Friday, March 12, 2010

The Huntington Gardens, Part 2 The Desert Garden

Part of my continuing series on our October trip to California…Well finally! My last post on our California vacation. I didn’t mean to stretch it out for so long, thank you for sticking with me.
The Huntington Desert Garden is a fitting place to end. This garden was stunning; wonderful plants in well designed gardens. You should definitely put it on your list of places to visit! The Desert Garden features more than 5,000 species of succulents and desert plants in 60 landscaped beds!

An Encephalartos
Cyphostemma juttae from SW Africa…
Andrew spotted the Boojum tree from a way back. It looked so furry! From their website: “It is said that when the first English botanist saw the Fouquieria columnaris, he thought it resembled the fantasy creature from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark and dubbed it “Boojum.” After a rain this Baja California native sprouts small leaves, which are soon lost if the weather turns dry.”
We were lucky to see one shortly after the rains!
I think this is a Echium wildpretii? I could be wrong.

Blue senecio…be still my beating heart.
Alluaudia procera

I believe these are Echeveria agavoides? On the left and right above the Barrel Cactus.
The Huntington has about 200 of the world’s 300 Aloes species! These beauties were blooming when we visited…
But just as pretty were these buds...
This one looks very very angry...

Dasylirion in bloom? Correct me please!There were so many fabulous Agaves in the garden. Evidently some of them are quite rare and threatened with extinction. If you are curious I found an interesting article on their website about propagating rare agave in The Huntington’s Tissue Culture Lab.
Whales tongue Agave?Agave bloom spikes…Dyckia fosterianaSo…are you planning a visit?


  1. Do you (or anyone reading this post) know the name of the aloe you described as looking "very very angry" -- The one with the incurved leaves with huge amazing looking spikes? I NEED one. So amazing.

    1. AnonymousMay 15, 2012

      Answer to Greensparrows question:

      Aloe Melanacantha

  2. Greensparrow, I looked back through all of my photos and notes just in case I missed it. No luck! The plant tags were rather hard to fund at the Huntington. So many cool plants and I think many of the tags have been overgrown. Hopefully someone else will have the answer.

  3. You had my mouth watering during your first post on Huntington, especially by showing my favorite palm, the Bismark (worth moving to Fla. just to grow). With this post I am at full on drool.

  4. Oh Loree, you must have wanted to camp out or ask to be hired on as a gardener or ?? It looks like your version of sharp plant heaven! I can't imagine what it must be like to work there, they must have to wear full body armor just to take care of the beds! Crazy. Your series was wonderful, I'm a little sad that the vicarious tour is over. I haven't been to SoCal in years and this is totally making me want to plan a trip. Thanks!!

  5. It was definitely worth the wait Loree. You gotta love the Fouqueria. Even the name sounds cool rolling off the tongue. That "mean" Agave looks like some kind of medieval torture device. Love that pink tree!

  6. What a great job your photos do of conveying the magic of this garden. It is so large that it really is mood altering to just wander its paths. Fall and winter is my favorite time. Summer gets stifling in that garden.

  7. Oh my..that place rocks. I have not been to the LA area, but need to head down sometime. Sounds like a road trip down Hwy 1 is necessary. Matti

  8. This is one garden that can turn the most recalcitrant companion into an enthusiastic garden visitor. And you capture it so well! This post definitely gives me itchy feet.

  9. Les, any trips planned to southern Cali?

    Karen, I was totally in heaven!! Glad I could "take you back" so to speak.

    Grace, exactly! (medieval torture device) I didn't realize it but that's exactly what I was picturing.

    Denise, thank you! It was quite warm in late October...I can't imagine what it would be like on a hot summer day.

    Matti...road trip!

    ricki, so who is the recalcitrant companion?

  10. You're out of California pictures to share? Sounds like you need to head back. Yes, you have convinced me, I do need to plan a trip.

  11. I am just catching up on blog reading after our vacation and am thrilled to see your pics of Huntington. Yes, it's on my list of must-see gardens.

    Also noticed you changed your header! I like it--and I'm glad you kept the little pug in there. I miss his goggled face a little, but change is good!


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