What's blooming right now in L.A. area?

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)February 5, 2012

Hello, Southern Californians -- I lucked into a really low airfare to L.A. from New England and what with midwinter cold and restlessness (no gardening possible this month), I'm flying to L.A. on Feb. 7 for a week, renting a car, and driving around to enjoy real flowers and wear the T-shirts I had packed away last September.

I need your advice: what gardens do you recommend I visit? I'll definitely get to the Huntington Library in Pasadena but don't know where else to go.

Carol

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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Aloes are blooming at Lotusland in Santa Barbara. I don't know how long it takes to get reservations there, though. It sounds like you'll have a fun trip!
Renee

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:26AM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Lotusland, wow! I didn't know about it. Looked it up online, and it seems fabulous! I wasn't planning to go to Santa Barbara, was going to drive north on a twisty road past Ojai, then all the way past Fresno, then return.

Any other possibilities? Worth visiting Burbank where the eminent Luther did his plant work?

Carol

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:16AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I'd also suggest visiting the gardens at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and the new Getty Museum . The Los Angeles State and County Arboretum is also close to the Huntington, I don't know how well it has recovered since all the tree damage from high winds recently.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:07AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Unless you have a special reason to go to Fresno, turn off from Ojai and head for Santa Barbara. Then maybe take in the wineries in Santa Ynez and Los Olivos. Beautiful country this time of year. Any time of year.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 2:42PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

If you hike out in the hills you'll see blue Ceonothus blooming now. I've seen a number of Agave attenuata blooming in gardens, huge flower spikes now. Orange bird of paradise are showing off now, too. Ornamental pears are clouds of white petals, but they won't last long.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:30PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

The Arboretum and Descanso are close to the Huntington, so I'd do those.
Renee

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:03PM
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dicot

I'd second the Getty, LA Arboretum and Descanso and add South Coast Botanic gardens in Palos Verdes. That garden is good, not great, but the main reason to go is to also walk the trail along PV bluffs, looking out to Catalina island. The greenbelt there is planted with sages, chamise, coyote bush, ceanothus and other salt-tolerant natives. Here's 2 pics I took last spring, the first one of many stands of purple sage (Salvia leucophylla).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 3:46PM
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lgteacher(SCal)

The Huntington;s desert section is in bloom, as well as the trees in the Chinese garden. If you go to Santa Barbara, there is a botanic garden there, and there are several orchid farms along the coast.

Here is a link that might be useful: What's Growing On?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 4:30PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

There is a type of sub-tropical tree in bloom right now, I think it's called Tabeiua? It's amazing sight as it flowers when leafless and the whole canopy is loaded with blossoms. Like a Winter-time Jacaranda, but a little more on the light pink side.

And also, most of the deciduous magnolias are blooming too.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:06AM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Thanks to all of you for your advice. I got to see a bunch of gardens and museums. Since my return flight doesn't leave until tonight, think I'll drive down to Palos Verdes and enjoy the plants, the coast, and wearing a T-shirt outdoors (albeit with raincoat). Huntington, Descanso, Norton Simon, LA Arboretum all wonderful.

Carol

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 12:33PM
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dicot

Hope you have a nice time, despite the rainy weather. I saw a few grey whale spouts this weekend, sorry I forgot to mention they're migrating now, so a pair of binoculars would have been good (or that whale-watching boats run out of the Long Beach marina, next to the Aquarium of the Pacific -- oops).

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 1:45PM
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