photoS By Kieron mcKay

otanic Gardens

by Quinn roberTs

Nestled along Crenshaw Boulevard in Palos Verdes Peninsula, the South Coast Botanic Garden and its 87 acres may be the best kept secret in all of the South Bay. Created in 1959 on a sanitary landfill by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the area now boasts more than 2,500 different species of plants from as far away as Australia, the Mediterranean, and Southern Africa. The wide variety of plant life also provides food and shelter to a large wildlife and bird population, with over 200 species of birds sighted annually.

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“We exist to provide a unique horticulture experience, and because of the climate that we are in, we have the luxury of doing so,” CEO Adrienne Lao said. “you can go to the cactus garden and feel like you are somewhere in Arizona. you can go to the redwood forest and get lost amongst those trees in Northern California. I don’t know where else you can do that.” Just a few popular areas for visitors include a: fuchsia garden, banyan forest, palm collection, rose garden and garden for the senses. “Anyone can start a nice manicured lawn with flower space, but to have all of these different environments in one spot makes it so unique,” said Lao. FUCHSiA GARDEn The garden contains many different species, cultivars and new introductions. Overhead shade cloth filters strong sunlight to allow fuchsias and other shade loving plants to grow and thrive.

THAT IS NICE BECAuSE WE HAVE 87 ACRES,” Lao said. “You’ll most likely never see the same thing twice.

fashioned and miniature. The garden has also been chosen as an All-American Rose Selection Public Garden. Some hybrid roses can also be found in the area, including Mister Lincoln’s and Peace. GARDEn FOR THE SEnSES This garden is best to enjoy by smell, touch, sound and sight. The plants are arranged in groups according to the different senses and are in raised beds so they are easier to touch and smell. REDWOOD GROVE Some of the tallest trees on the property, the Coast redwoods and Sequoia’s planted in the area can reach a height of 350 feet and are able to grow to 16 feet in diameter. The trees usually grow from southern Oregon down to Monterey, California.

garDen walK
trees: our Shade providing friends (tram tour) thursday, august 25, 5-7 p.m. *exclusive to members

Bird Lecture wednesday, august 10 7-9 p.m. $20 members/$30 nonmembers Geranium Lecture Sunday, august 7 1-2 p.m. lecture included with paid garden admission

SUCCULENT GARDEN Containing cacti, euphorbia, aloes and other succulents, the garden has different varietals from Africa, Mexico, South America and the United States.

Kids Summer Concert: Norman Foote Sunday, august 7 5:30-6:30 p.m. picnic 4:30 p.m. at the door: children $10 and adults $12 Kids Summer Concert: Charlotte Diamond Sunday, august 28 5:30-6:30 p.m. picnic 4:30 p.m. at the door: children $10 and adults $12

ROSE GARDEN Containing around 1,600 roses, the James J. White Rose Garden includes such roses as: hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, old

Ensemble Spirati friday, august 12 5:30-6:30 p.m. children $5 and adults $10

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CHILDREN’S GARDEN Most popular among kids, the garden is developed around nursery rhymes with plants to match the stories. The setting is also enhanced with a dollhouse and bridge. ACACIA COLLECTION The garden’s collection of acacias include several varieties from Australia and South Africa. One of the most beautiful is the the Golden Mimosa, which is tinted purple and blooms into a yellow puff in the spring. Also look out for another type of acacia called the glaucoptera, which features blue-green zigzag leaves.

GINkO GROVE The sole survivor of a group of plants that grew abundantly in the Jurassic and Cretaceous period, the ginko is a seed bearing plant. known as a “living fossil”, the ginko has fan-shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall. Female ginko trees also have a foul smelling, edible fruit after 25 years.

PALM COLLECTION Walking throughout this section of the property, you’ll see tall king and queen palms, large Canary Island date palms and then smaller one’s like the Pygmy date palm. The only native palm called the Washingtonia filifera can also be spotted in the collection. MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN With a unique climate, full of mild, cool and rainy winters and then hot and dry summers, Mediterranean conditions can be seen in only five places in the world, one of them being California. That makes the botanic garden the best place to find native plants, including: varieties of sage and buckwheat, along with lavender and olive trees. These plants especially require little water and little to no fertilizer. Hummingbirds, butterflies and songbirds also love such plants.

the garden is open 364 days a year and closed only on christmas admission to the garden is free every third tuesday of the month (on those days around 900 people come through the gates) membership is now over 3,500 people in becoming a member of the garden, people receive free membership to over 250 botanical gardens nationwide. want to find out more information, go to www.southcoastbotanicgarden.org

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