium, echeveria, kalanchoe, pachyphytum, and sedum. Most bedding plants are Crassulaceae.”

Echeveria elegans © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Echeveria elegans © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Below is just one of the  fantastic April Dawn perennials which blooms each Spring in the Desert Garden. It’s delicate rose petals are a lovely contrast to it’s spiny cacti base.  It is perfect for container gardening should you want one for your own.

Echinopsis 'April Dawn' © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Echinopsis 'April Dawn' © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

There are flowering blooms of all colors here.  These Opuntia have small clusters of pink blooms.

Opuntia basilaris © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Opuntia basilaris © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington boasts  that nearly two hundred “of the world’s 300 species of aloes reside in the upper garden. Most are from southern Africa. Aloe bainesii, which can grow fifty feet high, is the tallest.”  I’ve heard from several people that The Huntington is a Must See garden and now it’s clear that this is one garden experience I just can’t pass by.  It will be on my agenda when this Bee next heads West.

Aloes on Hillside © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Aloes on Hillside © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The aloe arborescens, seen above is a winter bloom with “fiery red flower stalks” where as the aloe “tangerine”, (seen below) have two-toned blooms.

Aloe 'Tangerine © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Aloe 'Tangerine © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The Desert-puya, (seen below)  is a lovely bromeliad native to South America that blooms in Spring and would grow well almost anywhere in the U.S.  It even tolerates frost well and obviously loves the heat!

Desert-Puya venusta © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Puya venusta © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The Desert Garden is but one of many on the vast grounds of The Huntington.  The property covers two hundred and seven acres.  The Huntington explains, “approximately 120 of them are landscaped and open to visitors. More than 14,000 different varieties of plants are showcased in more than a dozen principal garden areas. Forty gardeners, a curatorial staff of seven, and more than 100 volunteers maintain the botanical collections, provide interpretive programs for visitors, and propagate plants for special sales.”  For more information on The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens visit http://www.huntington.org

Desert Garden © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Desert Garden © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

I can’t wait to head out here.  It’s always a pleasure finding grand gardens and The Huntington certainly fits the bill.

As for now… this Bee is heading back to her cup of tea and planning her next garden visit!

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

Related posts:

  1. The Huntington’s Japanese Garden in San Marino, California.
  2. Art Nouveau and Flower Fans Rejoice!
  3. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosts a large, arid garden with plants from around the World!
  4. Winter Camellias at Norfolk Botanical Garden
  5. The Kaufman Hydrangea Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden

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2 Comments

 
  1. jodi (bloomingwriter)
    2010-01-28
    19:21:16

    It was fun to visit this post. Last year, I met up in Kansas City, Missouri, with a friend from out in California. I brought her a book about gardens here in my part of Canada, and she brought me a book about the Huntington. I hope one day to actually visit for myself.

     
  2. Britt
    2010-01-29
    19:27:24

    That sounds so nice! The Huntington is going to take days worth of posts to discover! I can't wait. I first heard about it from a co-worker and friend who also loves art and gardens! Heading over to your blog as we speak!

     
 

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