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In 1873 when Daniel Berry bought land from the Rancho San Pasqual on behalf of a group of mid-westerners who founded Pasadena (or the "Indiana Colony" as the town was called back then), the plan had been to plant orange groves and grapes.  And they did.  But they did not stop with agricultural efforts.

Four years later Jeanne Carr, a noted horticulturalist, was among the first to encourage her neighbors to plan and plant beautiful gardens. Her legacy is evident today in the landscaped and well-tended gardens that surround homes all over Pasadena.

A love of gardens is also evident in public gardens in Pasadena and nearby areas.

Wrigley Mansion Pasadena California A lovely rose garden is located next to the Tournament of Roses headquarters on Orange Grove Ave.  It is open to the public.  Formerly, this home was the Wrigley Mansion and Orange Grove was nicknamed "Millionaires Row" because of the grand homes that lined the street.  Today, Orange Grove is best known as the starting point for the annual Rose Parade.  See photos of the Tournament of Roses garden here.


  Arlington Garden entrance fountain Continue south on Orange Grove Ave. to Arlington and turn left to visit Arlington Garden.  This  water-wise garden is a collaborative private/public effort.  What was once an ugly weed-filled vacant lot in now a beautiful example of a Mediterranean garden.
Huntngton Desert Gardens cactus in bloom A succulent and cactus border is awash with brightly colored blooms in spring in the desert plant garden at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

Huntington Gardens palm collection Next to the cacti at the Huntington Gardens are a seemingly endless variety of palm trees, followed by an area devoted to Australian trees and plants. 

The Huntington's Japanese Garden, nestled in a steep ravine, is simply breathtaking -- especially  when the wisteria blooms.  The newest addition is the historically accurate Chinese Garden which was built recently by craftsmen brought from China.  After you have seen some or all of the gardens, stop at the Tea Room or the outdoor patio restaurant for a bite to eat.  Admission fee.

Descanso gardens roses Roses from around the planet --including China, Japan, England, and France -- can be found in the International Rose Garden at Descanso Gardens.  

The Descanso Gardens in La Canada, just north of Pasadena, are well-known in the Los Angeles area and among camellia lovers throughout the U.S.  The Gardens contain North America's largest collection of camellias, shaded under old California Oak trees.  There is also a large International rose garden with roses from around the world.  Gardening events and family-friendly activities happen almost weekly at the Descanso which is actively supported by locals. Have lunch or a snack under the arbor near the entry.  Admission fee. 

The peacocks that roam wild around the Los Angeles Arboretum are celebrated in the tile mural on the lower terrace wall of the Peacock Cafe at the Arboretum.

The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden is at the heart of Lucky Baldwin's estate.  Baldwin made his fortune with the Comstock Mine and promptly moved to Southern California.  His Victorian home is still on southern end of the Arboretum -- just beyond the palm collection.  The first focus of the Arboretum, as the name indicates, was trees and there are huge collections of eucalyptus, palms and other trees from around the world.  In more recent years, attention has focused on expanding the plant collection into a full botanic garden and providing xeriscape gardening guidance through classes and demonstration gardens.  Admission fee. 

For an online preview tour of the Arboretum and the old Baldwin estate, click here.

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See other botanic gardens in the West here
Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden  - Arcadia
Descanso Gardens - near Pasadena 
Arlington Garden - in Pasadena
Huntington Gardens Desert Garden  - near Pasadena
Getty Villa Gardens - Malibu
South Coast Botanic Garden - near southwest Los Angeles  
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden - Claremont, California
Balboa Park Botanical Gardens - San Diego 
Tucson Public Gardens 
Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden 
Shore Acres Gardens  - Coos Bay, Oregon
San Luis Obispo Creek Park - San Luis Obispo, California
Japanese Garden - Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California 
Tropical Garden in the Dominican Republic
Japanese Garden - Long Beach, California

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