We spent five full days in lovely Palm Springs. The whether was very nice--warm and sunny, being in the desert and all. We had a full list of things we wanted to do and see while there, and took lots and lots of pictures. At the top of my list was the Moorten Botanical Garden. A very short walk from our hotel, the garden is owned by the Moorten family and they have been running it for over 72 years!
I had looked them up online as we were planning this trip, and wasn't too sure what to expect when we got there. Let me tell you, it was amazing! I was kind of thinking the "garden" consisted of a covered greenhouse with a collection of overgrown cacti (from what I've seen in photos online, and reviews I've read). But it is actually a beautiful outdoor "Desertland" with paths and signs of countless verities of gorgeous cacti and succulent specimens from around the world, as well as many desert trees, other plants, and all sorts of other neat stuff. Well, here, see for yourself:
This cacti has a dense coat of beautiful white spines.
From this photo, you can see the abundance of plants in the garden.
There were a lot of these tall, skinny cacti spread around the garden. These are nestled into some interestingly textured wood, others were growing out of a covering of volcanic rock (see below). So beautiful!
In all honesty, I was too busy "ooh-ing" and "ahh-ing" over the plants to take note of the names of many of them. But I'm pretty sure this is a very large Beavertail cactus Matt is posing next to.
Above is an Occotillo. It looks like a bunch of dead spiny sticks stuck in the ground, but it is actually alive and grows tiny leaves and flowers. I love the variation in color.
Like a kid in a candy store. "Wow," I kept saying.
From this shot (I apologize for all the photos of me in them, but Matt insisted on taking a lot) you can see just how many different varities are in the Cactarium (the greenhouse at the back of the garden.)
Above is an interesting form of Crassula Gollum. A very gnarly, woody stem. Below is a large, rare Cotyledon that I actually bought a small specimen of in the "gift shop" of the garden. Lucky me!!
I like this unusual succulent (aloe??)
The owners of the garden have a very good eye for neat stuff to decorate with. Below is an actual dinosaur foot print discovered in Arizona. They also had large fossils of sea shells, beautiful big chunks of white gypsum that looked like ice, volcanic rocks, ancient petrified tree trunks, even a huge chair carved out of an enormous tree trunk.
One of the few cacti blooms we saw.
There was even a corral of tortoises! We were there just in time for breakfast!
A really neat Asian-inspired section of the garden--Buddha is perched atop a mini-staircase underneath an amazing white-barked tree.
If you ever have a chance to visit this place--do it!! It is heaven for any cacti and succulent lover. At just $3 to get in, you can't go wrong. They also have a large area of plants for sale, as well as some other fun stuff. This was easily my favorite thing we did this trip.
Stay tuned for Part Two of the Palm Springs blog posts: Richard Neutra's Kaufman House!