Garden Getaway to Southern California

February 24-28, 2003

Leave the cold, drab winter and join us in beautiful, balmy Southern California. Delight in the fun, history and mystique of the area. Savor the ambiance of magnificent gardens, a delightful South-of-the-border tour, museums, great art, tasty food and wonderful company.  It doesn’t get much better than this!

Get garden answers from two horticultural experts, Larry Sagers and Duane Hatch, while enjoying splendid gardens. We are excited to share these with you.

Tour Highlights

Day 1 Monday

  • Fly to Los Angeles and start on your delightful tour that morning.
  • Ride a tram or stroll through the gardens of the Arboretum of Los Angeles County – home to 4000 different species of plants. Wander amid plants from around the world. Visit the orchid and fern displays and the majestic palms gracing lovely ponds. The gardens boast the fascinating historical 113-year-old Queen Anne cottage, backdrop for TV’s Fantasy Island.

Day 2 Tuesday

  • Savor the spectacular J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, an international cultural Mecca. Magnificent and unusual gardens complement the museum, and its hilltop location provides dramatic views across Los Angeles to the ocean. Displays include Getty’s extensive collection of important art, antiquities, and impressionist paintings. See Van Gogh’s "Irises," one of the museum’s finest holdings.
  • Henry Huntington had three passions – art, books, and gardens. He amassed fabulous collections of each at the 150 acre Huntington Library and Gardens.
  • Spend the afternoon browsing the crown jewel of Southern California gardens, walking the paths of the renowned Japanese and Desert Gardens intermingled with many other outstanding collections.
  • The art gallery boasts classics like "Pinky," Gainsborough’s "Blue Boy," and major works of Constable, Turner, Reynolds and Lawrence. See outstanding collections of porcelains, tapestries, miniatures, and sculptures.
  • Browse the library collections with works from the Middle Ages to 1850 including a Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s first folio and drafts of the Magna Carta and Constitution.
  • Day 3 Wednesday
  • Ride the railway or stroll the trail through the fabulous, recently opened San Diego Wild Animal Park. This fascinating, don’t miss attraction is like taking a safari to some of the world’s most exotic habitats.
  • Set against the native habitat of the San Pasqual Valley, the Park features lush botanical displays that any garden enthusiast would find irresistible – even without the animals. Enjoy 3000 species of exotic plants on 2200 acres.
  • Animals in this preserve roam in their natural environments in vast natural habitats. You’ll feel you’ve left this hemisphere in the Heart of Africa Safari, Wgasa Bush Line Railway, Lorikeet Landing, Nairobi Village, and Condor Ridge.
  • Roam among cycads, tropical plants, flowering trees, cacti, bromeliads, acacias, and wildflowers in the deep canyons, and sunny hillsides of the Quail Botanical Gardens.
  • Stroll through the sunny walled garden, subtropical fruit garden, herb garden, and desert gardens.The plants of Australia, South Africa, Southern California, Mexico and Central America will show their February glory.

Day 4 Thursday

  • Experience the atmosphere of Mexico with our narrated tour across the border to Tijuana. Along the way, see the Tijuana Cultural Center and monuments to Abraham Lincoln, Diana, and Independence. Spend time bargain hunting in the city.
  • Garden lovers do not want to miss the San Diego Zoo, as renowned for its botanical garden as for its top ranked zoo. It is home to a half million plants, comprising 6000 species, displayed so visitors can see them and the animals in a natural setting. This zoo leads in research in microclimate displays with the plants matched to the animals. Enjoy a delightful group evening outing.

Day 5 Friday

  • Step back in time to the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, one of the best preserved missions in Southern California. Its colorful history includes its founding in 1769 at Presidio Hill, its move in 1774, and its destruction in 1803 and 1812 by earthquakes. Rebuilt again, this mission shows the resilience of the faithful.
  • Balboa Park is home to culture, museums and wonderful gardens on 1200 acres. Their lath house was the largest in the world when built in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition. See about 2,100 permanent tropical plants along with changing seasonal flowers. It is one of many delightful gardens in the park.