Sunday, March 4
Our Southern California Garden tour begins with a direct flight from Washington Dulles Airport to San Diego, arriving late in the evening in time for a get-acquainted dinner. Lodging: San Diego (D)
Monday, March 5
You are going to love sunny San Diego with its average 75 degrees all year round. No wonder 1.5 million people choose to call it home. We start the day at the world famous San Diego Zoo with a horticultural tour, emphasizing the horticultural practices necessary to keep the vegetation growing. But don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of time to see the animals. Afterward, we return briefly to our hotel before going out to Coronado Island this evening. Lodging: San Diego (B)
Tuesday, March 6
Just north of the city and a couple blocks from the Pacific is the San Diego Botanical Garden. This wonderful garden features a dozen different gardens, including rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a tropical rainforest, California native plants, and a subtropical fruit garden as well as many others. After our visit, we go to the desert at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Lodging: San Diego (B)
Wednesday, March 7
As we depart San Diego, we drive up the coast to Corona del Mar to see Sherman Library and Gardens. This is a horticultural gem with beautiful annual displays and a remarkable garden featuring desert plants. Next we head directly west into the greater Los Angeles area to the Los Angeles Arboretum. The site of many a movie and television show (like Fantasy Island), the LA County Arboretum is a wonderful collection of plants and gardens. Lodging: Marina Del Rey (B)
Thursday, March 8
Our first destination today is Descanso Gardens, a 150-acre display garden. From the Rose Garden to the Japanese Garden, it is a plant and garden lover’s delight. Close by, we explore the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, a magnificent place to visit even if one never enters the library and museum. The gardens are exquisite and the plant collections extensive. Be sure to enjoy the Japanese Garden and the new Chinese Garden.
Lodging: Marina Del Rey (B)
Friday, March 9
We have two Gettys on our calendar today, both with stellar gardens. One represents antiquity and the other modernism. The first is the Getty Villa. Located in Malibu, it contains a collection of Roman art and antiquities. It is a re-creation of a villa from Herculenium, which was destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 AD. The second is the Getty Center, a spectacular museum boasting an impressive collection by such luminaries as Van Gogh, Monet and Cezanne, along with the architectural triumph of its six buildings and gardens. At the end of the day, we depart LA, driving along the beautiful Pacific coast on our way to Santa Barbara.
Lodging: Santa Barbara (B)
Saturday, March 10
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is our first stop followed by the remarkable Old Mission Santa Barbara. One of many Spanish missions along the California coast, this mission is steeped in both history and beautiful gardens. Lodging: Santa Barbara (B)
Sunday, March 11
Lotusland is a spectacular 37-acre garden with extensive collections of exotic plants. It was home to Madame Ganna Walska, a famous Polish opera singer and socialite. You have the afternoon free to explore Santa Barbara on your own before our farewell dinner together this evening.
Lodging: Santa Barbara (B)(D)
Monday, March 12
Today we reluctantly depart Santa Barbara for our flight back to Dulles. (B)