South Coast Botanic Garden

A colorful clearing at South Coast Botanic Garden

This page is dedicated to my home away from home – South Coast Botanic Garden. It’s a lovely little spot in Rancho Palos Verdes (the southern end of Los Angeles), much recovered from how it was just 60 years ago.
I hope you have a chance to stop by and enjoy it!

DiscOasis at the Park! Check it out!

The brightly rainbow sign at the entrance of DiscOasis

DiscOasis at SCBG

DiscOasis. It’s an oasis of disco in an otherwise disco-less land. Open until Labor Day at South Coast Botanic Garden.

Keep reading

Info Desk

SCBG is open 8am to 5pm
Last entry at 4pm

The garden requires advance ticket purchase (online)
Open every day but Christmas

26300 Crenshaw Boulevard
Palos Verdes Peninsula, California 90274

Just up the hill from Crenshaw & PCH, on Crenshaw.
Keep an eye out on the left-hand side when the road widens up and trees line both sides. The entry is a short private road with two quick curves and many bumps (likely from tree roots and the land settling).


Gardens & Collections

Specialty Gardens near the Entrance in Bold

  • AGAVE COLLECTION
  • ACACIA COLLECTION
  • AMPHITHEATRE
  • BANYAN GROVE
  • BRACHYCHITON COLLECTION
  • CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS –
    • EL RINCON
    • GREENHOUSE COMPLEX
    • MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN
  • CHILDREN’S GARDEN
  • COMPOST DEMONSTRATION
  • CONIFER COLLECTION
  • CREEK BED
  • DAHLIA GARDEN
  • DESERT GARDEN
  • DISCOVERY GARDEN
  • EUCALYPTUS/MYRTACEAE COLLECTION
  • FICUS COLLECTION
  • RARE FRUIT ORCHARD
  • FUCHSIA GARDEN in honor of Ida F. Drapkin
  • GARDEN FOR THE SENSES
  • GINKO GROVE
  • GRASS GARDEN
  • GREENHOUSE COMPLEX
  • JAPANESE GARDEN
  • JUNIPER GARDEN in honor of Kay Iizuka
  • KOI POND
  • LAKE
  • MAGNOLIA COLLECTION
  • MEADOWS –
    • HIDDEN
    • LOWER
    • PHOEBE’S
    • SAKURA
    • UPPER
  • OVERLOOK
  • PALM COLLECTION
  • REDWOOD GROVE
  • ROSE GARDEN in honor of James J. White
  • SOLLER 1 SCULPTURE
  • VEGETABLE GARDEN
  • VOLUNTEER FLOWER GARDEN

The Grounds

87 acres
That’s 421,000 square yards! Or, about 3000 feet across its longest diagonal.

A pleasant walk around the perimeter of this place may take around 20 minutes. It is a little less than 1 mile, and lightly hilly.

If you get lost, just look for the green line. It follows the tram path, and leads you around the perimeter. Walk in either direction and you’ll eventually come to the Rose Garden near the entrance.

Some say there’s more than 150,000 plants. Others say 200,000. What with the seeds and all, it must be hard to keep an accurate count. All I know is: They’re lovely.

Mission Statement
The mission of South Coast Botanic Garden is to serve the community by providing a unique horticultural and wildlife habitat experience, and to represent a model of excellence for land reclamation and sustainability. 

The South Coast Botanic Garden delivers education, programs and events offering layered experiences of surprise, adventure, beauty and serenity through color, texture, sound and light.   

SCBG History & Mission

The History

In the early 1900s, the Dicalite Company began mining diatoms from the land. Long before, this land had been covered by the Pacific Ocean, and the diatoms living in the water would sink to the bottom when they died. Over the course of millennia, this built up quite a cache of desiccated diatoms, which would eventually be utilized as a resource in manufacturing. After the Dicalite Company performed a couple decades of surface mining and a little open pit mining, they sold the land to the Great Lakes Carbon Company. From 1944 – 1959, mining rose and eventually declined. The land was sold to the County of Los Angeles in 1959, at which point it began serving as a landfill for the growing urban population.

In 1961, Frances Young led a group of private citizens to request that the County Board of Supervisors change the land into a garden. This botanic garden transformed in April of 1961. when 40,000 donated plants were put into the earth. This garden was one of the first in the world to be built over a sanitary landfill.

Since then, the garden has grown to more than 200,000 plants… though I honestly think you can stop counting at that point.


Happenings

There’s always something lively happening at South Coast Botanic Garden. From events to blooms, even just plain ol’ strolls (with wonderful views), the Garden is a world of wonder. I certainly spend more time visiting the park than writing about it!

Walks

A group of leaves shining in the fresh rain

Strolling in the Rain

Had a wonderful day at South Coast Botanic Garden in some heavy rain. The leaves looked amazing! And the plants are holding up better than I did in the cold.

Events

The GLOW Fades

After a couple months of GLOW at South Coast Botanic Garden, it’s time to look back at the light and the music. (For those who didn’t attend – it’s a walking / music / plant / light show with a water theme)

someone standing in front of the living wall

GLOW – at SCBG

Glow is happening at SCBG until January 10th, 2021. If you want to take a break from being stuck indoors – or take a break from more ‘normal’ plants – swing on by the garden to see the foliage in a new light! (Yes, that was a pun)


Flora & Fauna

Potentially one of the most enjoyable parts of SCBG (aside from the whole thing) is the sheer variety of plant life. I can’t get enough! With the great location and varied mix of plants, there’s plenty of animals that call the park home. (Insects too!)

Yellow Chevroned Parakeet in a White Floss Silk Tree

Yellow Chevroned Parakeet : Far From Home

The yellow chevroned parakeet did not originate in Southern California, but it’s certainly made itself home here and across much of the surrounding area. Take a peek at this observation at SCBG, and find out more about these lovely birds!


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