Los Angeles is fertile ground for lush gardening with its ever-sunny, Mediterranean climate. And you don’t have to look far to find these green landscapes.
Sure, you may know Getty’s Central Garden and the botanical gardens at The Huntington Library, but many secret gardens dot the nooks and crannies of the city’s best neighborhoods.
We searched everywhere to find 10 secret Los Angeles parks that you can visit—some of which are free.
The garden of the Norton Simon Sculpture Museum, Pasadena
After perusing the museum’s collections, head out to enjoy the art and nature of sculpture garden Inspired by Giverny to Monet. A large pond filled with water lilies surrounded by seasonal flowers and bronze statues. A path bordering daylilies and swamp plants leads to lemon-scented frankincense and bamboo trees and a stone waterfall in the shade of cypress and cedar trees.
Garden Prince, Griffith Park
The A garden on top of a hill with sweeping views of the city It is a haven for hikers and equestrians. Iranian immigrant Amir Dilameh planted the garden in 1971 after a fire broke out in the mountain. Amir, who passed away in 2003, single-handedly planted a tangle of wild trees and water-bearing plants to prevent fires from consuming this rugged patch of land. Being a creative gardener, he built plants from recycled materials and placed benches in comfortable spots along a maze of walkways. You don’t have to be a zealous hiker to get to this secret Los Angeles park tended by volunteers. It’s a half-mile walk on a sandy fire road.
California Botanical Garden, Claremont
Take a walk in the largest park in the world Dedicated to the native plants of California. Thousands of plants in their natural habitat decorate the 86-acre garden. Habitats include wildflower meadow, fan palm oasis, redwood grove, desert plants, oak trees, and Joshua trees. Keep your eyes open for rabbits, the family of foxes, and birds.
Virginia Robinson Gardens, Beverly Hills
In 1911 Virginia and Harry Robinson (of Robinson Stores) found a barren field, built a mansion, and grew a garden that evolved into An oasis of 6.2 acres With Front Meadow, Italian Terrace Garden, King Palm Forest, Rose Garden, and other spaces where the Robinsons have hosted lavish garden parties attended by royalty and celebrities. This Los Angeles park is now a Los Angeles County public park open by appointment. Book a tour or join the annual garden tour (next tour October 22, 2022) to learn more about this historic property.
SuihoEn Japanese Garden, San Fernando Valley
There is a purpose and symbolism to everything in this Authentic Japanese garden, which uses water from the Donald C. Tillman reclamation plant. Reclaimed water feeds the lake and the three-tiered waterfalls (symbolizing heaven, man and earth) in the “wet walk” garden, where water lilies and lotuses bloom in summer. In the dry Zen garden, heaps of dichondra form the tortoise island (symbols of longevity), and the path leads to a tree covered with wisteria. There is also a traditional tea garden and a tatami tea café within a bamboo fence.
Arlington Garden, Pasadena
Site The only dedicated public park in Pasadena It was initially designated for a highway. But societal opposition diverted the proposed route to thriving Arlington Garden, a botanical garden with a citrus orchard and native animals that attract birds, bees and butterflies.
Mildred E. Matthias Botanical Garden, University of California
Located on the campus of the University of California, over 3,000 species of plants grow on 7.5 acres Mildred y Matthias Botanical Garden. Among the diverse groups are indigenous Hawaiian flora, an ancient forest, and a Mediterranean ecosystem. The year-round stream (thanks to a recirculation pump) provides a habitat for turtles and koi.
Gardena Willows Wetland Reserve, Gardena
Explore one of the last things left Natural wetlands in the Los Angeles area. The 13.6-acre preserve is an urban oasis with tall willow trees, native plants, water features, and wildlife. The community-supported nature park is home to birds and butterflies and is a migration station for ducks and other migrants.
Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, Long Beach
See black rock beach, feed koi fish, do yoga in zen garden, relax in tea garden at this place secret Garden in Long Beach. The 1.3-acre hybrid Japanese garden is located on the campus of California State University in Long Beach and has an enviable bonsai collection as well.
Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden, Catalina Island
Perched on top of a hill on Catalina Island Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden It is home to plants that grow only on the California Islands. Once in Catalina via a one-hour boat trip, you can walk, bike, or drive a golf cart to the park. The monument is named after the island’s chief developer, William Wrigley Jr., and is the centerpiece of the Botanical Garden.
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