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Peace and harmony among the plants and flowers at Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California

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gardens-of-the-world pathway

Pathway through the Gardens of the World, Thousand Oaks, California

As we were driving out to Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California, I hoped I wasn’t taking my friends on a wild goose chase. I had read about the Gardens in an issue of Westways Magazine. Another friend who had previously ventured out there said it was worth the drive (about 45 minutes in Saturday traffic from Culver City), so I had my fingers crossed.

gardens-of-the-world japanese gardens

Japanese Gardens at Gardens of the World

At a mere four acres I knew it wasn’t going to compete with the Huntington Library or Descanso Gardens. I had just returned from a trip to England. How would this hold up to the beautiful displays I had seen in London?

gardens-of-the-world rose garden

English Rose Garden at Gardens of the World

My first pass along Thousand Oaks Boulevard I missed the main entrance. The trick is to drive slowly and look for the street address as the signage for the driveway is rather subdued.

gardens of the world french garden

French Gardens with waterfall and butterfly hedge at Gardens of the World

Ed and Lynn Hogan, founders of Pleasant Holidays, built the gardens in the former location of a strip mall to give something back to the community where they lived and enjoyed a successful business. The park consists of  The Japanese Garden, The French Garden and cascading waterfall, The Mission Courtyard, The English Perennial & Rose Garden, The Italian Garden with a chain fountain, and the American Bandstand stage.

gardens of the world italian garden

Italian Garden with “chain” waterfall surrounded by Cypress trees

There is no entrance fee and the small parking lot is also free.

gardens of the world shady spot

A cool, shady walk on a warm day in Thousand Oaks

We were lucky enough to arrive just as one of the docents was about to embark on a private tour for two visitors who had booked in advance. The tour guide and the two ladies very graciously allowed us to tag along.

gardens of the world mission courtyard

Mission Courtyard. All 21 California missions are depicted in murals inside the archways.

My fears regarding the adequacy of the Gardens were immediately allayed as we set out on the walk. The photos I took can tell the story much more eloquently than my words. After the guided tour, we strolled around the park on our own and took photos. All I can say is I was amazed at how much gorgeousness was packed into such a small space.

gardens of the world jasmine

Archways of jasmine. The aroma was wonderful.

We saw an artist sketching in a shady nook. There is certainly enough inspiration for any kind of creativity.

gardens of the world artichokes

Artichokes in bloom

We all commented on how peaceful the area was although right off the main road. It is a tranquil oasis for birds, animals (mostly squirrels), insects and humans.

gardens of the world a place to sit

A feeling of peace and serenity just yards from a busy boulevard

When we felt we had our fill of plants and flowers, we drove a few yards down the road to the California Pizza Kitchen where we sat out in the wonderful southern California sunshine and ate lunch/dinner, otherwise known as lunner. I ordered my favorite Moroccan salad with non-fat Balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side. Bliss.

(photos copyright roslyn m wilkins) 

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Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

One thought on “Peace and harmony among the plants and flowers at Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California

  1. Pingback: Gardens of the World revisited | One Good Life in Los Angeles

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