Saturday, October 15, 2011

Huntington Botanical Gardens Part 1

If you are a serious succulent lover where is the one place in California you would want to go?  For me it is the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA.   The last time I was there was about 30 years ago.  I really wasn't into photography much and I had not yet acquired my love of succulents.  I did have a camera at that time and took a photo of a huge Golden Barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii).  I don't think we actually went into the desert section, just the edge headed toward the Japanese garden.  It was really beautiful and I blew the photo up into an 8 X 10 and had it hanging in my craft room for years.  Somewhere inside I think there was a Succulent Fanatic trying to get out.

Aloe bainesii barberae "Aloe tree"

Aloe bainesii Barberae "Aloe Tree"
This aloe is a native of South Africa.  It can reach 54' tall.  It has pink flowers in the winter.

This is the first thing we saw on our way into the desert section.  I have to tell you that my head was spinning around like crazy trying to see everything.  I felt like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.  There was so much to see and photograph.  We decided to try and catch up with a tour that was starting at this very tree.  The man was very informative and told us some interesting stuff about the different succulents.  But I'm sorry to say that I was having a hard time paying attention because I was taking so many photos.  I was very courteous of him speaking though and did not interfere.  I did ask him some questions though that made him realize I knew something about the subjects.  We stayed with him until we reached the succulent greenhouse.  Then Stan and I struck out on our own.  

Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'

Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'
This agave  is a native to Mexico.  In the spring it blooms a beautiful greenish yellow but not until the plant is around 10 years old.

These beautiful blue agave's are everywhere in Southern California.  And these are surrounding the Agave Tree above.  They are so big and beautiful and I love their color.  

Aeonium 'Jack Catlin' hybrid

Aeonium 'Jack Catlin' hybrid
The color on these aeoniums was so amazing.  The green in the middle and brick color on the outside.  This huge patch of them was breathtaking and this photo does not do them justice.  Oh and just look at the background.  Every time I took a shot I pointed at something in the background.  Oh, oh let's look at that.  Stan would say hold on a minute we will get there.  So funny!

Crassula Falcata

Crassula Falcata
Another succulent from South Africa.  It can grow to 4' tall.  Likes shade to full sun.  Seems to need full sun part of the day to bloom.

Just look at this giant plant.  I have one of these but it does not like Roseville, CA.  This is so amazing to see such a big beautiful specimen like this!

Euphorbia lambii is the little 'tree in middle', all around it's base is Aloe petricola.

Euphorbia lambii is the little tree in the middle and all around it's base is Aloe Petricola
Euphorbia lambii is a native of the Canary islands.  It is also known as the Tree Euphorbia.  Can grow 6' to 10' tall.  Annie Annuals says it does good in Northern California so I have it on my wish list.

Down in the front is the Aeonium 'Jack Catlin'.  Palm trees are mixed in some of the areas and you can see the Aloe Tree in the background.  I would like one of these Euphorbia's but I wonder how it would do here in Roseville, CA.  And how long did it take to get that big?

Aloe Glauca

Aloe Glauca
This succulent is from the Western Cape of South Africa.  This aloe produces beautiful stalks of red flowers.
Because I took so many photographs I am going to do many posts on my visit.  This is just post 1 of many.  I think with each post I will give you a little history of Huntington Botanical Garden and the desert garden.

The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington.  Mr. Huntington had a vast financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities and real estate holdings in Southern California.  Mr. Huntington was very passionate about art, books and gardens.  He was born in 1850 in Oneonta, New York.  In 1872 he went to work for his uncle, Collis P. Huntington who was one of the owners of the Central Pacific Railroad.  He worked for the CPR for 20 years then his uncle wanted him to help manage the Southern Pacific Railroad.  On the way to San Francisco he visited the J. DeBarth Shorb estate "San Marino".  He must have liked what he saw because he later bought it and now the estate is home to his collections.

The botanical gardens cover 120 acres with more than a dozen specialized gardens.  The most popular sections are the Japanese gardens, Desert garden, Rose garden and Chinese garden.  After the desert garden my husband and I went through the subtropical jungle garden and it was quite beautiful.

Kalanchoe marmorata 'Pen-Wiper Plant'

Kalanchoe marmorata 'Pen-Wiper Plant'
Such a pretty scene with the aeoniums on the right and the base of that giant aloe behind.

Lampranthus Piquetbergensis

Lampranthus Piquetbergensis
This is a type of ice plant from South Africa.  It is a low growing, trailing succulent.  Hardy to 20 degrees F.  It can get 10" tall and the leaves can be 1" long.

What a glorious day we had!  I am so glad that I can share our time with you.  Please check back for more photos and information from our Huntington adventure.  In between I will be keeping you up to date on Sweetstuff's Succulents.

Until then:

It's Another Beautiful Day!
I have had a few people ask why I end each post with this.  Please refer to this post.


Anonymous said...

Hi Candy,

Thanks for sharing this with us !! You are so blessed living in California !! I am a cacti and succulent lover too but I live in Belgium, it is such a struggle here to keep succulents, even inside the house, we don't have enough light and sun, this Summer was horrible I really felt sorry for my plants ! Recently I started to read blogs about succulent lovers in the south of the US and Australia, what a difference !
Have a nice weekend !
Your pictures are great ! They make me wan t to emmigrate !

greetings from,


Rohrerbot said...

This garden is incredible. I saw a TV show on it and thought it was really unique looking compared to other gardens around the state. It's on my list of places to visit when we eventually get over to this area. The large tree though is the one that is really strange and cool. It's a succulent!! And the agaves really make it stand out. Very cool photos. Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Thank you so much Rita for visiting my blog. I am glad that I can give you a little sunshine. It really must be hard for you to grow succulents in Belgium without enough sun and light. But I am glad that you can enjoy their beauty through other people's photos.

I sure hope that you can visit this place Rohrerbot. It is really incredible. Wait till you see more. Thanks for the great compliments and hope your weekend is grand!

Joyful said...

Everything is so beautiful in the garden. I esp. love the agave and the aloe :-)

Matt and Bobbie said...

beautiful! I love the bi-colored aeoniums. I have a plant very simmilar to the ice plant--now I know what it is!

Julie said...

That Jack Catlin is amazing...I know you were just in heaven seeing this place!!! I know I would be. You are a serious succulent lover, for sure!!!

Evelyn said...

Thanks for the tour Candy. Wish I were there! I love the agave very much, such a neat plant. The aeoeniums have such lovely colours. I love the bluish tone of the crassula. Up to 4 feet - that's tall.

Stephanie said...

All these succulents are so so attractive. I would be drawn to look at them rather than to hear what they have say also hehe... Thanks for sharing these amazing plants. Currently I am growing an aeonium and I am finding the plant hard to be grown here. And it's funny that their leaves are not stiff but soft ;-)

Mandy said...

All of these are gorgeous! Those aeonium's are beautiful and I adore the Pen-wiper's...mine are covered in spots from being in the sun. Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to reading more!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Thank you so much everyone. I am so glad that you are enjoying the tour. Much more to come.

I am sorry that your Aeonium is not doing well. I'm going to look to see where you are cause I forgot. I am curious to see what you are dealing with.

Gerhard Bock said...

Candy, fantastic post (needless to say!!). I can't wait for the next installment. I simply have to make time for a trip to the Huntington. Except I may never come back!!

Ruth Bancroft Garden has Euphorbia lambii as well so it should do fine in Roseville.

Does the Huntington have a place (like a gift shop) where they sell succulents?