Nursery Rhymes, Fairies, Trolls—and Plants!
South Coast Botanic Garden has a rich history that informs the design of the three-acre Children’s Garden. A shallow coastal sea 15 million years ago, the garden became first a diatomaceous earth mine (the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton; a bug killer you can eat!) and then a sanitary landfill. But now, from the moment you arrive, the undulating entry road conveys that this is no ordinary landscape. By moving from high to low and back up high again, we fully explore the idea of digging into the layers of the garden—its soils, history and meanings—to uncover something surprising like a fairy or a troll. This garden is developed around nursery rhymes—with plants to match the stories.
Visitors explore five key areas: Geology of the Palos Verdes peninsula, land reclamation, plants, wildlife, and sustainability. The core of the Children’s Garden is a series of hummocks and hollows with gardens rich with opportunities for exploration and investigation. The Food Garden is central thematically and physically to the entire experience. Two looped pathways lead out from here, ending in Up High and the Rambling Woods, places full of adventure and imagination. The main pathway culminates in the Big Hill and the Fig Forest, a place of whimsy, anchoring the far end of the garden.