Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rancho Los Alamitos- January 9

This ranch is  in the Long Beach Area, as is Rancho Los Cerritos. It also was part of the land grant given to the Spanish soldier Nieto in 1790. Rancho Los Alamitos became an outpost ranch of his oldest son Juan Jose. This ranch went through a couple more owners before John Bixby (cousin of Jotham Bixby of Los Cerritos) acquired the property. He restored the old adobe home on the ranch, and planted trees and a garden. His son Fred and wife Florence took over this ranch in 1906. It was Florence who created the expansive gardens that surround the house today. It was very interesting touring the home; a large, rambling  comfortable ranch style building. The family lived in the home until 1961 and in 1967 turned it over to the City of Long Beach to maintain and develop as a museum. They left their collections of glassware, paintings, rugs, furniture,and appliances with the home. Some of the furniture was made by John Bixby. There certainly was a lot to look at and admire in the house. The above picture is of the front of the home, which has a couple of Moreton Bay fig trees shading it. The five acres of gardens are comprised of a series of thematic garden areas. I have posted here a picture of the cactus garden. That is a flowering jade plant in the lower left corner.

There was also a small  secret garden, native, rose, and  friendly garden. The last picture posted here was taken in the old garden. There were also oleander and jacaranda tree walks, which I would love to see in the springtime when they would be in bloom. However, there was still plenty of blooming foliage to enjoy when we toured the gardens of this ranch. And an Allen Hummingbird even charmed us with his presence while we were viewing one of the gardens. We enjoyed every minute of our time here!

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