Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Autry Museum Ethnobotanical Garden

The Autry Museum includes a 7,000 square foot "ethnobotanical" garden, that features native California plants that were used by Native Americans in various ways, for food, medicines, building materials, etc.

View of the Garden from the Staircase Landing
The garden is on the lower level and includes a waterfall and a pond. 

View of the Garden as One Enters it
It is surrounded on all sides by walls, some of which have been made to look like rocks, some of which are covered with climbing vines such as wild grape and honeysuckle, and others which have been painted with scenery:

Different Wall Treatments

The first sound one hears is the sound of the waterfall:

The water flows into a pond that is planted with cattails and reeds (the water is recirculated):

There is a bridge over the stream of water as it flows from the waterfall to the pond and I immediately thought of the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt's prompt #9 - A Bridge!

Bridge (SPSH Prompt #9)
Just beyond the bridge, the path going around the garden curved a bit, and, that's another possible candidate photo for the SPSH prompt #7 - A Curving Path!

Curving Path (SPSH Prompt #7)

The path led to this area of the garden:

"Columnar Basalt" Seating/Play Area

I am assuming it is meant to represent the Devils Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Mountain in eastern California:

Scenic Backdrop
 It is a "teaching" garden and includes several interactive displays, such as these books:

Cover of Book

Map of the Garden
Inside, each of the plants in the garden is identified (there are corresponding numbers on plant tags, in the garden, identifying each plant):

Plant Identification
I could have spent the entire visit, just in the garden, looking up and reading about each plant, learning about their uses, and just listening to the sound of the waterfall!  In fact, maybe one day, I might go again and do just that!  According to the museum's events calendar, they are having some classes/workshops about gardening with native plants, but they cost $20 to attend (less, if one is a member of the museum, which I am not).

Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of the museum garden! 


  1. That looks like a really fun day. Thanks for sharing your photos.

    1. It was fun! I'm glad I made the effort to go. :)

  2. I could have spent all day in the garden, also. I think you should make this a destination for a while on the free days. And then you can go at your own pace and spend time where you want. Sometimes when you've spent a lot of money to get into somewhere, you feel as if you should at least see the whole thing once. That means that you don't see any of it very well.

    1. That is very true. In fact, I think I shall go to this museum a few more times to really see and read about the various items displayed. There is a lot to see and absorb. :)

  3. I would love to see this garden and I thank you for sharing your photos. I love to learn about new plants and how they are used. My favourites are the aromatic plants and I've come across many in my travels, as well as the ones which grow wild around where I live.
    We had a city journey today as DH needed to see a periodontist. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the wild flowers along the side of the highway on our long journey. The colour combinations of the drifts of flowers and coloured grasses were so perfect that a gardener couldn't have created such beauty. Then on the way back I saw a field which had vast swathes of blue flowers. I guessed that they might be vipers bugloss or vetch.
    Now we are back home, I heard a Whippoorwill in our yard for the first time in years!

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed the garden and seeing all the different plants and their uses. Those vistas of wild flowers sound so beautiful! Mother Nature is a Master Gardener, isn't she? :)

  4. That is a lovely museum/garden. Nothing is better than the sounds of water except for sounds of children laughing.

    1. There were sounds of children laughing, as well, Anne (and some crying, too, of course!). This museum is fairly child-friendly, with activities they can do, but, I think it was even more child friendly when my daughter was little. Back then, they had a children's play/dress up area based on an autobiography of a Chinese American woman who grew up in California during the 1930s. The exhibit included a replica of the kitchen/dining room of the house, with an "ice box" type of fridge, circa 1930s stove, play food, etc. The family also owned a shop and a restaurant and the shop area had dress up clothes and daughter could spend hours playing cook/waitress in the restaurant area! It was so much fun for her. She loved going to that museum as a child. :) They don't have that exhibit, any more.

  5. Now that's the part of the museum that would interest me the most. Well done on getting two photos for the hunt as well.

    1. Yes, the garden was very interesting. I am planning to go again, just to check out the plants.

      I've been carrying the list with me, but, too often, I am driving when I see possible candidates for a photo and it's not always convenient to stop to take a picture! :D


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