Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
The adventuresome types may like to travel the world seeing cacti and succulents growing wild. Others prefer a visit to a botanical garden instead of a jaunt around the globe. Here are some suggested gardens and destinations worth a visit. Because the climate of the Southwest is so suitable for these plants, it is certainly no accident that many of the best known public gardens are in this region.
Huntington Botanical Gardens
Located in San Marino, California, the full name of this favorite destination is the Huntington Library Art Collection and Botanical Gardens. This garden includes one of the finest collections of cacti and succulents youíll find anywhere. The Desert Garden is one special garden within this site.
This was founded by Henry Edwards Huntington, an Eastern transplant who became a developer and entrepreneur in the early 1900ís in the Los Angeles area. Do allow plenty of time for your visit. There is so much to see just in the Desert Garden, which covers over ten acres and includes every imaginable type of cacti and succulent. All in all, this has 12 themed gardens with over 200 acres. The gardens feature tree aloes, gigantic tree-like euphorbias and cereus.
For those wishing to see the majestic saguaro cactus, the AAPR magazine recommended the I-17 route from Flagstaff to Phoenix, Arizona. Along the way youíll see not only saguaros but lots of other cactus and native succulents as well.
J.Paul Getty Museum and Gardens
This includes the celebrated Getty Center, which was a new addition added in the late 1990ís or so. This includes an art museum as well. The estate originally began with a reproduction of a historical Italian villa from the era dating to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Like any other new building in Los Angeles, the new Getty Center is quite modern in style. In keeping with that, the grounds of the new center are landscaped in a contemporary garden style, which some find a little too stark for their taste. The cactus garden terrace is one of the new plantings. The Central Garden at the Getty Center was designed by artist Robert Irwin rather than by a landscape architect.