Friday, June 10, 2016

Visit to Huntington Gardens - Part 2

Last week I posted photos taken of the Chinese and California sections of the The Huntington Botanical Gardens in late May.  Although my husband and I didn't get to all 12 of the gardens, we did stroll a few more.  This post is dedicated to the Australian and Desert Gardens.

I can't say that we covered the Australian Garden in any depth.  It was more along the lines of a walk through the area on our way to the Desert Garden.  Despite my love of Australian plants like the Grevilleas and Leucadendrons, I've never really given this area its due, an error I've yet to remedy.  That's not to say that the collection doesn't contain beautiful specimens, however.

Clockwise from the left: Anigozanthos (aka Kangaroo Paws), Bignonia capreolata, Bougainvillea glabra, Coprosma repens 'Tapata Gold' and Eremophila 'Summertime Blue'

Cassia tomentella, which I initially took for a golden chain tree

I couldn't find a label for this tree-sized shrub but I'm assuming that it's a Vitex


The Desert Garden grabbed more of our attention.  Thankfully, it remained overcast and pleasantly cool throughout our entire visit, which allowed me the luxury of taking a LOT of photos.  (You've been warned.)

We didn't need a sign to tell us when we'd arrived in the Desert Garden

I wasn't good at checking for name tags and not everything had a tag.  Opuntia and Echinocereus grusonii (golden barrel cactus) occupy the foreground here with what I think is a saguaro cactus (Carnegiea) in the middle.  It looks as though we just missed out on seeing the latter in bloom.

I skipped by this path, intending to come back, but never did

Chilopsis linearis (aka Desert willow) in the middle of a bed of Senecio

Euphorbia xantii in bloom - you can get an idea of the plant's size by comparing it with the bench sitting in the path in the photo on the left

More golden barrel cactus (the garden has 500!) sit between a flowering Aloe and some variety of Puya here.  An agave with the bloom stalk that signals its demise can be seen behind the Puya on the right.

The fabulous turquoise Puya alpestris was in bloom, drawing a crowd.  (Yes, that color is real.)

A nice stand of golden barrel cactus is backed by what I think is Caesalpinia pulcherrima (aka Red Bird of Paradise)


There were a tremendous number of agaves, large and small, scattered throughout the garden.

Labels seemed to be uncommon when it came to the agaves so I'm mostly guessing in identifying these fine specimens.  Clockwise from the left, my guesses are: Agave americana 'Variegata'; A. parryi?; no idea but it's beautiful; A. gypsophila?; A. geminiflora?; A. parryi var truncata; and A. ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' (which had a label although it was one I could've identified on my own)


Large numbers of cacti and succulents were assembled in groups supported by rocks, which prompted me to think about what I could do with the west-facing slope at the front of our property.  (My next project perhaps!)

Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium and Notocactus, if the labels can be credited

A nice Agave victoriae-reginae

A collection of Mammallaria

The plants in the mid-section of this photo looked like agaves to me but the sign posted next to the one on the far right identified them as Ariocarpus retusus, which isn't a genus I'm familiar with.  Other plants here include Echinocactus, Mammallaria and Opuntia.

Pachyphytum, Opuntia and various agaves

Dudleyas are front and center here

Echinocactus (in flower), Echeveria, Aeonium 'Sunburst' and Crassula

Aloes and Euphorbias among others

Echeverias backed by Aeoniums

Echinocereus in vivid bloom


We passed some beautiful cycads on our way back to the the California Garden at the front entrance.  I remembered that the Huntington received a bequest of a large collection of cycads from Loran Whitelock following his death in 2014 and I wondered if these were part of that gift.

Cycads bordered by dark Aeoniums and backed by a stand of tall bamboo


I'm impressed if you made it all the way through this post.  I did take some other photos at the Huntington Gardens but I'm going to leave you here - at least until my next visit.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. If we ever get to visit it'll be the desert garden that'll be my first port of call!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an impressive cactus and succulent garden. It covers 10 acres and is one of the oldest gardens within the Huntington's grounds.

      Delete
  2. Wow :D I must say I'm very glad you posted so many pictures, Kris! It's inspiring to see those desert plants used on the grand scale; I have a lot of empty space around this house as the lot was more or less shaved bare before we moved in. It needs to be filled with plants that can hold their own without a lot of help! Clearly I need to start by collecting golden barrel cactus ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you can find the golden barrel cactus for a reasonable price, Amy. The specimens I've seen in nurseries here have price tags that cause as much pain as the plants' spikes!

      Delete
  3. Nice tour, I always enjoy seeing this garden on blogs. Never enough tags for a garden like this and never enough time to document them all. I think those probably are Agave bovicarnuta in the photo (8 up from the bottom) and small ariocarpus are in front of sign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes sense, Shirley. I knew that fiercely-toothed plant looked familiar!

      Delete
  4. The Australians have tea tree Leptospermum, but the Leucadendron is South African.
    That Puya has the most covetable flower colour I have ever seen. But the plant is huge??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the clarification on the origins of Leucadendrons, Diana. I let myself be misled by coverage of these plants on an Australian native plants nursery's site.

      Re the Puya alpestris, one northern California nursery says it grows 3-4 feet tall, small by Puya standards but equivalent to a medium-sized shrub. The same nursery offers P. berteroniana in a similar color, which grows to 6-10 feet tall.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing this Kris, who says that desert can't be beautiful! The planting is superb and ought to be an inspiration to people wanting to remove their lawns. I'm coming back to this post when I have more time to savour the detail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It probably helps that this desert garden sits in San Marino (near Pasadena, the site of the famous Rose Parade every New Year's Day), which means it gets more water than the usual desert space. That's probably what allows them to grow so many xeric plants in close association. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that it's also well-designed and perfectly maintained.

      Delete
  6. Wow, this is amazing. Thanks for the tour, I really enjoyed it. It must be such fun being able to grow these desert plants. Who needs sculpture when you can have these golden barrel cacti?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to veer away from the really prickly cactus but I admit to having been tempted by golden barrel cacti. They look fantastic in a group. The fact that even those of modest size can cost a fortune keeps my acquisitive itch under control, though.

      Delete
  7. It was a nice garden The Huntington Garden!!
    Fun to do garden visits.
    Have a nice day
    Mariana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ever get to Southern California, Mariana, that is the garden that you want to visit. It is really 12 gardens in one.

      Delete
  8. Oh thanks for sharing all the photos Kris ..I really need to do a targeted run to this garden one of these days-preferably in late winter !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Late winter when the aloes are in bloom is a great time to visit The Huntington's Desert Garden, Kathy. From experience, I can tell you that it's hard to enjoy that garden, wonderful as it is, when you're wilting in the heat. Luckily, this visit, we benefited from good cloud cover.

      Delete
  9. It was a perfect day to visit, glad you hit a good (not hot) day. Your photos are great, like the last ones with the Cycads and the Echinocereus flowers.

    The Agave with black spines is macroacantha and the one on the far right top I've studied on several visits, guessing a form of marmorata as its very similar to one of my own. The sign only says "Agave". The Agave with the Ariocarpus sign is FO-076, which some think is a form of titanota.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw that tag that said "agave" - how silly was that?! I guess it minimizes the need for updates but it wasn't very helpful. Thanks for your clarifications. I LOVE A. macroacantha.

      Delete
  10. The Cassia tomentella is wondrous! I never imagined I would like desert plants until I visited the Phoenix Botanical Garden. It was incredible; your photos immediately reminded me of it. So different from the gardens I know, yet beautiful in their own way. However, I imagine one needs some really thick, long gloves to garden with those types of plants!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The smooth-leaved succulents are much easier on one's skin and fingers than many of the cacti, Deb. I covet Opuntia gosseliniana (aka Santa Rita pricklypear) but I won't go near it as I swear it bites!

      Delete
  11. It's always a good day when I get to drool over photos of the Huntington. I found it interesting that I've finally been there enough that I could virtually follow along with your photos -- knowing where each one was taken. Oh and I've never managed to walk that straight path either!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to make a point of walking that straight path the next time I'm there!

      Delete
  12. This has long been on my list of must see places if I ever get to Southern California again. Your images make me want to see it sooner than later! Thanks also for the link to the article on Loran Whitelock. What an amazing person he was. I wonder what's become of his own garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds as though the lion's share of what was in Whitelock's garden moved to the Huntington. I expect that what was left behind didn't feel like his garden once the plants were transferred but it's nice to think his spirit is living on at the Huntington.

      Delete
  13. Just amazing gardens... and I'm sure I've never seen flowers the colour of those Puya alpestris before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Puya was incredible, Amy. It was hard to get a good photo because there was a crowd continuously surrounding it.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.