World’s Most Beautiful Flower Destinations (II)
Few spaces are more peaceful and awe-inspiring than a beautiful garden. One feels calmer when surrounded by flowers, water features, fountains and the sound of nature.
Some of the world’s most beautiful flower destinations can be found from California up to Victoria, Canada. Each park is an ideal destination to visit to appreciate the beauty of a city. All offer wonderful walking trails for exercise among colorful flora and fauna.
World’s Most Beautiful Flower Destinations: Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
In March and April, the hills come alive in bright orange, with delicate poppies.
Some call this reserve "March Miracle" depending on how much rain the area receives. Many times mid-April is the peak of the poppy display.
Other wildflowers include owl's clover, lupine, goldfield, cream cups, and coreopsis. The desert grassland produces a mosaic of color and fragrance each spring.
Located in the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat, the duration and intensity of colors and scents vary from year to year. There are eight miles of trails through the gentle rolling hills, including a paved section for wheelchair access, making the park a wonderful place to hike and explore. Benches located along the trails make good places to sit quietly and watch for singing meadowlarks, lizards zipping across the trail, gopher snakes and rattlesnakes. If you're lucky, you may spot a coyote or bobcat. Numerous burrows around the walking trails house mice, gophers, kangaroo rats, beetles, and scorpions.
Visit the onsite Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center at the Reserve to watch a short video to learn more about the reserve. There are wildlife and plant displays and a gift shop. It's open weekends from 9 am. to 5 p.m. beginning March 22nd, and then daily through April from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
World’s Most Beautiful Flower Destinations: Huntington Gardens and Library
Located in San Marino, about 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, is a breathtaking 207-landscaped property of unique and exotic plant collections and botanical gardens. There are more than 14,000 different of varieties of plants showcased in more than 12 gardens. Forty gardeners, a curatorial staff and marathon 100 volunteers maintain the collection.
A must-visit is Liu Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. It's the largest Chinese Garden outside of China. This authentic 12-acre garden inspires the elegant harmony of the beauty of nature and learning. Architects and artisans from Suzhou, a Chinese city renowned worldwide for its ancient gardens, worked with Californian builders to produce a traditional Chinese landscape. Walking through its paths enriches the mind and spirit alike. Chinese architecture and rocks are placed around the water's edge to balance native California oaks. Aman-made lake, windows, bridges, and pavilions provide different views of the landscape.
Continue on your garden journey to explore Australian gardens, camellia gardens and an interactive children's garden.
The Japanese Gardens transport visitors to a tranquil and Zen-like oasis. Completed in 1912 and opened to the public in 1928, it features a drum and red moon bridge. Sit near koi-filled ponds and be sure to visit the bonsai collection.
The Conservatory appeals to families with its hands-on opportunities. Make a reservation to have a tea lunch or snack in the Rose Tea Room.