Botanic gardens influence our style and practice of gardening and outdoor living. They affect our choice of plants by introducing us to overlooked natives as well as new species and cultivars, while showing us creative ways to move our lives out onto the patio and under the sky. Botanic gardens introduce casual visitors to the wonderful diversity of plant life, make plant geeks giddy and help us all reconnect to the natural world.
More than simply “a garden containing scientifically ordered and maintained collections of plants, usually documented and labeled,” the gardens of southern California can be described as stately (Huntington), exotic (Lotusland), naturalistic (Santa Barbara), or eclectic (Getty), but always inspiring!
Next spring we’re making a journey of exploration, visiting some of the historic, picturesque and world-class botanic gardens in and around Los Angeles. Joining our host, Stephen Bernier of South of the Border Tours and Jo Falls, Director of Education, are plant experts Greg Corman of Gardening Insights and Lynn Hassler, former Director of Education at Tucson Botanical Gardens.
On the itinerary are visits to Huntington Gardens, whose highlights include the recently opened Liu Fang Yuan Garden of Flowing Fragrance, reflecting the traditional style of Chinese scholar gardens; Descanso Gardens, an urban retreat preserving California’s natural heritage; LA County Arboretum, with collections from Australia, the Canary Islands, Madagascar and South Africa; Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, showcasing eight habitats of the state; and, fabled Lotusland, noted for its rare and exotic aloes, bromeliads and cycads. But that’s not all, we are also touring The Getty, inside and out; Greene & Greene’s Gamble House, a classic of craftsmen workmanship; the Norton-Simon Museum; noted Hashimoto and Yamaguchi Bonsai Nurseries; and the mid-century modern architecture of Palm Springs. And for a bit of nature-in-the-raw, we’ve planned a picnic day on Anacapa in the Channel Islands!
From our first day’s picnic lunch in Joshua Tree National Monument to our farewell dinner in Palm Springs, you will see that this tour is something altogether different. We’ll be spending four nights at The Langham – Huntington, one of Pasadena’s most luxurious resorts, an additional three nights at the charming and historic Hotel Santa Barbara in the heart of downtown, and our last evening at the Indian Wells Resort Hotel in retro Palm Springs. And we’ve paid attention to detail when it comes to dining, offering a selection of some of the best restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area.
Cost includes motorcoach transportation, accommodations, all but seven judiciously selected meals, guide services and admission fees. $3150 per person/double occupancy ($875 single supplement).