The Desert Garden Initiative
At 10 acres, and with over 5,000 species of succulent plants, The Huntington’s Desert Garden has one of the most comprehensive and superlative botanical collections of its kind in the world. No other succulent garden is as fully developed, harbors as many mature specimens, or receives as many visitors. Indeed, few living plant collections or gardens in North America, of any kind, rival the Desert Garden in diversity, scientific significance, originality, and impact.
As the Desert Garden enters its second century, there is a renewed emphasis on its scientific mission as an important conservation collection of rare plants from threatened deserts and dryland habitats around the world. Here, these fragile and endangered plants are propagated, studied, shared, and preserved for posterity. Programmatically, the Desert Garden and Collection will advance research, interpretation, and education through enlightening programs designed to foster appreciation, promote conservation, and introduce beautiful water-efficient plants to gardeners.
In 2010, a new master plan for the Desert Garden was completed that outlines future priorities for the garden. In the initial term, the plan seeks to make a series of capital and programmatic improvements to the Desert Garden to enhance interpretation and educational activities for visitors; improve physical accessibility; enhance botanical care and propagation; and to provide improved working conditions for staff and volunteers.
The first phase is focused on the upper portion of the garden. It includes replacement of an existing greenhouse with a new, larger conservatory on a site to the northeast of the existing structure. This new conservatory will serve as a main entry point into the Desert Garden as well as its signature interpretive and educational space.
In conjunction with the building improvements, new wheelchair-accessible visitor paths will be constructed through the garden Along with network of paths, four interactive greenhouses for plant display and propagation will be created. These educational spaces will serve an added function of protecting sensitive plants from climate variation.
While this project will unfold over many years, The Huntington is seeking funds to start the project and to build the new conservatory and northern portion of the interpretive elements as part of a first project phase. The cost for this part of the project is projected at $7 million.
To make a contribution to this project, or for more information, please email Randy Shulman
, assistant vice president for Advancement or call 626-405-2293.