Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library


During the first quarter of the 20th century, Ruben W. Hamlin purchased more than two-dozen bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis and Bougainvillea glabra) vines for planting at his citrus ranch in Glendora, California. While the exact age of the vines is unknown, newspaper accounts and long-time residents suggest that they were in place as early as 1903 and well-established by 1914 – a period when California's citrus industry was at its peak. The display of tropical plants and the integrated stone wall in Glendora was an evocative image of California. Ranchers recognized the potential in promoting their produce using these alluring images and planted exotic tropical and subtropical plants in their agreeable climate. Tourists, laborers, and wealthy settlers alike were drawn to the sensory portrayals of livable ranch houses nestled within citrus groves and exotic plantings, with snow-capped mountains in the background. With citrus comprising one of the two major industries in California, such lush imagery seduced settlers who sought to live and work within a horticultural wonderland. These scenes often appeared on postcards and orange crate labels sent throughout the world. Brightly colored bougainvillea cascading over walls, fences, and trellises featured prominently into such pictures. During this time, gardens celebrating both horticulture and design flourished in these citrus communities.

educational partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

John A. Brooks, Inc. • The Brown Foundation • Charles Butt • The City of Charleston • Barb & George Cochran • Topher Delaney• Jungle Gardens, Inc. • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens • Marc Dutton Irrigation, Inc. • Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation • L. Cary Saurage II Fund • Jeff & Patsy Tarr • Seibert & Rice