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Lucky Baldwin's home L.A. Arboretum

The L.A. Arboretum is located on land that once was the center of Lucky Baldwin's estate.  His home in the southern part of the Arboretum is fully furnished in the style of his era.  The stained glass windows are particularly revealing of his interests.  The coach house for his horses and carriages is nearby.  And the Santa Anita Park horse racing track, which Baldwin founded, is across the street from the Arboretum.

Lucky Baldwin's statement upon first seeing the land that became his Southern California home was reputedly: "This is paradise!"  But he didn't leave the environment as he found it.  Early photos of his home show extensive landscaping:  palms, orange trees and roses are featured prominently.  The photos were used to promote Southern California so he could sell off the thousands of acres he purchased with the fortune he made in the Comstock Mine.

Today the Arboretum is home to a huge variety of trees -- some planted by Baldwin, most added later.  And, in recent years the Arboretum has expanded its mandate to become a Botanic Garden.

NOTE:  There is a more recent, more detailed preview of the Arboretum on my Hot Gardens website.  You can see it here.


Los Angeles Arboretum Catawampus sculture Not far from the Baldwin home is the bent willow sculpture created by the famed artist Patrick Dougherty.  This house-size sculpture, built in early 2008,  is not permanent, but will be dismantled.

NOTE: In December 2011 a violent wind storm completely destroyed this extraordinary work of art.

Australian acacia in bloom In the northern part of the Arboretum is an enormous collection of Australian trees and shrubs, including eucalyptus and cabbage palms. The  acacia in this photo thrives in hot, dry climates and the colors are the national colors of Australia: yellow and green.

Los Angeles Arboretum cactus garden Nearby are new cactus and succulent gardens planted in a scale for residential use -- basically demonstration plantings.

Tropical forest L.A. Arboretum On a hot summer day, the Tropical Forest section is cool and refreshing.  It surrounds a natural lake that in periods of drought has been known to dry up.   Presently, the lake is full to the brim.

Peacock at L.A. Arboretum Peacocks and peahens roam the Arboretum and adjacent areas at will.  And sometimes they put on a dramatic show.

To visit the Arboretum's official site for hours, fees, and events, click here.

See the list below for other online previews of botanic gardens in the West.

Poodle Springs signed by Parker

How to create a "Night Garden" to enjoy on warm summer evenings.

Take these online botanic garden preview tours, too:
Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden  - Arcadia
Descanso Gardens - near Pasadena 
Arlington Garden - in Pasadena
Huntington Gardens Desert Garden  - near Pasadena
Getty Villa Gardens - Malibu
South Coast Botanic Garden - near southwest Los Angeles  
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden - Claremont, California
Balboa Park Botanical Gardens - San Diego 
Tucson Public Gardens 
Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden 
Shore Acres Gardens  - Coos Bay, Oregon
San Luis Obispo Creek Park - San Luis Obispo, California
Japanese Garden - Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California 
Tropical Garden in the Dominican Republic
Japanese Garden - Long Beach, California

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