Join us for four, fun-filled days in August as we tour well-loved and unique gardens in the Los Angeles area of southern California. We’ll stay in Pasadena the entire trip so you can unpack, relax and enjoy the mild summer days and cool nights. Bring a friend! Here’s what’s planned.

The Garden Tour takes place Aug 17 – 20. You’ll be responsible for getting yourself to Bob Hope Airport (Burbank) and we’ll pick you up and ferry you everywhere. (If you prefer to drive over, that’s great, too. We just want you to know that we handle the ground transportation once you reach our home base – Pasadena.)

Here’s where we’ll visit:

Day 1: The Gamble House – Guided tour of house & garden at about noon. The Gamble House in Pasadena is an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. The house and furnishings were designed by Charles and David Green in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company. The house is a National Historic Landmark.

California Cactus Center – This unique place bills itself as southern California’s premiere specialty nursery featuring cactus and succulent from the around the world.

Day 2: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at UCLA. Docent tour in the morning. – This seven-acre garden maintains one of the most important living botanical collections in the United States, with plant specimens from all over the world.

Getty Center, Central Garden – This contemporary garden at The Getty Center was created by artist Robert Irwin. Its 134,000-square-foot design features a natural ravine and tree-lined walkway through an extraordinary experience of sights, sounds, and scents. (Note: This is not the same Getty that we visited on our 1997 trip. That was the Villa, a totally different space.) Lunch at the Getty Cafe.

A late afternoon stroll through charming downtown Pasadena is optional. We’re also checking into some additional plant nurseries to visit.

Day 3: Crown City Hardware. For those of you interested in top quality restoration and decorative hardware, this is a real treat. We’ll head here in the morning.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Guided Tour. –  A unique 127- acre botanical garden in Arcadia. Home to plant collections from all over the world, including rare and endangered species, The Arboretum also houses outdoor historical landmarks representative of the major phases of California history.

Descanso Gardens, Twilight Walk – Descanso Gardens, in the San Gabriel Valley,  is an urban retreat of  year-round beauty, internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. Collections include an iris garden, a camellia forest, lilac and California gardens and a Japanese garden. A self-guided walk at twilight is considered a treat as shadows deepen, animals become more active, familiar objects begin to change form and color gives way to black and white.

Cocktails, anyone? – Descanso’s Japanese Full Moon Tea House will be transformed into the Camellia Lounge, a soothing and exotic location to enjoy signature cocktails and small appetizers under starry skies. This is open until 8 p.m., if you’re interested.

Day 4: Virginia Robinson Gardens & Home Guided Tour – The Virginia Robinson Gardens (Virginia Robinson of Robinson-May department store fame) is a unique historic estate, a cultural jewel that transports the visitor back to the birthplace of Beverly Hills. Highlights include an Australian king palm forest, a bucolic rose garden and an Italian terrace garden.

Huntington Gardens & Library – The plant collection at the Huntington Gardens is unprecedented. More than 14,000 different varieties of plants are showcased in a dozen principal garden areas. For those who toured with us last time, we thought the Huntington worthy of another visit. Lunch at the Huntington.

Tour ends at Burbank Airport at 5 p.m.

Here’s the scoop: We did a trip like this back in 1997 and it was great fun. To make the trip personal and enjoyable we will keep the size of the group to  no fewer than 15 and no more than 18 people.

Transportation to Burbank Airport (Bob Hope Airport) is up to you. That way, if you have miles or flight credits you want to use, you can. Or you can drive, but we ask that you let us do the driving on the tour. You can park at our hotel.

Ground transportation is included in the cost of your trip. We will start the tour at the airport and you will be transported in two 12-passenger, air-conditioned vans.

Lodging is included 4 nights at the Holiday Inn Express in Pasadena. We will use this as a home base for the tour, so you only unpack once. Breakfast is included in the room price. Lunches and dinner will be on your own. There are tons of terrific restaurants in the area and we’ll have the list with us.

Entrance fees and tour guide fees or tips are included in the cost of the trip.

Here’s the best news: On this trip you can shop as much as you like for plants, plant paraphernalia and other things because there will be a vehicle returning to Phoenix. All goodies sent back will be delivered to Southwest Gardener where you can pick them up.

Cost: Double-room occupancy (two double beds) is $475 per person; Single-room occupancy (one king bed)  is $675 per person. So grab a friend of relative and make plans to go with us.

Per-person deposits of $100 are due when you sign up for the trip. The remaining balance is due no later than July 16. If there are not enough people (15)  to commit for the trip by July 16, all deposits will be refunded. Once the trip is paid in full there will be no refunds unless the entire trip is canceled. That decision will be made by Aug. 1.

To make a deposit please call Southwest Gardener at 602.279.9510. You may use Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or check. Or  for questions, contact Amy Carlile, Southwest Gardener, 602.279.9510 of e-mail