Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Elizabeth Gamble Garden


The Elizabeth Gamble Garden, located in Palo Alto, California, covers two and a half acres and includes an historic home and carriage house.  The home was built in 1902 by Edwin Percy Gamble, son of the co-founder of the Proctor and Gamble company.  His daughter, Elizabeth, bequeathed the estate to the city of Palo Alto in 1971.

Today, visitors can see fruit trees, a gazebo, herb garden, Mediterranean garden, rose garden, wisteria garden, and woodland garden.

The garden is open daily from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Garvan Woodland Gardens


Garvan Woodland Gardens is located about six miles from Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The garden was started by Verna Cook Garvan in the 1920s.  After her death, she left the garden to the Department of Landscape Architecture of the University of Arkansas.

The gardens are simply breathtaking.  They cover 210 acres and contain waterfalls, picturesque bridges, gorgeous overlooks, and a Japanese garden.  It's a perfect place for nature lovers.

The gardens are open February through November from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and in December from noon to 9:00 PM.  Admission is $10.00 per adult and $5.00 per child.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Filoli Gardens


Filoli Gardens, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco in Woodside, California, covers 654 acres.  It is the site of a 36,000 square foot Georgian house and a 16 acre English Renaissance garden, which is a series of enclosed spaces within brick walls.  Visitors will see well-manicured gardens with clipped hedges and classic reflecting pools.  Other gardens include a Bonsai collection, magnolias, an olive orchard, and a rose garden.

 A little history of the gardens:  Filoli was built between 1915 and 1917 for William Bowers Bourne II, owner of a very successful gold mine and President of Spring Valley Water Company.  Following Bourne's death, the estate was sold to William Roth, who in 1975 donated it to the National Trust for Historic Presevation.

Filoli has served as the set for many Hollywood films.  You may have seen the mansion on the opening credits for the show, Dynasty.

There are several tours you can take, including one of the mansion.  If you can,I would recommend doing it.  You can also take a 2-hour nature hike.  A word of caution about that - some parts are strenuous, so you should be in good health to do it.

The gardens are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM.  Admission is $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Ruth Bancroft Garden


The Ruth Bancroft Garden, located in Walnut Creek, California, features nearly three acres of succulents, pathways, and garden beds.  Visitors will see a lot of aloe, agave, yucca, and cacti as they walk along the gravel pathways.

The garden was begun in the 1950s as a private collection within Bancroft Farm, a 400 acre property belonging to publisher, Hubert Howe Bancroft.  In 1989, it became the first garden in the United States preserved by the Garden Conservancy.  It has been open to the public since 1992.

The garden is open daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for children.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Getty Museum Gardens


The Getty Museum Gardens are located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, California.  The property covers 24 acres, and features a 134,000 square foot Central Garden.  In this garden, a tree-lined walkway crosses over a stream  which eventually leads to a round pool.  In the pool, is a stunning maze of azaleas.  It's really quite a sight to see.

 In addition to the Central Garden, visitors can also see a cactus garden with spectacular views of the mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and Los Angeles.
The gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM.  Admission is free, but parking is $15.00.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Cypress Gardens


Cypress Gardens is located in Monck's Corner, South Carolina. (This is different from the Cypress Gardens in Florida.) It was created in 1927 by Benjamin R. Kittredge. Today, it is a 163 acre garden that contains three miles of foot paths. Visitors can also view the gardens from flat bottom boats. It's really a lovely place. The black swamp water reflects flowering dogwoods, daffodils, and azaleas beautifully.  Also on the grounds, is a greenhouse filled with butterflies (there is a display of the lifecycle of them), birds, a pond, and an arthropod exhibit.

For those who like trivia, Cypress Gardens was the site used for filming several movies, including Cold Mountain (2003), Swamp Thing (1982), The Notebook (2004), and The Patriot (2000).

The gardens are open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Cost of admission for adults is $10.00, and for children, $5.00.  A guided boat ride would cost an additional $5.00, but you have the option of an self-guided tour for no additional cost. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a 400-acre property that was founded in 1678 by the Drayton family. It is Charleston's most visited plantation, and it's easy to see why.  There's a lot there! It's home to America's oldest garden - The Barbados Tropical Garden. Other gardens on the property include a Biblical garden, a topiary garden, a maze of camellias, and a swamp garden that spans 60 acres. Bald Eagles, egrets, otters, and of course, alligators, can be seen in the swamp garden. Visitors can enjoy a variety of bog plants, ornamental grasses, and wildflowers. 

Additional attractions include a petting zoo, Old African American Cabin, and a conservatory.

The gardens are open daily from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The cost of admission for adults is $15.00, and for children, $10.00. There is an additional cost for the plantation house tour, nature boat tour, and the Audubon Swamp Garden. All-inclusive tickets are available, but those are rather costly - $47.00 for adults, $43.00 for children.