To preview other Public Gardens in the West, go here
I’m going to start with full disclosure: the Mission San Fernando in Los Angeles doesn’t have much in the way of interesting gardens except for a recent addition: the Bob Hope Memorial Garden. Mostly the buildings are surrounded by green lawn and trees. There are, however, two very interesting museums.
The Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana has been restored by the archdiocese–essentially rebuilt from the ground up more than once. Founded in 1797, it was expropriated by the Mexican government in 1834 and subsequently fell into ruin.
A photograph of the Mission San Fernando in the late 1800s. Its condition became much worse when the tiles were removed from the roof.
Behind the Mission church you will come to the Bob Hope Memorial garden. It is lovely and serene–a very contemporary garden. Both Bob Hope and his wife are interred here. The old Mission Cemetery is behind it.
The interior of the San Fernando Mission is clearly much grander than the San Gabriel Mission which is about a half hour away by car.
Rather than taking the sidewalk back from the gift shop entry to the church, enter the building on the left where you will find a series of museum rooms.
In one is a case showing the clothing worn by the Franciscan friars at the time the Mission was founded. In another room you will find a display of Bob Hope memorabilia. In yet another room, a loom and other household items similar to the ones actually used in the Mission.
And those rooms are just the beginning. Even more interesting are the many displays in the Convent Building that give an impression of what life was like in the early 1800s in California.
You can see more of what is on display in the Covento museum.
Our 8 Most Popular Newsletters
- Six flowering plants that reliably bloom in scorching mid-summer heat.
- Cactus as security barriers for your property.
- Australian plants and trees that grow well in hot, dry climates.
- A white garden for night time viewing.
- How to combat death by heat exhaustion of plants in pots.
- Topiary can be easy to create and add charm to your garden.
- Weather-proofing palms for winter; cold weather palm trees.
- Non-toxic weed control and early signs of Spring.