Los Angeles Arboretum

The northern part of the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden

To preview other Public Gardens in the West, go here

Los Angeles Arboretum walkwayOriginally the Los Angeles Arboretum was intended to be a living reference library of trees from around the world, especially flowering trees, that could thrive in the hot, dry climate of Southern California. 

The intended users were nursery owners who might be interested in introducing new trees and scientists studying trees.  It wasn’t until several years later that the Arboretum began to open to the general public, starting on Sundays only.  The visitors were so enthusiastic that it began to be open more often. Today, it is open year ’round.

Los Angeles Arboretum in summer A vista of one of the many gardens contained within the Los Angeles Arboretum.  The three tall ornaments in the garden are made of colorful ceramics. The towering trees in the background are eucalyptus.

The first major collection was made up of eucalyptus and acacia trees brought back from Australia and more than 1,000 of them were planted in the northern part of the 127 acres that make up the Arboretum.

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Australian acacia in bloomIn late winter these acacia shrubs, shown left, considered a weed in Australia, burst into gorgeous bloom.  The yellow and green are the national colors of Australia.

Year after year, the tree collection grew to include rarities like succulents from the vanishing Madagascar Spiny Forest, palms from the tropics of South America and Asia as well as shrubs and more recently, drought-tolerant perennials.

Aloes in bloomSouth African aloes, shown right, flower in February when most of the rest of the Arboretum’s gardens are drab.  Adjacent to the aloe collection are rare specimens from Madagascar.

These days the Arboretum includes several demonstration residential gardens for homeowners who are trying to reduce the amount of water used around their homes.  There are also many activities and concerts for the general public.

Cactus garden ArboretumThis fireplace is just one of several examples of outdoor living spaces surrounded by low water usage plants. There are three more demonstration patio-gardens located just to the right near the entrance.
Peacock at Arboretum
Near the entrance you will also see and hear the peacocks and peahens. They have become such a part of the Arboretum that the name of the cafe is the Peacock Cafe and the peacocks have been captured in tile displayed on the lower cafe patio dining area.
Peacock tile mural Arboretum

And there is more in the southern part of the Arboretum, including Lucky Baldwin’s Queen Anne Victorian Cottage, the rose garden and the waterfalls. 

To preview other Public Gardens in the West, go here

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