Celeste Mookherjee
Credit: Celeste Mookherjee

Garden Highlights

Covering 87 acres, the South Coast Botanic Garden offers a wide variety of blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers all year. Visit the Garden often and you won’t miss out! Right now the garden has transitioned from the spring bloom time into early summer, and everywhere you look is color. Our flowering fruit trees look spectacular, but they won’t last long. Be sure to plan a trip to the Garden soon, we look forward to seeing you here.

Banyan Grove
The highlight of the Ficus collection is the grove of Moreton Bay Fig trees that cover the area with a massive tangle of roots. In the spring, colorful Clivias brighten the understory of this shady grove.

California Native Plants
Growing California native plants in the Garden offers many benefits: they use less water; they provide habitat and food for birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife; they have colorful flower displays from spring to summer and berries and seeds into the fall and winter. There are several areas of the Garden where you can find California Native Plants in the landscape and gardens. The primary areas are the landscaping around the Greenhouse Complex, the Mediterranean Garden, and the El Rincon Garden at the corner of the Tram Road and the Service Yard road marked by the rustic lodge pole pergola.

sarah chah - furry

Credit: Sarah Chah

Desert Garden
The Desert Garden includes cacti, euphorbia, aloes, and other succulents. The garden is an excellent exhibition of specimens from the United States, Africa, Mexico, and South America.

Display Greenhouse
The Display Greenhouse is open to the public from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily. Designed with the color palette in mind, the colors range from warm to cool tones. Inside the greenhouse you will find a display of a variety of tropical plants such as: Adenium, Anthurium, Begonia, Bromeliad, Carnivorous plants, Cordyline, Croton, Orchids, Hoya, and Passionflower vine.

Fuchsia Garden
Established and maintained by the South Coast Branch of the National Fuchsia Society, this garden contains many different species, cultivars, and new introductions. Overhead shade cloth filters strong sunlight to allow fuchsias and other shade-loving plants to thrive.

Garden for the Senses
This garden encourages you to enjoy plants and flowers by smell, touch, sound, and sight. Plants are arranged in raised beds so they can easily be touched or smelled. Individual plant labels identify which senses the plant engages.

Tom Zimmerman

Credit: Tom Zimmerman

Japanese Garden/Koi Pond
Garden maintained with a Bonsai Display by South Coast Bonsai Association. Enjoy listening to the calming sounds of water and taking in the subdued palette of evergreen shrubbery embracing the Koi Pond. The stone lanterns were crafted of Okazaki Stone over 200 years ago in a region said to be the capital of Japan’s stone craft.

Mediterranean Garden
Mediterranean refers to a unique climate consisting of mild, cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers seen in only five places in the world: coastal California, the Mediterranean Basin, southwest Australia, the southwest Cape of South Africa, and coastal Chile. California native plants are emphasized here. Mediterranean plants are environmentally friendly because they require very little supplemental water once established. Native plants have the added benefit of providing food and shelter to wildlife and pollinators.

The Dorothy and John Bohannon Rose Garden

Every view in the remarkable Dorothy and John Bohannon Rose Garden (First Bloom coming April 2018) is breathtaking. Hand-crafted, wrought iron fence-work depicts rose emblems, rounded staircases gently welcome guests in, rich warm wood tones envelop architectural structures, a large fountain features an exquisite glass mosaic, and of course, colorful roses drip from every crevice. A grand guest entrance provides a magnificent overview of the formally planted space, allowing guests to catch a glimpse of the beautiful asymmetrical design created by renowned landscape architect, Deborah Richie-Bray, who is known for her work at the Getty Villa. Undulating pathways guide gently through a labyrinth of planted beds and sculptural elements. Two cabana structures flank the central court and provide shade on a hot day. The celebration lawn houses several formal entrance paths that lead to a grand pergola with a raised plaza which will serve as a “stage” for events and ceremonies.

The more than 80 rose selections feature a variety of forms, from climbers to ground covers. The choice of fragrant roses such as the David Austin English, create a space of beauty in sight and scent. Rose cultivars have also been chosen by theme (the Flower Girl lines the potential bride’s path) and color (notice the ombré effect from peach to pink to red on the eastern side.) Some of the oldest varieties were hybridized in the 1800’s including Barrone Prevoset and Madame Plantier. These along with 20 rare cultivars were saved from the original garden. The Rose Garden has a unique planting design that will provide year-round appeal with plenty of non-rose companion plantings to ensure a lush experience. While typically rose gardens close for pruning when the main event plants have been clipped down to bare sticks, the layered and diverse plant palette of this garden will provide delight year-round. Watch for bursts of purple jacaranda, hot pink crape myrtle, and powdery pink cherry blossoms up high, and lower to the ground seek out blooming paper whites, sage, boxwood and succulents.

Other specialty gardens include:

Credit: Sarah Cha

Volunteer Flower Garden This garden features an ever-changing palette of colorful seasonal flowers. Tended to by our volunteers.

WaterWise Garden Utilizing such trees as Acacia, Toyon, Palo Verde and shrubs such as cactus, junipers, and sedum, this garden offers attractive plant alternatives which do not require much water. Dahlia Garden The Dahlia display garden is in bloom from mid-summer to late fall. Showy blooms in a large variety of colors and sizes makes this flower so popular. Be sure to visit when they are in bloom.