Fall is an ideal time to visit the gardens as it is not too hot for strolling around as it is during the summer months. The gardens were build by Ed and Lynn Hogan, to showcase the many cultures of the world that they visited during the years when they ran their travel company. The 4.5 acres are tastefully laid out and easy to navigate, with pathways that lead to the different garden areas.
Gardens of the World
2001 East Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand Oaks, CA
Hours: Tues – Sun, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
1.. The Japanese Garden surrounded by lots of foliage has an authentic Pagoda set amid bamboo trees with a Poi pond with colorful poi fish, a rock formation in the pond representing a turtle and crane which are symbols of longevity, a waterfall whose legend says “if the poi make it to the top of the waterfall it becomes a dragon”, and a large flat stone or ‘kutsunugi’ at the entrance to the Pagoda where sandals are left before entering.
2. The French Garden’s mazes of structured boxwood hedges and numerous water features are similar to those found in gardens in France. At the entrance to the garden their is a parterres shaped like a butterfly, in another area there is one shaped like the sun and the beautiful fountain, a replica of one that can be seen in Versailles France, dominates the garden.
3. The Italian Garden is set beneath a grape arbor with cypress trees reminescent of the famed gardens in Italy, which traditionally do not have a lot of flowers, but are built on terraced hillsides with evergreen topiary and fountains.
4. The Mission Courtyard is a tribute to the early history of California and it’s famous Missions that were build by Father Junipero Serra which are depicted in Murals on the walls around the courtyard. The animal prints in the hand made floor tiles are a symbol of good luck. while the benches in the courtyard welcomes one to take a rest and enjoy the gentle breeze from the tall trees, nearby.
5. The English Perennial and Rose Garden is the largest of all the gardens and features shaped hedges of many colors. Pathways wind thru the flower beds that are lined with trees and shrubs. Each bed of flowers has about 400 rose bushes with a variety of colors, fragrance and texture. Taking a rest on the benches in the shady nooks visitors can often catch sight of the butterflies that frequent the gardens.
In the center of the Gardens is a traditional American bandstand which is used as a gathering place for concerts and musical events, usually on a Sunday afternoon. There is also an adjacent area with tables and benches, where visitors can enjoy a picnic.
Visitors can either take one of the Docent led tours of the Gardens or they can use the self-guided pamphlet and enjoy the gardens at their own pace. Parking is free behind the garden area or at designated places along the boulevard.