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The hidden gardens of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is considered the land of sandy beaches and endless highways, but the city has carved out a few secret gardens of its own. For horticultural enthusiasts or visiting flower fans, here are some of the most beautiful hidden gardens in Los Angeles that even locals don’t know about.

On the first day of each year the Rose Parade provides a horticultural visual feast on the streets of Pasadena, but just down the road The Huntington Library houses not one but fourteen hidden gardens. Inside the Huntington are a fascinating collection of rare books, manuscripts and art, most notably Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy. However, it’s their numerous themed gardens that we’re interested in. Covering 120 acres in total and not often visited, they are truly worth the trip. From the Desert Garden filled with 5,000 succulents and desert plants to the resplendent Japanese Garden, lose yourself in these gorgeous hidden gardens.

Travel a little farther down the road to Arcadia you’ll discover the Arboretum. If you’re looking to view plant collections from all over the world, some of which are rare and endangered, The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is the place. Spread across 127 acres, you’ll find gardens devoted to different world regions, from Australia to Asia, as well as gardens cultivated by the local community.

Griffith Park is considered the largest municipal park in Los Angeles, but hidden along the trail is a manmade garden cultivated over three decades. Amir Dialameh began his namesake garden in 1971 after a fire deprived the area of vegetation. The garden’s trees and plants were picked to make it an oasis of tranquility for Griffin Park hikers who stumble across it.

What once was the estate of the Robinson department store founders is now a bucolic public garden looking out over the Beverly Hills Hotel. Book a guided tour at the Robinson Gardens to get an up-close view of the Australian King Palm Forest, Rose Garden and Italian Terrace Garden.

Speaking of hidden garden estates, just a stone’s throw away is the Greystone Estate, built by Edward L. Doheny in 1927 and purchased by the City of Beverly Hills in 1965 to become a public park. Roam the grounds and the many elaborate gardens, which are open to the public, and take in the location for many Hollywood films, such as There Will Be Blood and Star Trek Into Darkness.


Written by Lauren Garroni

Image credits:

Griffith Park © iStock

LA Arboretum © iStock

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