South Coast Botanic Garden

South Coast Botanic Garden

Why We Like This Place Gardenias, lilies, iris, honeysuckle and more than 1,600 rosebushes are only a tiny part of the spectacular floral display at South Coast Botanic Garden. And flowers are just one of the attractions here: With 87 acres of over 150,000 plants and trees—accompanied by arbors, ponds, fountains, meadows, and terraces of every shape and size—this horticultural wonderland is unquestionably one of the most scenic outdoor wedding sites in Los Angeles County. Whatever the event, your guests will enjoy congregating in the trellised Cornish Courtyard, named after one of the early supporters of this flowering paradise. The small gift shop here is a great place to look for your botanically inspired party favors or for guests to select their own mementos of a celebration they won’t want to forget. From the courtyard, a cart path and walkways lead to a series of garden environments of surprising variety and dimension. The spacious upper meadow features two pergolas and broad lawns with sightlines that draw your attention to a lacy gazebo set like a gemstone in a flowery surround with sweeping views of the rest of the property. This area is roomy enough for any kind of large-scale entertaining—picnics to garden parties to swank nighttime affairs—tented or en plein air. The lower meadow, which can be used by itself or in tandem with the upper meadow, has another gazebo and a much more intimate feel. But this is one location where there are no walls and every short walk takes you to extraordinary places…so why not explore more of the many possibilities? In the children’s garden, set between the meadows, young and old will appreciate an enchanting oasis full of bowers and butterflies—it even has its own little bridge. Imagine treating your guests to the magic of a cactus garden at twilight, or watching them happily mingle in an award-winning rose garden full of fragrant paths and special gathering spots. If a stage is in order, consider using the amphitheater, where a border of star jasmine, flowering cherries, white camellias and angel’s trumpets will frame any kind of production to perfection. Prefer a setting that’s simple and serene? A petite patio complete with koi pond, stone lanterns, and plantings reminiscent of a Japanese garden might be exactly what you’re looking for. Of course there are nonstop photo ops throughout the grounds, but you’ll also find lots of practical amenities like an assembly hall, prep kitchen for the caterers, classrooms, and plenty of parking. This foundation- and county-run property is a testament to the power of community and a definite labor of love. With its endless array of bloom-filled event options, as well as a happy and supportive staff that aims to please, South Coast Botanic Garden is a venue that feels as good as it looks.
south coast botanic garden 1

South Coast Botanic Garden

The present garden site was operated as an open pit mine from 1929 until 1956, producing over one million tons of crude diatomite. With declining production, the land was sold in 1957 to the County of Los Angeles for a sanitary landfill, which was in use until 1965. However, starting in 1961, an experiment in land reclamation began when County Board of Supervisors approved a motion establishing 87 acres (35 ha) as the site of the South Coast Botanic Garden, which was ultimately landscaped over 3.5 million tons of refuse, in a classic example of land recycling. The Sanitation District in cooperation with other County agencies carried out initial planning, grading and contouring. Operating responsibilities were given to the Los Angeles County Department of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens. In April 1961, the first large-scale planting took place on completed fill overlooking Rolling Hills Road, with over 40,000 plants donated by individuals, nurseries and the County Arboretum.
south coast botanic garden 2

South Coast Botanic Garden

Gardenias, lilies, iris, honeysuckle and more than 1,600 rosebushes are only a tiny part of the spectacular floral display at South Coast Botanic Garden. And flowers are just one of the attractions here: With 87 acres of over 150,000 plants and trees—accompanied by arbors, ponds, fountains, meadows, and terraces of every shape and size—this horticultural wonderland is unquestionably one of the most scenic outdoor wedding sites in Los Angeles County.
south coast botanic garden 3

Of course there are nonstop photo ops throughout the grounds, but you’ll also find lots of practical amenities like an assembly hall, prep kitchen for the caterers, classrooms, and plenty of parking. This foundation- and county-run property is a testament to the power of community and a definite labor of love. With its endless array of bloom-filled event options, as well as a happy and supportive staff that aims to please, South Coast Botanic Garden is a venue that feels as good as it looks.
south coast botanic garden 4

From the courtyard, a cart path and walkways lead to a series of garden environments of surprising variety and dimension. The spacious upper meadow features two pergolas and broad lawns with sightlines that draw your attention to a lacy gazebo set like a gemstone in a flowery surround with sweeping views of the rest of the property. This area is roomy enough for any kind of large-scale entertaining—picnics to garden parties to swank nighttime affairs—tented or en plein air. The lower meadow, which can be used by itself or in tandem with the upper meadow, has another gazebo and a much more intimate feel.
south coast botanic garden 5

The site presents unusual difficulties in gardening. First, its soil is composed almost entirely of diatomaceous earth. Second, because of the diverse nature and thickness of the fill, settling rates vary throughout the garden resulting in frequent irrigation system breakage. Third, heat is caused by decomposition of organic matter below the soil surface, and it is accompanied by the production of gases, primarily carbon dioxide and methane.

Rental Fee depends on the location(s) in the Garden, number of guests, day of the week, and type of event. Please contact a Special Events Team Member for a quote based on your preferences.
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CATERERS: A list of preferred caterers will be provided. If Client chooses to not use a preferred caterer, there will be an additional charge of $1,500. Other caterer must have business license, have liability insurance, agree to follow the rules of the Garden, and be pre-approved by the Special Events Department.
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DJ’s: DJ must be chosen from Approved DJ List or there will be an additional charge of $1,000. Other DJ must have business license, have liability insurance, agree to follow the rules of the Garden including sound level restrictions, and be pre-approved by the Special Events Department.