Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Escape to a Desert Garden, Pasadena Edition

Search

Escape to a Desert Garden, Pasadena Edition

Janet Hall June 26, 2013

A secret pleasure during my college years in Pasadena was getting lost in the nearby Huntington Botanical Gardens. Not your typical college hangout, but a great study spot, it turned out. Earlier this year on a college visit with my son, with an hour of free time we raced to the Huntington Library and Gardens. While my son disappeared into the library to see old manuscripts, I headed to the desert garden. It is as exotic and alluring as ever.

(If desert plants aren’t your thing, the Huntington’s rose garden, Japanese garden, Shakespeare garden, and other ten gardens are not to miss.)

Photographs by Janet Hall.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Library

Above: In the heart of Pasadena, the Huntington Botanical Gardens occupy 207 acres surrounding the majestic Huntington Library (which houses a collection of rare manuscripts, prints, maps, and other materials). The gardens are divided into 14 areas, of which the Desert Garden is a favorite.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden--path

Above: Started in 1907, the Huntington Desert Garden has one of the oldest and largest collections of cacti and succulents in the world. It sits on ten acres, and features more than 5,000 succulents and other desert plants in 60 landscaped beds.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden-Greenhouse

Above: At the upper end of the Huntington Desert Garden sits the greenhouse that is home to more than 3,000 vulnerable succulents unlikely to survive in the outdoor garden due to competition with more vigorous plants, and possible exposure to freezing temperatures and too much moisture.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden-flowering-Aloe-Aculeata

Above: Torch-like blossoms of the flowering Aloe aculeata.

If your climate allows you to grow your own, Aloe Aculeata plants in a variety of sizes are from $6 to $50 from Arid Lands.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden-Spiky-Aloe

Above: The Huntington Desert Garden is known for its collection of aloes–the largest outside of Africa.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden-Cactus

Above: A cactus display including the yellow-spined blossoming Golden Barrel cacti. The gardens boast more than 500 of that variety, the largest being more than 85 years old.

A starter size Echinocactus grusonii Golden Barrel Cactus in a 3.5-inch pot is $5 from Amazon.

Huntington-Desert-Garden-Trichchocereus-Hybrid

Above: In springtime, cactus blooms include the vibrant pink of the Trichocereus hybrid. Photograph by the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Huntington-Desert-Garden-Echium-wildpretii-Tower-of-Jewels

Above: The blooming spires of the Echium wildpretii Tower of Jewels. Photograph by Andy Sae.

A good screening plant in a desert climate, Echium wildpretii Tower of Jewels can be started from seed; 25 for $2.99 from Amazon.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden-Agave-attenuata-Boutin-Blue

Above: The smooth and sculptural Agave attenuata Boutin Blue.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden-Euphorbia-Apache-Red

Above: Looking fierce and fiery, the Euphorbia Apache Red plant.

Janet-Hall-Huntington-Desert-Garden-Aeonium-Zwartkop

Above: A field of Aeonium Zwartkop.

Can’t make it to Pasadena? Enjoy the Huntington Desert Garden Flickr Pool and consider another Garden Visit on your travel itinerary.

Product Summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our Partners