things and places for homes and gardens

Moorten Botanical Garden

Tuesday 14 June 2011 - Filed under Gardens

Moorten Botanical Garden
One of the most charming and magical places I visited during my California road trip was Moorten Botanical Garden.. It’s a family run botanical garden operated today by Clark Moorten, son of Chester “Cactus Slim” and Patricia Moorten who established the garden in 1938.

Moorten Botanical Garden
It’s a small garden, occupying part of one block, just a couple blocks off the main road running through Palm Springs, small enough that non-gardeners don’t complain too much if you drag them along. They might even end up liking it, if not for the plants, then maybe for the birds, tortoises and lizards.

hummingbird and nest 2
We were lucky to get to spot a hummingbird nesting on a cactus, right at eye level. We didn’t want to get too close to disturb the nest, but can you imagine how tiny the the babies must be?

thevetia peruviana
Just breathtaking, all of it.

Moorten Botanical Garden

bombax elipticum

star flower stapelia in landscape

saguaro skeleton 2
I love that they left a Saguaro skeleton standing – such character in a garden with age.

giraffes eat it
Almost all the plants had labels on painted rocks or wood. I think these are my favorite garden markers ever.

bromiliads are wild pineapples

World's First Cactarium
The World’s First Cactarium surely deserved an in depth investigation, but some scardey cats are worried about meeting snakes in confined spaces (okay me). Maybe I’ll get my courage up on my next visit this fall.

Scurrying noises in the dirt always have me on edge looking for snakes, but it always turned out to be a lizard. They were everywhere, running out on paths, stopping to do some lizard push ups, then hurrying back under the brush.

Snakes I would prefer not to meet, but tortoises are a different story.

turtle dove cage
Turtle doves, I think? There were tons of these in the wild, too. Be careful around these crazy drivers-they always look surprised to be in flight, about to crash at any moment.

And a little extra incentive, there are also plants for sale. Because I was at the start of a long road trip back to Portland I had to leave empty handed, but if I could have fit one of those pots of huge blue agaves I posted yesterday into the rental car, it would have come home with me.

2011-06-14  »  megan

Talkback x 3

  1. ricki - sprig to twig
    15 June 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    Way to come roaring back, Megan. I think that garden has what it takes to convert even the most reluctant garden visitor. Huntington did it for mine.

  2. Loree / danger garden
    15 June 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    So I wonder just how out of the way Palm Springs is on our trip home from Phoenix this fall?…Looks worth a little sidetracking…

  3. Jane / MulchMaid
    16 June 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    Nice! And right up my alley with the cactus love and those signs. Lizard pushups always make me laugh.