The Wildlands Conservancy opened the first phase of the Southern California Montane Botanic Garden at Oak Glen Preserve in San Bernardino Mountains in the spring of 2014.

Southern California Montane Botanic Garden at The Wildlands Conservancy Oak Glen Preserve

I first heard about the preserve at a California native plant conference where Dr. Tim Krantz, a botanist for the Wildlands Conservancy gave a presentation about the Botanic Garden. He was planning a 5 acre meadow splattered with wildflower seeds inspired by the oil pattern on Monet’s palette.

Apparently the Artist’s Palette Garden looked really good for the first couple of years, but now the carefully seeded pattern has dissolved and annual grasses have crept in, but it still looks nice as it evolves into a new pattern.

Baby Blue Eyes flowering in The Artist’s Palette meadow drifts, Southern California Montane Botanic Garden

The Oak Glen Preserve is part of The Wildlands Conservancy. Founded in California in 1995 TWC is the largest nonprofit nature preserve system in the state, dedicated to preserving the beauty and biodiversity of the earth and to providing programs so that children may know the wonder and joy of nature.

Already nearly 10,000 students participate in hands-on, curriculum-based field-trips at Oak Glen Preserve.

Viistors along entry path with spring wildflowers; Southern California Montane Botanic Garden, Wildlands Conservancy in Oak Glen

Southern California Montane Botanic Garden itself is dedicated to the native plants of the mountains. Millions of years of glacial expansion and recession up against the east-west running Transverse Ranges in Southern California make the San Bernardino Mountains the most botanically diverse range of its size in the United States.  More than 1,600 plant species have been identified.

Hummingbird Hill, California native plant display garden at Southern California Montane Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden has really only just begun to lay out its display gardens and trails, but promises to be an important part in preserving the biodiversity of California flora.

Gallery in PhotoBotanic Archive