Monday, May 21, 2012

Park Day: Los Angeles County Arboretum

The Los Angeles County Arboretum is the best "formal" garden we've been to so far in Southern California, especially as far as toddlers go. It's more elegant and old-fashioned than South Coast Botanic Garden, and it's much bigger than most municipal botanic or ornamental gardens. 

The Arboretum, which is located in Arcadia across from the Santa Anita Racetrack, may not as sophisticated as the nearby Huntington Gardens in San Marino, but the plantings are gorgeous and impeccably maintained, the atmosphere is warm and kid-friendly, and it's easy to entertain a toddler there for hours. 

We were there on Free Day (third Tuesday of the month) but we'll definitely go back and pay again. I don't, maybe I was just giddy from the high spring of it all, or the perfect weather, but I loved this place. The only downside is the looooong drive from our house, but so it goes! 

Kid is getting too big for the stroller! Here he's getting his first look at a real live Canada goose.

The most famous attraction at the Arboretum is their peacock flock. They are terrible screamers, and on some level they just look like colorful turkeys, but they're a sensory experience not to missed. During mating season, from April to August, the males are most likely to show off their tail feathers, but we didn't see any displays. Still, the noise and the overall spectacle of these birds is not to be missed.

Speaking of spectacles, the kid likes to show off when I offer him a flower to sniff. This is Mexican marigold.

"I push! I push it!"

Turtle! A maintenance worker passed by as we were hanging out with this little fellow and he said she was probably actually a lady turtle looking for a good place to lay her eggs for the season.

"Turtle pee on road? Turtle pee on road? Turtle pee on road? Turtle pee on road? Turtle pee on road?"

Canada goslings!

Happy little boy inside the historic Santa Anita Depot, which is a side trip (quite literally off a side path that leads out of the main grounds) from the Arboretum. According to the docents, all the historic rickrack inside is not original in the least but was donated to the facility by various film studios that use the garden for filming. LOL, that's life in L.A. for you.

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