Quarryhill Botanical Garden
Glen Ellen, California
June 2008

This 20 acre garden was founded in 1987.

Entrance plaque

Collections are concentrated on the flora of East Asia with numerous species from China and Japan. The garden has sponsored a number of seed collection trips to Asia and most of the plants in the garden’s collections are raised from these seeds.

The entrance trail takes you past a planting of beautiful shrub roses, up a gently sloping hill. A wheelchair might have trouble but it is easy walking.

entrance trail

The rose is Rosa soulieana, the first of a number of shrub roses you will see along the trails.
Rosa soulieana

The first feature you come to is an arbor in a densely planted island.


The arbor is covered in a beautiful vine I've never seen before, a legume called Millettia dielsiana, covered with stunning pink, pea-like flowers.

Millettia dielsiana

The trails then wind through forest and clearings, all planted with Asian natives. Of course there are some California natives but it seems like a slice of Asian woodland. It's really impressive how much has been accomplished here in only twenty years. The site was originally filled with quarries so there was probably little native vegetation to deal with, but the growth of these Asian plants is impressive.

trails view

One of the major plant collections here is lilies, and they are scattered throughout the site. Its not often I've seen lilies naturalized on a site and it makes a great impression.

Lilium leucanthum

There are two ponds on the site, an upper and a lower connected by a waterfall. The topography of the site is really visible as you look over the ponds.

lower pond

This is a beautiful, young garden with an amazing collection of Asian plants. It really needs to work on labeling and interpretation. Their self-guided tour has some great information in it, but only talks about 19 plants. Otherwise, only a small percentage of the plants have identification labels. Some interpretive material telling about their major collections, and why they have them, would also be a great addition. These small criticisms shouldn't deter anyone from visiting though. We spent three hours wandering happily through the site.

To see more photos of Quarryhill, click

here to visit the official Quarryhill website.

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