Sometimes it’s nice to be led down the garden path, especially one that takes you on a mini world tour during your lunch hour. Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California does just that and you don’t even need a passport.
This privately owned garden complex was created as a gift to the city of Thousand Oaks by Ed and Lynn Hogan. They were founders of Pleasant Holidays, a vacation agency, so it seemed fitting to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the world through gardens. Having seen the beauty of the gardens of various cultures, they brought their world experience and passion for natural elements to their global garden collection. It was meant as their way of giving back to the community that had given them so much success.
Over the four and a half acre area, five distinct garden styles are highlighted, Japanese, French, English, Italian, and California Mission. Each of the distinct garden sectors is secluded enough from the others so that they feel invitingly private, should one want to go sit on a bench, relax, and take a break from your day. Each of the sections is filled with a lush collection of plants that accent the various styles, evoking different cultures all throughout.
The Gardens of the World are free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 9am-5pm. There are docents available to guide people through the various gardens, but simply letting oneself get lost in some distant part of the world (at least through their gardens), may be the best way to experience the site.
Know Before You Go
There is a pedestrian entrance accessible from the main sidewalk and a driveway for the vehicle entrance. There is a free parking lot near the resource building.