Two Gardens in Palm Springs California

When we decided to go to Palm Springs this winter, I did a bit of research to see what gardens or greenspaces within the urban region we could visit.   The Palm Springs region extends out southeast and includes other cities such as Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert.  I was very curious about the desert landscape and it was interesting to drive around the large suburban grid pattern of streets with landscaped sidewalks nestled beside the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.

I found two gardens that showcased cacti and other drought-resistant plants which I bookmarked "to see" and we managed to fit both into our vacation schedule.   If there had been more time (as I mentioned in my first Palm Springs post) I would have added some hotel resort gardens as some looked rather magical.  (I will be adding these for sure the next time we visit!)

So the two that we visited were:

Moorten Botanical Garden (1701 S Palm Canyon Drive)

This is a small private (business-owned) garden that is near downtown Palm Springs.  The descriptions that we read online for this garden mentioned that it is small and could be done in 30 minutes or so and that was accurate.  

But don't be deterred by the size however, as they have such a diverse number of cacti that are displayed along meandering paths and it was an impressive garden.  The plants are well labelled and they have some great specimens - many taller than the visitors themselves.  It's like a mini cacti forest!  

There are benches and lovely lighting for those that want to pause and stay longer and you will also find the world's first Cactarium - a greenhouse that holds many unique and rare types of cacti from around the world.  Those who like wildlife will find this to be a bird haven (including hummingbirds) and there are tortoises (although they were hibernating when I visited!).  Visitor's can also enjoy a free tour (included with the admission price) - see their website for more details!

Hours, Tours and Cost listed on the Moorten Botanical website
(Free Street Parking)

Sunnylands (37977 Bob Hope Dr)

I wasn't sure what to expect from Sunnylands but when I saw the photos online I knew it should be a photographer's dream.  The gardens are so incredible, with plants lined up to create a modern landscaping aesthetic that is so calming and simplistic.  The repeating patterns provide this incredibly serene backdrop and our visit there did not disappoint.  I only wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy a drink on the patio and appreciate the setting for another hour or so.  So my recommendation is to give yourself time to enjoy and visit at a leisurely pace.

Sunnylands has no entry fee and provides lots of free programming including music on the lawn, yoga & tai chi, children's activities and some free garden and bird walks.  There are also paid tours that you can reserve for both the estate and home (which is in another section of the property) and they offer other guided themed tours as well.

Hours, Directions, etc. on the Sunnylands website
(Free parking lot)

Have you been to Palm Springs?  What was your favourite Nature spot that you visited?

Did you have any unique encounters with wildlife?

See More of our Palm Springs Trip here

Seeking Winter Desert Warmth in Palm Springs
The (Urban) Birds of Palm Springs 2018
- The Flora & Fauna outside (and above) the Palm Springs area!
- Short Drive from Palm Springs: A Favourite Wildlife Preserve

p.s. Sorry about the smudge (foggy lens) in Sunnylands.  I thought it was a sun flare and by the time I realized I should clean my lens we were just finishing our visit.  (Always more to learn with photography!)

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