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A Photo Gallery of Cactus and Succulents
at the Huntington Gardens

(For other online garden previews, see the listing at the bottom of this page.)

crown of thorns huntington desert gardens  

The colorful Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) is nestled next to Aloes and a Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) . An almost blue Ice Plant (Delosperma) is the ground cover in the foreground.

Cactus and succulents are the ultimate drought tolerant plants. They love the sun. Require infrequent watering -- just a little every week or so. Need fast-draining soil and little fertilizer. In fact, fertilizing these non-thirsty plants or planting them in rich or heavy soil, can often kill them.

These photos were taken at the Huntington Botanic Gardens in San Marino, California in the section they call their "Desert Garden". As gardeners who live in our southwest deserts know, our native landscapes are covered with scattered brushy plants with an occasional cactus here or there. This garden, however, provides a spectacular display of cactus and succulents including agaves, yuccas, echeverias, echinocactus, many members of the Crassulaceae family, including such popular plants as hens-and-chicks and Jade plants.

As important as the individual plants, are the examples of garden design found in this Desert Garden. Instead of sparse plantings commonly found in so-called desert landscapes, there is a density and color balance that give a dramatic, lush appearance with surprises around every corner. For example, Barrel cactus (Echinocactus) appear in several mini-gardens against different color rock mulch -- red or black or white. The effects of planting in the various color rocks is beautifully clear--each mini-garden gives a very different impression. 

golden barrel cactus mammilaria cactus Red stone mulch sets off silvery Mammilaria cactus and Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii).
succulent border in bloom Who says cactus borders are not colorful? The Huntington Gardens desert garden in late Spring is a festival of colors.
huntington garden joshua tree A rock garden of cactus with one Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) alongside a winding path.
crassula ground cover This ground cover is a low growing Crassula, ideal for creating an impression of a "lawn" and it never needs mowing!
sempervivum succulents In early summer these Sempervivum bloom adding color to the garden.
dudleya succulent Against the black lava rock mulch these silvery Dudleya brittonii succulents in bloom stand out like exclamation points.


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Take these Hot Gardens online preview tours, too:    

Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden  - near Pasadena
Huntington Gardens Desert Garden - near Pasadena 
Descanso Gardens - near Pasadena 
Arlington Garden - in Pasadena
Getty Villa Gardens - Malibu
South Coast Botanic Garden - southwest Los Angeles  
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden - Claremont, California
Santa Barbara Gardens - Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden  - Santa Barbara, California
Tucson Public Gardens  - Tucson, Arizona
Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden  - Phoenix, Arizona
Balboa Park Gardens, San Diego, California
Tropical Garden in the Dominican Republic
Shore Acres Gardens - Coos Bay Oregon
San Luis Obispo Creek Park - San Luis Obispo, California
Japanese Garden - Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California
Japanese Garden - Long Beach, California
San Gabriel Mission - San Gabriel, California


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Our 8 Most Popular Hot Gardens Newsletters:  

Mixed lantana Flowering plants that reliably bloom in scorching mid-summer heat. Australian acacia shrub. Australian plants and trees that grow well in hot, dry climates
Mediterranean fan palm Weather-proofing palms for winter; cold weather palm trees. White roses for night garden A white garden for night time viewing.
Trimmed myrtle and boxwood Topiary can be easy to create and add charm to your garden. Geranium in pot on patio Techniques to combat death by heat exhaustion of plants in pots.
Octopus cactus Cactus as security barriers for your property. Aloe in bloom South African aloes for brilliant late winter color in your garden.

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