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5 Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles
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5 Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles

If you love nature and gardens then you should definitely check out these 5 most beautiful botanical gardens in Los Angeles.

Palig Dzadourian

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5 min read

May 27, 2022

Disclaimer: California.com is not receiving any type of compensation for reviewing any of the products mentioned in this article.

Los Angeles is famous for a lot of things, but one thing it will never lack is beauty. This sunny city is always brimming with gorgeous locations to see, with its raw untamed wildlife, clear skies, and entrancing beach views, it’s hard to not fall in love with Los Angeles. While it is usually the parks that are the center of attention, we are here to put the spotlight on some of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Los Angeles that might steal your heart.

1. Japanese Gardens

Experience the tranquility that the Japanese Gardens will bring you.

Japanese gardens are known for their classic compositions of stone, water, and plants. The stone is the main structure of the garden, the water is considered to be the life-giving force, and the plants add the final touch of changing colors depending on the seasons.

There are quite a few Japanese-style botanical gardens to be found in the city of Los Angeles, one of the most stunning gardens being The Japanese Garden in Van Nuys. This hidden gem is easy to drive by as it could go unnoticed if you do not know of its whereabouts, but if you do visit you will be met with 6 1/2 acre land, featuring three gardens in one. The Japanese gardens were designed by doctor Koichi Kawana, and are one of the free botanical gardens in Los Angeles. A dry Zen meditation garden is available, a three-Buddha arrangement of stones, and even a high-quality Chisen or “wet-strolling” garden with a waterfall, lakes, and streams. Along this path are also stone lanterns hand carved by Japanese artisans, and once you reach the end of it, inside the Shoin Building is an authentic tatami-mat tea house room and tea garden.

2. Huntington Botanical Gardens 

The Japanese Garden at the Huntington Botanical Gardens and library will surely find a way in your heart.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, are an absolute must-see botanical garden when you are in the area. With over 15,000 plants all divided into the 16 themed gardens you can visit, varying from plants native to the state to plants affiliated with Shakespeare, bonsai, and even a big, one of the world’s largest, collection of succulents and cacti.

The themed gardens are all very beautiful indeed, attracting a good 800,000 visitors from all over, it is one of the most popular gardens in Los Angeles. The most notable gardens are the Jungle Garden, Lily Ponds, Desert Garden, Children’s Garden, and the Japanese Garden. The Japanese Garden found at Huntington Botanical gardens is the most photographed one out of all, due to the aesthetic drum bridge and the mesmerizing bonsai court, and the Japanese House.

When you are visiting Huntington Botanical Gardens, while the gardens should take most of your time as they do take all day to fully enjoy, there are a few other activities you can do there. Some of these activities include the art collections and illustrated manuscripts you can look at once you head over to the Huntington Library building.

3. Descanso Gardens

Enter the Descanso Gardens and take in the sheer beauty of the flora and fauna featured here.

The Descanso Gardens are located in La Cañada, spanning an impressive 150 acres where you can find 9 botanical garden collections, a miniature railroad you can ride, a house museum, an art gallery, a gift shop, and even a cafe. After purchasing your tickets online (unless you are a member), each costing $15, you will be able to enter the gardens and experience the enchanting flora and fauna of the Descanso Gardens. The featured Camellia bushes collection is one of the biggest in North America and has been a part of the Descanso Gardens for many decades. If you are more interested in roses, however, this California rose garden has over 3,000 of them, each more mesmerizing than the next.

A new addition to the gardens is the Ancient Garden, where you can take a glance at the cycad plants that remain virtually unchanged since prehistoric times; a collection of over 180 plants of 60 varieties. Take a glimpse into the past as you walk among these ancient-looking plants, a true wonder.

4. South Coast Botanical Gardens

A charming little gazebo surrounded by colorful flowers, this botanical garden is one you should definitely visit.

Taking a break from the verdant trees and flowers, the South Coast Botanical Gardens focuses more on drought-resistant plants. Just 10-miles south of the Los Angeles International Airport, the South Bay botanical gardens is located in the Palos Verdes Peninsula and is most definitely worth a visit. Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Peninsula”, this Los Angeles botanical garden has a wide selection of plants, 2,500 of them. Discover California native plant collections; not only do they not need a lot of watering, but they also serve as habitats and food for bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.

If you are feeling a little whimsical, or want your kids to find something, particularly engaging for them, the Children’s Garden and Children’s discovery gardens is surely a must-see. This area of the botanical garden is shaped around nursery rhymes, each plant chosen to match the energy and theme of the stories. There is even an enchanted dollhouse towards the entrance of this themed garden that makes things a whole lot more fun!

As an added bonus, there are specific hours dedicated to dog walks, you will be able to bring your dogs along with you during that time and enjoy the beauty of the garden with your best pals at your side.

5. Los Angeles County Arboretum 

The relaxing sounds of the waterfall at the Arboretum will make you forget all about your worries.

A 127-acre overflowing with stunning landscapes, the Los Angeles County Arboretum is a place where you can find tranquility and relaxation while you walk through it. Located in the center of what used to be Rancho Santa Anita in Arcadia, this botanical garden is also a historical site, there is no shortage of things to do when you are here. As soon as you enter you will see the Peacocks roaming around the gardens, and while they are docile for the most part it is best to not engage with them too much as they might feel threatened.

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 The themed gardens include the Water Conservation Garden, where you will find a showcase of Mediterranean plants from all around the world, and the Rainbow Serpent Garden where you will see a path shaped like a serpent inspired by the Australian creation myth of the Aborigines. The slithering path creates an illusion of a snake crawling through Australian plants, which is a pretty rare sight to see in Los Angeles.

Among the many other gardens is the Aquatic Gardens which is where the Meyberg Waterfall is, a beautiful addition to the Garden, found at the summit of the Tallac Knoll.

There are also a few historical structures you can check out while you’re visiting, that include the Queen Anne Cottage, the Coach Barn, and many more. A great way to educate yourself on the cultural heritage of the state.



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