The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens is a botanic garden dedicated to California native plants. If you love nature, gardening and plants, this is a must see garden for native California plants. The garden contains thousands of native species and cultivars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The garden is located in Claremont, California in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is about 60 from downtown Los Angeles, take the 10 or 210 freeways going east.

 

At 84 acres, this is a smaller garden compared the other Southern California gardens like the Descanso Gardens,  Huntington Gardens and the and LA County Arboretun. Although it is smaller in size, the amount of native California plants are enormous. The garden is dedicated to preserving native plants. It has an active research department which specializes in systemic botany and floristic. Combined with the herbarium of the neighboring Pomona College, it has millions of specimens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The landscaping is done to showcase the natural habitat of the native plants. Plants are categorized according to the plant’s ecosystem. Unlike typical gardens, it has no big areas with lawns and landscaping. It has very minimal human influence, it doesn’t look artificial like most gardens. The plants are the attractions, not the view. Hardscapes including administrative buildings are few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the untrained gardener, the botanic garden may look like a jungle of unmaintained plants and trees. Trees are not pruned and are made to  grow naturally. Palm trees are allowed to keep their skirt of brown and dried fronds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it is a non-profit organization, the garden requires a modest entrance fee. Like most gardens, it is best to visit in the spring and fall.

This garden is definitely worth seeing for gardeners, nature and plant lovers.