Corona del Mar: million $$$ ocean views and agaves

When we were in Southern California last week, our daughter took us to one of her favorite spots: Inspiration Point in Corona del Mar. It offers breathtaking views of Corona del Mar State Beach, but that's not the only thing to look at: The houses lining the street are pretty impressive, too, especially this one:

It looks like it has four levels, with priceless views of the beach and the ocean. I can't even imagine what it must be like to live there.

As focused as I initially was on the views and the houses, my attention quickly shifted—surprise, surprise—to this: 

Agave americana

Agaves are like catnip to me, especially when they send up massive flower stalks—and even more so when the backdrop is so gorgeous:

In addition to Agave americana, which has pretty much become naturalized in parts of California, I quickly spotted other species that had clearly been planted:

Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light'

Agave 'Blue Glow', variegated Agave desmetiana, and golden barrel cacti (Echinocactus grusonii)

A short walk from the viewpoint proper brought me to this vista:

An entire hillside densely packed with aloes, agaves, and aeoniums! I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it on a public street.

The blue-green agaves with upright strappy leaves look to a variegated form of Agave tequilana

More Agave tequilana on the hillside across from the house above

With so many agaves, the odds are high that several of them might be in flower at any given time

Agave attenuata looking a bit like alien creatures waiting for a signal from outer space

What a spectacular spot this is. I can see why my daughter comes here to unwind and clear her head. And I were an agave, I'd want to live here!

© Gerhard Bock, 2022. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. The photo of the Agave flower stalk with nothing but blue sea and sky for background is cropped to perfections. I like that white double streak in the water, maybe left by a speed boat.
    Considering California's prolonged drought condition and water restrictions, the planting in the neighborhood is the only sensible thing: they must be water wise or die of thirst.

    1. Yes, the blur was from a speedboat. What a beautiful scene it was!

  2. Spectacular spot. So wonderful to see all of these drought tolerant street plantings instead of the usual water guzzlers. Ahhh to have a such beautiful blue water to swim in during our heat wave.

    1. Yes! Southern California has made great strides when it comes to water-wise landscaping.

  3. Before you expend the effort to imagine what it is to live in the seaside 4-story, first you must imagine the price tag on that property. Then, you should make a trip to the market to buy a Mega Millions Lotto ticket - I understand that the jackpot is currently over $1.5B so, after taxes, you might be able to buy that house ;) The stunning succulent-planted slope is what my neighborhood's smaller community garden could only hope to be.

    1. I did buy a ticket for Tuesday's drawing but darn, I didn't win. I looked up that house on Zillow; it's valued at a cool $14 million. I could buy a lot of succulents for that!

    2. Hahaha I love that on contemplating winning the lottery, your immediate thought was buying succulents! ;)

  4. For $14 million, I'd want a much, much bigger garden.

    A co-worker I knew at one time owned one of the homes in photo #8: "An entire hillside densely packed..." It was a staggering sum when they bought it in the '60's--like 100K. They scraped and sacrificed and did without for a long time to get it...just regular working people. Now worth about 100 times that.

    1. I agree! I don't think there's much room for a garden, other than the area at street level.


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