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The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The southern part of the Arboretum:

Lucky Baldwin was the most famous of the previous owners of the Rancho Santa Anita land on which the Arboretum and Botanical Garden is sited.  He was a horse trader, a mining speculator and eventually a developer and mayor of the new city of Arcadia.  His home and coach house are located in the southern part of the Los Angeles Arboretum.  Among other things he developed was the Santa Anita racetrack, located right across the street from the Arboretum.

lucky baldwin's queen anne cottage

When Lucky Baldwin first saw the property, which previously had been owned by Hugo Reid, among others, he reputedly said: "This is paradise."

The home is sometimes available for tours but at the very least you can look through the windows and see how this extraordinarily rich man lived.

Baldwin immediately began to landscape the grounds around his new home, planting a variety of orange and other citrus trees as well as roses and more roses.  Then he had postcards made up from a photo of the property to promote the sale of lots in what is now Arcadia.  You can see a rose garden and citrus orchard nearby his home.

hugo reid adobe at l.a. arboretum

Lucky Baldwin was not the first owner of the Santa Anita Rancho.  A Scotsman, and citizen of Mexico, named Hugo Reid built the first home on the Rancho.  It is currently being restored, but is a very typical California adobe style home. 

In this southern part of the Arboretum is a wonderful tropical forest, filled with towering palms, and other tropical plants.  At the far western edge of the tropical forest, which is amazingly cool on a hot summer day, is a collection of redwoods. 

matilija poppies

In keeping with Baldwin's plantings, nearby there is a large herb garden, a daylily garden, a flowering plum orchard, and a perennial flower garden.The Matilija poppies, native to California, shown in this photo are actually part of a drought-tolerant garden in the northern part of the Arboretum.

Streams and paths wind through all the gardens in the southern part of the Arboretum and make it a very pleasant place to simply sit and enjoy the scenery.  For people who do not want to undertake the long walk around the Arboretum, tram tours are available.

waterfalls at the los angeles arboretum The two waterfalls and the little streams that wind through the southern part of the Arboretum are man-made. 

The lake beside Baldwin's home is a natural, spring-fed lake that during drought years is allowed to go dry.

Go here to see more in the northern part of the Arboretum. 

To go to the official Arboretum site, click here.

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