The Huntington Ranch Garden
The Huntington Ranch Project is an urban agricultural garden project that explores and interprets optimal approaches to gardening in our regional ecosystems and climate – the semi-arid landscapes of Southern California. Part classroom and part research lab, the Ranch Garden draws inspiration from Huntington's and the region's agricultural heritage, while making connections with gardeners, native plant enthusiasts, landscape professionals, educators, and researchers throughout Southern California.
“Henry Huntington’s interest in productive horticulture got left behind as the institutional emphasis shifted to ornamentals and rare tropical plants,” says Jim Folsom, the Director of the Botanical Gardens. “With the Ranch Garden Project, we are returning to our agricultural roots.”
EXTRA: Gardening for Native Pollinators
Native bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds play an important role in gardens, agricultural farms, and in the wider ecosystem by providing beneficial pollination services. By mimicking nature’s ecosystems in your own garden through thoughtful planning and plant selection, you can ensure the production of seeds in most flowering plants in an ecologically sustainable way. read on
The Ranch Garden includes a mixture of edible landscapes, in which fruit trees mingle with native shrubs, perennial herbs, and reseeding annuals. Small annual crop planting beds are interspersed throughout, with a concentrated row crop area at the core. Many of the original fruit trees – both within the ½ acre Garden boundary, and outside in a mixed oak-fruit forest – came from the South Central Farm, an urban garden in Los Angeles that was razed in 2006. Rescued by the Metabolic Studio, a charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation, the trees were boxed and moved to The Huntington. A $1.1 million grant from the Foundation helped launch the Ranch Project in 2009.
The Operational Budget 2013 – 2016 was provided by a generous gift from the Rogers Family in loving memory of Janet Gimbel Rogers.
The Ranch Garden is envisioned as a community resource to help bolster L.A.’s capacity to establish a sustainable and equitable food system.
Though not open to daily visitors, The Ranch is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. for guests who wish to self-tour the urban agriculture site and take home some fresh ideas for sustainable gardening. General admission required. The Huntington also hosts a broad spectrum of programs and educational activities for adults, families, teachers, as well as professional development for people actively involved in teaching gardening on a community, education, or professional level. Visit our online calendar for events and times.
Learn more in the Huntington Ranch interpretive field guide
Additional funding for the Huntington Ranch was provided by the Otis Booth Foundation.