27 November 2012

The Arizona Garden at Stanford

Early on the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving... the last big platter washed and put away, the last airport run and family goodbyes...maybe just one more taste of pumpkin pie...then an early hike through the Stanford University campus, just to get the cobwebs out and shake it up a bit after too much time sitting, visiting, laughing, eating and drinking.

Still, I have lived four miles from Stanford for almost 17 years now, and I never even knew about the Arizona Garden.  What a surprise! We were walking in the early morning mist with Nicky running free under the olive orchard, the eucalyptus forest and the majestic oaks... when we came upon the most startling and beautifully haunting garden setting.

Designed and planted over a hundred years ago, the garden was for the Stanford family home. It is home to hundreds of varieties of desert plants, and has a friendly, meandering pathway throughout. Nothing is labelled; it was clearly a labor of love and not meant to instruct. It is masterful in that. We spent easily 45 minutes completely alone exploring every square inch... and Nicky was happiest of all, playing hide and seek with us and peek-a-boo darting around the succulent plants. 

Returning home, I of course googled the garden and found that the Arizona Garden had fallen into disrepair for half a century and is now being slowly restored by local volunteers.  I learned that few others in the area know about this hidden treasure. If you live near here, you should definitely make a visit. 

happy day to you, and thanks for visiting!   Kit


  1. Hello Kit! What a beautiful garden! I love your photos with so many green! Best wishes! Geli

  2. Hi,
    that botanical garden looks great. What a surprise to find it. Thank you for sharing those colorful photos.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  3. Thanks so much for this Post- such inspiration-!
    I've always enjoyed the Fantastic Shapes and the flowers of these cacti and succulents-!

  4. What a find! Succulents have really become popular, no?
    Kit: your Thanksgiving table was just beautiful: so simple and not overdone like so many I've seen!

  5. Thanks for this wonderful post, Kit! Makes me homesick for Arizona. Need to find this secret garden!

  6. These are so beautiful! I'm obsessed with succulents right now as seen in my most recent post!
    Thanks for sharing these!


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