Sonoma County is chock full of diverse activities and landscapes for exploration. Have I mentioned lately how lucky I am to live here? Children who grow up here in Wine Country are equally lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
I recently had the pleasure of accompanying a group of exuberant (to say the least) 4th graders on a Botanical Gardens Field Trip off California’s Highway 12.
Founded in 1987, Quarryhill is one of the pre-eminent Asian botanical gardens globally, featuring one of the largest collections of documented, wild-collected Asian plants in the world. – See more Here.
One of the things that really stood out to me, other than how meditative and well groomed the grounds were…was that each and every plant, tree, sculpture was labeled scientifically so guests could learn even on the self-guided tours.
When I was in my 20’s, yes folks, that was yesterday, hardy har….I had a boyfriend who lived in the hills of Berkeley overlooking the San Francisco Bay.
We enjoyed many mornings sipping coffee and watching boats from the many decks built into the gardens. I loved that everything was tagged and labeled scientific name, nicknames, and more. His father was a famous Chilean biochemist so each detail was on point for this well loved personal garden and each tag labeled with care.
The home was built on a large sloping hill and had a five, maybe six tiered garden very similar to their own private botanical preserve and a small version of the Quarryhill property. I have been looking for something similar to this Berkeley garden and here in Quarryhill, I had found it.
Quarry Hill is a 25-acre botanical garden.of mature, flowering Asian trees & shrubs. Magnolias, dogwoods, maples, birches, roses, lilies, rhododendrons, and many others are laced with paths and hidden places to sit and relax, while surrounded by ponds, waterfalls, and vistas of the Sonoma Valley.
Absolutely Magnificent if you ask me. Due to the terrific gardeners on staff, there is always something blooming throughout the year and the pathways are full of educational experiences for children and adults.
The docent led tour which we were a part of, was 7 children and 3 adults. Very personal, stops along the way to explain each detail and seed germinating techniques, preservation ideas, and information on the natural habitat for these plants.
The gardens have been around for some time and new plants are continuously being added to the land. This makes the landscaping all the more beatiful with so many mature trees and shrubs that are of a serious size mixed in with new growth saplings and starter bulbs.
While on our walk, the children stop and meet one of the gardners.
He demonstrates how the ground is prepared for a new plant and also goes through the process of placing it in the ground and watering it, labeling it, etc. Great learning tool to see the flora around them and also appreciate the effort it takes to create.
Quarryhill welcomes visitors year round. Self-guided tours are available during our open hours without reservation. Docent-led tours are available by reservation.
As you enter Quarryhill you will see signs for the parking area. Please carpool if possible, not only to help reduce our carbon impact but…as parking space can be limited. Docent-led tours are available with advanced reservation. – See more Here .
QuarryHill Botanical Gardens
12841 Sonoma Hwy
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Visitor Information (707) 996-3166