Huntington Desert Garden, finally

The Desert Garden at the Huntington in Pasadena, CA is one of the oldest and most revered succulent gardens in the world. It’s been at the very top of my must-see list for many years, and today I finally got a chance to visit it. This post is just a teaser. I took over 400 photos and will have several detailed posts in the weeks to come.

Many aloes were in full bloom, others are just starting, so there’ll be a lot of aloe action over the next couple of months. I wish I could come back in late January to see the many Aloe marlothii in full bloom since it’s my favorite aloe species. Well, one of them in any case.

Tomorrow I’m heading on to Phoenix, Arizona and then to Tucson. I’ll try to post as much as I can from the road, but rest assured I’ll have extensive coverage of what I saw in January and February.


Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’ in bloom


Aloe splendor


Aloe ‘David Verity’


Aloe x principis (a naturally occurring hybrid between Aloe ferox and Aloe arborescens)


Aloe x principis


Aloe pluridens

141227_Huntington_0262 141227_Huntington_0261

Aloe pluridens


Agave parryi var. truncata and Echinocatus grusonii


I have no idea who this is, but I loved how her hair was backlit just like the golden barrel cactus


Aloe ‘Sophie’ and Agave aff. parryi


Agave parrasana starting to flower


Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata), Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’ and Bambusa oldhamii across the way


I’m not sure these are the best shoes for exploring the gardens, but they are definitely more stylish than my well-worn New Balance sneakers!


2014 Desert Trip index


  1. Congratulations on your first visit, and let there be many more. Guess where I was planning to spend today? Yup, the Huntington. You've set a high bar, sir by providing IDs to all the aloes!

    1. Wow, what coincidence! The next time I'm down here I'll let you know well in advance. Maybe we can meet up ?!?

      As for the IDs, there are so many aloes I'd never seen before, so I was trying to be ultra diligent about keeping track. Unfortunately, many plants aren't labeled...

      My favorite of the flowering aloes was 'David Verity'. The bicolor flowers are stunning.

  2. I wouldn't believe it was this beautiful if I hadn't just seen it all for myself (485 photos btw, and I'll be leaning on this post for aloe id...). Glad you made it!

    1. Let me know if you need help IDing anything. I took photos of plant labels whenever I could find them.

  3. I had no idea you hadn't visited Huntington – congrats! I went for the first time this past June and I think about going back at least a couple times a month. I'm looking forward to your upcoming post.

  4. Fabulous you were able to visit, this is also one of the gardens that's in our 'must see in the future' list! Your teaser photos gave us a glimpse of gorgeous scenes, so looking forward to the rest of your photos!

    1. You must put the Huntington on your must-see list if you ever visit Southern California.

  5. Wow! Perfect timing for this visit. Can't wait to see you next post. I love how you capture the lady ' s hair to compare with the golden barrel cactus.

  6. Replies
    1. If it were any more exciting, my heart wouldn't be able to take it! You're so lucky to live relatively close.


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