Santa Clara

charleston-sgi-parkCharleston (SGI) Park
AKA Google Gardens

Originally designed for the City of Mountain View as a five-acre public space adjacent to the former Silicon Graphics (SGI) campus, Charleston Park is now essentially an extension of the vast Google (the current tenant) headquarters campus. The landscape, like the architecture, was conceived to reflect the purpose of SGI and its unofficial corporate philosophy of "serious fun." (see more)

chinese-cultural-garden-san-joseChinese Cultural Garden, San Jose
The Overfelt bequest and Chinese Cultural Gardens

One of San Jose's early ranching families donated 33 acres on the east side of the city as a place for the public to stroll and rest in a peaceful setting. Today Overfelt Gardens offers visitors a Fragrance Garden for the visually impaired, and a natural wildlife sanctuary amid a peaceful pond setting surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowering plants accented by cultural displays related to the city’s Chinese community. (see more)

emma-prusch-farm-parkEmma Prusch Farm Park
“A rural county character and atmosphere”

Emma Prusch bequeathed her former dairy farm located in the heart of the Valley of Hearts Delight to the city of San Jose for a park in 1962. The deed specified that the City will “give to said park a rural county character and atmosphere.” (see more)

foothill-bamboo-gardenFoothill Bamboo Garden
Over 70 varieties of bamboo from around the world

Established in 1989 to study the adaptability of bamboos to the Bay Area climate, the Bamboo Garden is located on a hillside below the Japanese Cultural Center (Building #6600) on the Foothill College campus. It contains over 70 varieties in an area of two acres. (see more)

gamble-garden-centerGamble Garden Center
Educational classes in Professorville

Gamble Garden is a non-profit community horticultural foundation on a 2.5 acre historic urban estate in the Professorville neighborhood of Palo Alto. The property includes a 1902 Colonial Revival house, carriage and tea house, and formal and working demonstration gardens. It offers educational classes, including children's programs. (see more)

gilroy-gardens-theme-parkGilroy Gardens Theme Park
“The only California theme park with a horticultural theme”

A collection of intricately grafted and trained trees, once known as the Tree Circus, rescued from a forgotten plot in the Santa Cruz Mountains, provides a unique horticultural attraction at the 75-acre Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park. (see more)

guadalupe-river-parkGuadalupe River Park
Under the stewardship of the River Park Conservancy

Guadalupe River Park is a three-mile ribbon of park land that runs along the banks of the Guadalupe River through the heart of downtown San Jose. Guadalupe Gardens are located in the section south of San Jose International Airport on land where homes were removed because of aircraft noise. Much of the land remains empty but several garden and recreational areas, have been developed close to the Taylor Street crossing. (see more)

hakone-gardens-saratogaHakone Gardens, Saratoga
The Western hemisphere's oldest Asian estate & garden

Inspired by displays at the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exhibition, the Hakone Estate was designed and built by San Francisco cultural leaders Isabel and Oliver Stine. Mrs. Stine traveled to Japan where she visited the Fuji-Hakone National Park. In 1917 she retained architect Tsunematsu Shintani to design the Upper “Moon Viewing” house and landscape gardener Naoharu Aihara to design the gardens. Restored by Saratoga citizens in 1961, the city purchased the estate in 1966. (see more)

historic-orchard-san-joseHistoric Orchard, San Jose
Experience a piece of local history

The Historic Orchard is a 3.3-acre site planted with over 200 fruit trees within the Guadalupe River Park Gardens in 1994 to showcase the varieties of fruit trees that once made the Santa Clara Valley famous as "The Valley of Heart's Delight". It is located just south of the Heritage Rose Garden on Taylor Street and adjacent to the River Park trails. (see more)

japanese-friendship-gardenJapanese Friendship Garden
Inside busy Kelley Park

The 6-acre Japanese Friendship Garden, created in 1965 at the southern end of popular Kelley Park, was patterned after Korakuen Park in San Jose's Japanese sister city of Okayama. (see more)

los-altos-civic-centerLos Altos Civic Center
One of the last active orchards in the Santa Clara Valley

Producing apricot trees from one of the last working orchards in the "Valley of Hearts Delight" still survive around the perimeter of the Los Altos Civic Center. Behind the library a 1905 Craftsman-style shingled farm house, the J. Gilbert Smith History House, is preserved as an agricultural exhibit of the Los Altos History Museum. (see more)

martial-cottle-park-san-joseMartial Cottle Park, San Jose
One of the County’s most valuable gifts of open space

In 2011 the California State Park and Recreation Commission approved the general plan for transforming nearly 300 acres of valuable property in the heart of the suburban strip malls and supermarkets of south San Jose into a living museum to celebrate the agricultural heritage of the Santa Clara Valley. (see more)

montalvo-arts-centerMontalvo Arts Center
“One of the oldest artist residencies in the country”

San Francisco mayor and US Senator Daniel Phelan built his palatial Mediterranean-style country home Villa Montalvo near Saratoga in 1912. Jack London, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, Douglass Fairbanks, and Edwin Markham were among Phelan's many guests. In his will, Phelan stated "I would like the property at Saratoga, California, known as Villa Montalvo, to be maintained as a public park”. (see more)

museum-of-american-heritageMuseum of American Heritage
Restored mid-20th Century residential garden

When Dr. Thomas Williams and his wife, Dora Moody Williams, built the house that is now home to the Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) in 1907, most of today’s Palo Alto was open countryside. Mrs. Williams designed her vegetable and floral garden with ornamental fountains and ponds and "outdoor rooms" delineated by rock walls and border plantings. (see more)

packard-orchardPackard Orchard
“Manicured rows of pink blossom-laden apricot trees”

The Packard Orchard in Los Alto Hills overlooking Silicon Valley is one of the largest remaining working orchards in the Santa Clara Valley. In the early days of the company Hewlett-Packard founder David Packard opened the orchard to employees to pick apricots. (see more)

palo-alto-demo-gardensPalo Alto Demo Gardens
A showcase for sustainable local gardening practices

The 7300 sq ft Palo Alto Demonstration Garden of the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County in the Eleanor Pardee Community Gardens covers two distinct topics - Waterwise and Edible gardening. (see more)

pellier-park-san-josePellier Park, San Jose
Godfather of the "The Valley of Heart’s Delight"

In its present incomplete state, Pellier Park will appeal only to the most dedicated horticultural historian. French immigrant Louis Pellier is credited with introducing the prune to the Santa Clara Valley. La Petite Prune d'Agen became the dominant crop in the region and the variety most responsible for the rise of the "The Valley of Heart’s Delight”. (see more)

prevost-ranch-and-gardensPrevost Ranch & Gardens
Nola’s Iris garden

When the owners of Prevost Ranch high in the eastern foothills overlooking Silicon Valley started a bearded iris (iris germanica) business they decided that the cornerstone should be a viewing garden. (see more)

rengstorff-houseRengstorff House
Mountain View's oldest house

The Rengstorff House is Mountain View's oldest residence. Built in Victorian Italianate style by agricultural pioneer Henry Rengstorff in 1864, the structure was moved to its present site in Shoreline Park, restored, and opened as a public facility in 1991. (see more)

rosicrucian-egyptian-museumRosicrucian Egyptian Museum
A Peace Garden sanctuary from the 18th dynasty

Conceived in 1927 by H. Spencer Lewis, Rosicrucian Park covers nearly an entire city block. Architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak, the Egyptian Museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America. (see more)

san-jose-buddhist-churchSan Jose Buddhist Church
A tiny traditional garden

The wooden and tile Hondo (main chapel) of the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin lies at the heart of the Nihonmachi (Japantown) section of the city. The temple has served as a religious and cultural center in the lives of the Japanese-American community since the end of the nineteenth century. (see more)

san-jose-heritage-rose-gdnSan Jose Heritage Rose Gdn
“More than any other garden in the Western Hemisphere”

Opened in 1995, the 5-acre San Jose Heritage Rose Garden is home to a collection of 3,600 antique and modern roses comprising 2,600 varieties, more than any other rose garden in the Western Hemisphere. Specimens range from historic Old Garden Roses rescued from abandoned home sites to the latest modern and miniature varieties. The garden supplied cuttings for the fence of climbing roses at the Santa Clara University campus. (see more)

san-jose-municipal-rose-gardenSan Jose Municipal Rose Garden
Varieties include "San José Sunshine"

Designed by Golden Gate Park superintendent John McLaren, the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden has been the pride of this San Jose neighborhood since 1931. Benches set around a formal central pool and fountain provide a spot from which to contemplate 3,500 bushes representing 189 varieties filling nearly 5.5 acres of lawn in this AARS accredited garden. (see more)

santa-clara-university-campusSanta Clara University Campus
Mission and rose gardens

The older gardens on the Santa Clara University campus cluster around the Mission Santa Clara de Assisi at the end of Palm Drive. Wrought iron gates in the tile-topped stucco wall surrounding the mission cemetery area guard a formal rose garden set around a central wooden cross. (see more)

saratoga-heritage-orchardSaratoga Heritage Orchard
Recalling Saratoga’s agricultural past

A popular pedestrian pathway to West Valley College cuts through the Saratoga Heritage Orchard behind the library at the corner of Fruitvale and Saratoga Avenues. (see more)

stanford-arizona-gardenStanford Arizona Garden
Favored courting place for early Stanford students

The Stanford Arizona Garden, also known as the Cactus Garden, was designed between 1881 and 1883 for Jane and Leland Stanford by landscape architect Rudolf Ulrich. Ulrich based the design on the formal pattern of the Arizona Garden he built at the former Del Monte Hotel in Monterey. (see more)

stanford-shopping-centerStanford Shopping Center
Seasonally changing floral displays

With 140-plus stores, dozens of restaurants and coffee shops, and whimsical sculptures by California artists located adjacent to the Stanford University campus, Stanford Shopping Center is one of the most successful and an early model for many high-end shopping centers. (see more)

stanford-university-campusStanford University Campus
Down on "The Farm"

The original design of the Stanford campus planned in 1886 by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and founder Leland Stanford is based on the first enclosed quadrangle in America conceived on such a huge open scale. Separate sandstone buildings with red tile roofs are unified by a succession of courtyard gardens linked by arcades. (see more)

sunnyvale-heritage-orchardSunnyvale Heritage Orchard
A vision of Paradise Lost

The city of Sunnyvale has preserved 10 acres of apricot trees adjacent to the Heritage Park Museum compound at the Community Center to celebrate the important contribution of orchards to the early development of the local economy. (see more)

syngenta-flowers-incSyngenta Flowers Inc
Formerly Goldsmith Seeds

Syngenta Flowers Inc. (formerly Goldsmith Seeds)  is one of the largest wholesale breeders of hybrid flower seed in the world. Goldsmith Seeds was founded in 1962 by plant breeder Glenn Goldsmith. Award winning varieties include “Accent” impatiens, “Orbit” geraniums, and “Peter Pan” zinnias. (see more)

valley-of-heart-rsquo-s-delightValley of Heart’s Delight
"The Valley of Heart’s Delight was a glory"

In the first half of the 20th century business boosters coined the name "Valley of Heart's Delight" to promote the Santa Clara Valley as an idyllic place to live and visit. Springtime orchard blossom tours attracted visitors from around the world. (see more)

vietnamese-heritage-gardenVietnamese Heritage Garden
A planned garden project

The Viet Heritage Society (VHS) is a group of Vietnamese American community leaders with a mission to preserve the cultural richness of the their home country. The organization's first undertaking is to construct a Vietnamese Garden and museum at Kelly Park in San Jose. (see more)