GLEN ELLEN, Calif. Marianne Davidson - Much of Sonoma County was turned to ash when wildfires ripped through the region just three weeks ago, but a special area in Glen Ellen was spared from major damage. Quarryhill Botanical Garden remains an oasis of green amid the scorched surroundings.
Quarryhill Botanical Garden has been a fixture in Sonoma County for three decades. It was founded by Jane Davenport Jensen in 1968 following wildfires just four years before.
Unlike other gardens, Quarryhill is a wild Asian woodland full of maple and dogwood trees, magnolias, lilies, roses and a variety of endangered plant species from China and Japan. It is also home to local birds, waterfalls and ponds.
The 65-acre garden did sustain some fire damage, including 15 acres along the perimeter, but the 25-acre wild woodland Asian garden escaped major damage, according to Anne Abrams, a spokeswoman for the gardens.
Quarryhill’s surviving woodland is currently in the midst of autumn bloom, and open to visitors to admire the natural beauty, hike and explore the garden’s pathways.
Admission to Quarryhill Botanical Garden is free for all visitors through the end of 2017. Docent-led tours of the garden are regularly $17 for visitors over 12-years old and $15 per person for groups of 10 or more, but are available at a 20-percent discount through the end of the year.
Quarryhill Botanical Garden is located at 12841 Sonoma Highway, in Glen Ellen. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day and Labor Day. For more information, visit Quarryhillbg.org.