Thursday, October 4, 2012

Another Desert Garden...

We recently were in the Palm Springs area, for an annual golf tournament.

We've been there many times, but this was the first time we visited

Sunnylands is the 200 acre desert estate of
Walter and Leonore Annenberg.
Walter Annenberg was a wealthy publisher, from the East Coast.
Both Walter and Leonore were U.S. ambassadors, at one time or another.

They came to the area in the 1960s and purchased 200 acres of this desert land, and created their
Winter Desert Retreat.

across the street from the estate.

The estate includes:
 the main house...described on the website as 'a casual family home'...
25,000 square feet of family home.
a nine-hole golf course,
eleven lakes,
a tennis court,
swimming pools,
a mausoleum, where the Annenbergs are interred.

Several Presidents and many foreign dignitaries, the British Royal Family, and many Hollywood stars, have been visitors to Sunnylands.

The estate is still used for special retreats.

Before her death, in 2009, Mrs. Annenberg set aside 15 acres for a Center and Gardens, for public use.

The Estate and the Center and Gardens opened this year to the public.

This is what we came to see.

view out the front

The 17,000 square foot center is used for meetings, and social events.

The views from inside this almost all glass building, are amazing.

The gardens were designed with the impressionist paintings the Annenbergs collected in mind.

There are 1.5 miles of paths and over 50 species of plants... mostly desert plants.
Lots of cactus and agaves!

I'll just show you some of what we saw.

 gotta have some of these Red Barrel Cacti

To my agave and aloe loving friends out there....this was truly stunning!

Some of the cacti were blooming....

And, I loved the Palo Verde trees...look at that green bark.

The Annenbergs funded a trust, for the upkeep of the Estate.

The Center and Gardens are open to the public free, Thursday through Sunday, most months of the year.

A tour of the main house requires advance reservations and a fee.
We had a tight schedule, so we didn't tour the house.  But, the garden was worth the trip.

If you go, Sunnylands is on Bob Hope Dr., in Rancho Mirage.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Happy Gardening...


  1. Beautiful!!! I love the mass plantings. Stunning!!!! Thanks for sharing- I have never been there!

  2. That's an amazing desert garden, the detailed arrangements are stunning. The water features, trees, lawn all setting it off makes a wonderful landscape.

    Glad you enjoyed your visit.


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