Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

When I was a little girl growing up in Southern California, my Mom used to take me to the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden as a treat. It was commonly referred to as “Lucky Baldwin’s” back then — after Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin, who purchased the property way back in 1875 — and it was always a thrill for me to see the peacocks there.

There are many peacocks at the Los Angeles County Arboretum today, as I happily discovered while attending the Garden Writers Association’s annual symposium in Pasadena recently.

Some folks might recognize Baldwin’s guest house, known as “the Cottage,” from the old “Fantasy Island” TV series. (you know, “Da plane! Da plane!”) It’s situtated on the edge of Baldwin Lake.

So what all does this have to do with gardening? Plenty! In 1947, Los Angeles County purchased acreage surrounding Baldwin’s homesite, for the purpose of creating an arboretum and it has been steadily expanded upon over the course of many years.

Visitors to the Los Angeles County Arboretum will find orchid greenhouses, a formal rose garden, an herb garden, perennial test gardens, water conservation gardens, the Prehistoric and Jungle Garden, a waterfall and more. You would be amazed by all of the different plant collections representing Australia, Africa, Madagascar and the Canary Islands. And oh yes, there are lots of peacocks!

I’ve assembled some photos here to give you a mini tour of the gardens. It is well worth a visit!

Los Angeles County Arboretum
There are many diverse plantings.

 

Los Angeles County Arboretum
“The Cottage” 

 

Los Angeles County Arboretum
Part of the formal rose garden.

 

Los Angeles County Arboretum

 

Los Angeles County Arboretum
Zucchino rampicante (similar to what I grew this summer).
Los Angeles County Arboretum

 

Los Angeles County Arboretum
Beautiful raised beds in the vegetable garden.

 

Los Angeles County Arboretum
Turtle pond.

 

Los Angeles County Arboretum
Oh, and did I mention peacocks?