Moorten Botanical Garden & Cactarium
Back in February when Kevin and I escaped the snow in Seattle we headed south to California. Thinking we would be lounging poolside and enjoying that bright glowing orb in the sky, well our dreams were quickly crushed. The same cold snap in Seattle hit the entire west coast.
When we hit Palm Desert for the week we had many adventures planned, like heading out to Joshua Tree National Park. Well the day we had planned that the temperature out in the park was colder than that of Seattle! No Thanks.
I had read about Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium and seen many posts of Instagram ‘influencers’ in the Cactarium trying to look sexy amongst interesting specimens of Cacti. So we planned an afternoon outing. Well that afternoon the skies opened up and it rained and rained some more. Needless to say we didn’t get to the gardens that day.
Our trip was coming to and end but on our final day before hitting the road at noon we finally got to Moorten! I was surprised at how small the gardens were but totally impressed how well they have so many different specimens packed into the garden.
Thankfully since it was early on a Friday morning in February their were hardly any visitors besides us so I was able to get some good photos. Including a photo of me in the Cactarium, although not in stylish clothes or sexy look like all those ‘influencers’.
Here is a little info about the garden and the people that created it. Info from PalmSprings.com
Located at the southern end of Palm Canyon Drive, the legacy of Patricia and Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten. Together they explored the surrounding area collecting desert plants and in 1938 created an arboretum.
The Moorten Botanical Gardens now boasts 3,000 examples of desert cacti and other desert plants grouped by geographic regions: Arizona, Baja California, California, Colorado, the Mojave desert, the Sonora desert, South Africa, arid South America, and Texas. In the “Cactarium” greenhouse are cacti and succulents.
Slim and Patricia Moorten designed and installed landscapes for Frank Sinatra and were friends of Walt Disney at his Palm Springs Smoke Tree Ranch. They consulted Disney to help design the western theme of Frontierland at his new amusement park which later became Disneyland.
Today, Clark Moorten (right) is the curator of the Moorten Botanical Gardens and widely acknowledged as an expert on succulent plants in America. Clark tends the garden and propagates many of its plants for sale and is there to greet visitors almost every day.
Enjoy these photos of the gardens and if you find yourself in Palm Springs stop in they are open daily 10am-4pm (closed Wednesday) thru the spring, and then 9am-1pm for the summer months. Admission is $5, find more info on their website.
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