Monday, January 2, 2023

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, a look back

It's (finally) time to wrap up my posts on our 2021 trip to Southern California. Somehow I've saved my visit to the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden for last. This is a fabulous small botanic garden in the Thousand Oaks area—it's free, and an easy way to indulge your inner plant geek while not boring the rest of the family to tears.

This visit was an outing with my mother-in-law, the rest of the family was off doing other things so she and I took a walk.

The succulent plantings at the top of the hillside are what I wanted to see, so we marched up.

Something has been sampling those agaves! Rabbits? Nah to tall, deer? There have been a few serious fires in the area but that wouldn't effect just the lower leaves.

There aren't many labels in this garden so I'm not guessing at other plant ID—these however are easily recognizable as Agave attenuata.

A variegated Agave attenuata under chicken-wire protection. Hungry animals all around!

San Pedro cactus, Echinopsis pachanoi.

Pretty darn cool.

As are the furry cactus, especially when back-lit.

The desert garden has amasing views, especially at dusk.

More furry cactus, because they're so cute...

Bloomed out, but still beautiful, agave.

And golden barrels...

Another view shot...

Erythrina humeana, aka the dwarf coral tree.

Salvia involucrata, the roseleaf sage.

Evidently my little love affair with salvia started way before my 2022 trip to NYC.

This last entry from the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is a botanical mystery! A small tree with orange berries and pendulous purple blooms...

Anyone know what this is?

If you find yourself in the Thousand Oaks, CA, area, with a little time to kill, I definitely recommend a visit to the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden.

All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Duranta erecta

  2. I think Anonymous is correct in identifying that tree/shrub as a Duranta. The size of that one is just a little scary, although I have one that's about 8 feet tall and kept at that size only by relentless pruning on the part of the gardeners who seem to believe it's a standalone hedge. It was originally sold to me as Duranta repens 'Gold Mound' with a projected size of 2-3' tall and wide. It turns out that in Florida, it grows up to 24' tall. I took out several others.

    There's a 107-acre botanic garden in Ventura you might like to check out the next time you travel that way. I saw it only in its early days when admission was free (and they hadn't done much with it yet) but I understand it's come a long way. It has choice ocean views.

    1. That Ventura Botanic Garden was on my list to see while I was in SoCal, but I ended up spending so much time in Summerland that I didn't make it. Next time! I did visit back in late 2015 and it was in a very sad state.

  3. For some reason this garden felt very home-like to me. Some of the groups felt like good inspiration for smaller gardens.

    1. I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're right. Perhaps it's because it's completely run by volunteers?

  4. I now have another destination to put on my SoCal travel list. Yeah!

  5. You can also see Duranta erecta at Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden in Santa Barbara. Hummers and butterflies love it.

    1. I've been there! I looked back at my 2016 post to see if by chance I'd photographed it, but no.

  6. Congratulations on wrapping up a 2021 visit, not that there is a time limit :-D
    I agree with Linda, this garden feel homey. I grew up in a mediterranean climate where I've seen Duranta erecta trimmed as a hedge many times but never knew its name. I also get a homey feel from the pine tree canopy over a host of thorny plant in the 9th photo.

    1. Your and Linda's comment have me thinking about calling that desert garden home, how amazing that would be! Views in every direction.

  7. "Conejo" is Spanish for "rabbit", so it may be rabbits doing the chewing. They will stretch unexpectedly high to eat something tasty. Nice garden, and wow what a view it has.


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