4 Formal Gardens to Visit in California

Our picks for some don't-miss examples of formal gardens in the state
california formal gardens

The formal gardens at Filoli in Woodside. Photo by Jim Allen.

Some of the most amazing examples of California formal gardens are within driving distance—and are open to the public.

Alcazar Garden, San Diego

A formal garden right here in Balboa Park with boxwood hedges, fountains and annuals is influenced by the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Spain. balboapark.org

Filoli, Woodside

The elegant formal garden of gold mining magnate William Bowers Bourn II in northern California is a grand example of an English Renaissance garden defined by hedges, walls and terraces. filoli.org

Inner and Outer Peristyle Gardens at Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades

The Villa’s two formal gardens occupy courtyards within the compound. A reflecting pool and sculptures highlight the Outer Peristyle Garden while columns line the square-shaped walkway of the Inner Peristyle Garden. getty.edu

Virginia Robinson Italian Terrace Garden, Beverly Hills

The Italian Terrace garden includes terra-cotta lions watching over citrus trees and the Great Lawn and Pool Pavilion framed by Italian cypress. These are among the five themed gardens of Virginia Robinson, heir to Robinson’s Department Store. robinsongardens.org

Categories: Gardening