The Holler is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine, reserved-riparian backcountry habitat. One such nearby preserve is the 737 acre Wilderness Gardens that we visit often for hiking and picnicking.
(Please click to enlarge).
The area was home to Luiseno Indians for thousands of years and grinding stones can be found with a careful eye. Today the preserve is located between the present day Pala and Pauma Indian Reservations.
Settlers moved into the area in the 1800’s, and a grist mill was built in 1881.
In the 1950’s, the publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News bought the property and filled it with flowers and gardens, including 1000 Camellia trees, his wife’s favorite flower.
The ponds were created by damming the creek to provide irrigation for his gardens.
The preserve has returned mostly to it’s natural state, but the ponds remain and are filled with beautiful, nesting, aquatic birds, some quite exotic.
The first ducklings have hatched!
Beautiful evidence of the old gardens remain.
Soon the nesting bird’s broods will be hatching, and it is always a thrill to see the fluffy hatchlings venture out for their first pond swim. I’ll try and get you some snaps!
Cheers to you from the always peaceful and quite Zen-like, Wilderness Gardens Preserve.
148 thoughts on “Wilderness Gardens~”
Thank you for the beautiful photos of the colorful flowers and birds,Cindy.
Gratitude to you for the appreciation Ranu. Cheers to you~
What an absolutely beautiful place! I love the juxtaposition of nature and history, ancient and not-so-ancient. It reminded me of a recreation park near a city I used to live in, and I thought I’d share a link with you:
It, too, has a history of being owned at one stage by an important family and then returning to its natural state. I have a friend who lives nearby and loves exploring the old ruins. It’s quite interesting, walking in the park and finding a gully of roses amidst the very different Australian flora!
Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures.
I REALLY want to go back to Australia! The koala of course is the clincher. Two weeks in Australia was totally insuffiecient! I did love exploring there though and your link brought back good memories. The Blue Mountains reminded me of home as did lots of OZ until I saw a bird, or a Wallaby or a Kangaroo! Laughing……Thank you for your oh so kind comment!
Love love love!
Visa versa 2 U x 2! <3
I walk through in dream
The woods and lake of nature
For a rest at home
Perfection! And you obviously can compose these on the spot. Remarkable!
Thank you. To seeing something beautiful and attractive or any other experience through my senses, I feel some reaction inside me. I’m simply honest to that feeling. But I have to be very careful. Otherwise people think I’m naughty.
To heck with what people think. You are describing a true gift and I feel priveleged every time I receive one~
Superb captures of a very beautiful place!
Ahhh, you are a good friend!
Your photos are a balm for the eyes and the soul – a magical place – thanks for taking us on a visit.
Thank you, Cindy, for your ever-wondrous gifts of peace and beauty.
I thank you for valuing these qualities. Cheers to you~
Nice back yard, Cindy! Beautiful photos! 🙂
It’s funny, because it is semi-desert scrub land out here, but oh does it have it’s beauty if you walk in it and look about you!!
It looks beautiful. Very peaceful.
Rarely any other people and if they are there, they are quiet and respectful. So yes. I would call it Peaceful Gardens~
Shared on Facebook
I am honored. Truly. Someday you must come out The Holler way and mosey around…..
Wow! Very nice!!!
As your photos always are my friend!
What a beautiful place to have an adventure-so peaceful and serene.
Beautiful ponds, birds and flowers.
Looking forward to seeing photos of the feathered babies.
Yes me too!! It’s ridiculous how excited I get about wild baby hatchlings!! Stay tuned~
Wonderful photos and a great place to live. Thank you Cindy for posting this beautiful place for us to see.
When you heading west Wally???? I think it’s time for a visit to The Holler……
Cheers to peaceful settings … and you captured this one well!
Ah thank you! Nothing beats a peaceful, natural place with lots of critters around!!
Such a captivating place! In the back of my mind, it is hard to believe there is Holler for real. Beautiful captured!
You’ll have to pay a visit next time you are in this neck of the woods and see for yourself!! Wouldn’t that be wonderful!
I was searching for the place as just I made the comments 🙂
Did you find it? I can email you some photos and identifiers that I don’t want to post if you’re interested~
Your blog makes me want to visit! Great post.
Well that makes me feel good! Thank you and cheers to you~
Spring green! Balm to our winter-weary souls….You live in a beautiful area.
This weird winter! When will it end? I just keep waiting for your spring and the exuberance of the denied spring flowers!!!
Ahhh, very kind & appreciated~
You are a generous soul to take the time to document and share such beauty with us. Looks like a good place to renew your soul with contemplation.
Visa versa 2 U my friend x 2!!! Your verse is uplifting to all who read it!
Aw, thanks!! Hugs, Brenda
Beautiful shots, really like the 3rd and 4th… A place I could imagine spending a lot of time just wandering around.
I share your interest in old, abandoned, historic buildings. I love to go in them when possible! Thank you and cheers to you~
what a fantastic resource to have ‘next-door’ Cindy, thanks for sharing your beautiful wilderness, love the birds and flowers, and the old stone wall … are there any remaining Luiseno people?
Yes! The name Luiseno was given to the native people living around the San Luis Rey River and Mission by Spanish missionaries. They refer to Southern California indigenous people, many of whom now live in many local reservations, including Pala, Pauma, Pechanga, Rincon, Soboba and the La Jolla. Many of these ‘Mission Indian’ people were frocibly relocated during the Mission era and died from overwork and disease from enforced contact with the Missionaries, which is why I never use the term ‘Mission Indian’ to refer to them, although others do.
Cindy, you live in the most remarkably beautiful place!
So do you my friend!
Cindy, so beautiful and serene, these ruins could tell many stories. Hugs! Veraiconica
Don’t you love the mysterious of abandoned buidlings? It also set my imagination running~
Cindy, I surely do. If they could talk, they would have many stories to tell. V.
Veru appreciated! Cheers to you~
Nature does seem to strip down what we do. Just leaving a few artifacts. Reminding us that we are only a moment in time. I always like this blog because it has something to say, even in pictures. Rock on. :star:
Oh, people like you make blogging rewarding! I love how nature shows us that we are just a small but important part of a very big whole. Thank you for articulating this so well~
Ohhh, love that water wheel and stone work!
Gorgeous isn’t! I agree with you~
Cindy, your posts are always so beautiful, the history and the area are magnetizing. I can feel it pulling me each time I see your photos – and I would love to be there. Each time I finish I can hardly wait until the next photos and story comes to life before me. Thank you for sharing your world.
This makes me feel wonderful and it is incredibly thoughtful of you. It is so encouraging that these photos bring up this reaction in you and motivates me to keep clicking! Thank you and cheers to you~
The first two photographs are my favourites, Cindy. They have inspired me to post “Wilderness” by Carl Sandburg.
Thank you so much for introducing me to this wonderful poem!! We all have these things in us, but Sandburg certainly has a way with words! Marvelous~
As always, your photos are breathtakingly beautiful, Cindy! I’m so glad this magnificent place is being preserved. And oh, how I would love to see all those Camellia trees in bloom!
The camellias are no longer there. They required irrigation which has been discontinued. I can’t even imagine how beautiful 1000 camellias would be! The owner planted over 100,000 ornamental plants in the preserve. The preserve is mostly returned to it’s natural state which I am happy about, but I too would have loved to see the gardens in their hey-day!
Jolies photos, merci !!! Bonne journée Cindy ! 🙂
Merci beau coup!
Really happy you enjoyed!
LOve the reflection in the water and gorgeous pictures of the flowers 🙂 🙂 !
Love your comment!!! 😛
A beautiful place, ah the tranquility felt just seeing the pictures. I love the old dead tree by the mill. Thanks Cindy!
Thank you my friend for you appreciation and kind comment! Cheers to you~
Beautiful preserve! I love that old water wheel! All your pics are gorgeous I have a hard time picking a favorite! It’s fun to hear about its history too! I’m glad you shared it!! Hugz Lisa and Bear
What a thoughtful and kind comment! Hope you and Bear have a wonderful Sunday!
A wonderful post Cindy. almost as good as physically being there. 🙂 love your blog !!!
So kind! So appreciated! And, so motivating to keep on bloggin’ by a comment like this!
That’s a wild and romantic place to visit through your glorious photographs.
It reminds me a little of walking in the wilds of Scotland where a herb or flower would indicate that there had once been a steading there before the Clearances.
I didn’t know that flowers meant that in the highlands! Thank you for telling me. It is time for me to return to the UK. Been discussing this with the hubby and we must return to Scotland too! I’m part Scot afterall. Cheers to you and thank you~
This is just beautiful. And just what I need after a weekend of rain, wind and now snow. There IS color out there! 🙂
What a beautiful area. Nice backyard! ; )
I’ll tell you, for us, it far outshines the burbs. Although not everyone craves the solitude and distance. Mil grazi & cheers~
Thanks for uncovering this treasure for us!
Thank you for appreciating!! Cheers & hugz~
Nice pics 🙂
Truly a gorgeous place. Wonderful photos capturing nature’s beauty, as always!
Thank you Halim, I’m still thinking of the wonderful food you’ve been posting lately!!!
Amazing sites in your world! It must be wonderful to know Mtn Lions and Bobcats are so close by. I look forward to seeing those snaps of fluffy hatchlings if you can manage to get any 🙂
Yes we see mountain lion tracks fairly regularly and have caught bob cats on the critter cam. But I have never directly seen a mountian lion and I would love too!! The hatchlings I have a better shot at!! Cheers to you my friend & thank you too~
Looks like a beautiful place.
Very peaceful, merci beaucoup!
Thank you, as the wind howls, the gray skies obscure the sun, and snowflakes threaten — your photos were a balm to my soul. 😀 Peace.
I am so sorry about your endless winter. It is uncanny and must be getting on your nerves big time! I am so glad the glimpses of green helped. Here’s hoping spring comes to you SOON!
I’m in awe!
Thank you for sharing these images.
It’s like you’re a special “Fairy Friend”.
Laughing!! You are the special fairy friend ma deah’……I feel just the same about your joy and color-filled posts! So glad to have connected with you here in blogville. You brighten my day! 😎
Hi Cindy! your nice pix have reminded me of Hokkaido, Japan…
* * *
have a fine week and cheers! 🙂 Mélanie
Hokkaido is so beautiful and your shots are stunning! My kids were there during a huge typhoon and took photos of themselves on a suspension bridge which they emailed to me giving me a panic attack! Laughing…..
I definitely have Japan on my bucket list coming up soon!
Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
Thank you Cindy! It looks like the land out there is just glowing with life from finally getting a bit of rain. I hope it continues!
Exactly!!! There is a 80% chance of another rain storm and my fingers are crossed. It just rained in NoCal. We are still in a drought and the rain water sucks into the soil instantly, but the rain is an unbelieveable relief. Thanks for noticing~
You capture the spirit of the living things in your pictures so I can see their joy in long awaited moisture:-) most city-humans seem oblivious to drought (unless they get a ticket for watering grass and street on the wrong day! ) but when you have a relationship with the land and living beings around you its hard not to notice and care. I will keep praying for the rain!
It’s coming here!!!! Hooray! It should start falling tonight! Your prayers are working!
This looks like heaven!
It is a lovely & peaceful refuge! Thank you~
My kind of garden Cindy, it is magical.
Grazi. The ponds make it unusual for drought plagued SoCal!
a brilliant pictorial. From the ‘establishing” long shots, to bringing me right into all the wonder–a story in words. (no rewriting necessary!) The lake shot is a favorite, the ripples are so whimsical and echo life beautifully.
You have such an incredible way with words which this comment perfectly demonstrates! Cheers to you my friend~
I always breathe a sigh of relief and relax when I come across one of your nature blogs, Cindy. Thanks. 🙂 Curt
Well, this makes it all worthwhile! Thank you my friend~
Thanks for this refreshing beauty at the end of my day!! Peaceful sights to take to sleep!
Ahhhh, how lovely & makes posting so worthwhile! Sweet dreams~
Absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing. We’re finally expecting a lovely spring day here in NJ–and some of our spring flowers are starting to bloom.
WOO HOO! I am finally hearing from my eastern friends that spring has arrived!!! About time and just imagine how exuberant the flowers will be! They always are the best after the hardest winters~
Yes, some of our daffodils are finally blooming! Woo hoo! 🙂
Beautiful spot Cindy! How lucky you are to have it nearby. Can’t help but think of the native Americans and how they must have felt when one person was allowed to own it.
Oh these are my thoughts always. I drop in a sentence or three about places all over the west, “this place was home to the (fill in the blank) Native Americans for thousands of years.” I can’t even imagine the despair at losing your ancestral home that your people protected for thousands of years to people who squander and wreck it. Terrible.
Wonderful images Cindy. That white iris is exquisite. 🙂
So typical of me. I originally put in the wrong photo! Only changed it way after the fact, so you are one of the very few who saw the right photo! Laughing. So happy you noticed it!!
What a calm and serene scene – I wish I were there!
Well for heavens sakes, come on over! I’ll put on the kettle~
The way I feel…packing my bags now!
Hope all is okay with your hubby’s surgery?????
Aw! Repurposing civilization with nature. I LOVE that!
Nature so kicks butt over civilization anyday. Now when my husband and I actually drive to town, we refer to it as “going to civilization,” not in a happy way! Laughing!
How peaceful and beautiful, it is the perfect place to get lost in nature for an afternoon.
That is exactly what we do! Hard to beat the natural world! Cheers to you and glad you stopped by~
There is something indescribably beautiful about wilderness.
Could you tag the flower plants with their names? Especially the last one is so lovely.
Well I can partially answer, the last is an African Iris, the blue is lavendar and the pink I have no idea!! Laughing. Hopefully another blogger will see this and tell us. So happy you love the wild places too! Cheers to you~
You’ve got me feeling quite serene, Cindy 🙂 (and that’s not easy to do!)
Woo Hoo! My work here is done!! Laughing~
This is so beautiful, Cindy! It is a true paradise to see through your photography! I think it is a place of blessings, nature, feelings of tranquility and peacefulness. You imparted these blessings to us today! Thank you so much! Sincerely, Robin
Awwww, this touched my heart and is so very thoughtful! You rock ma deah’ and your comments are so motivating! Cheers to you~
So wonderful to see this heavenly place has returned mostly to it’s natural state. All photos are exquisite! Love the Iris. Thank you, Cindy!
Anything for your ma deah! Cheers to you~
Sorta makes me feel like I want to go for a long quiet walk in the sunshine there, Cuz. Thanks for sharing the beauty. Hugs!
It is just that kinda place, so come on over!!!
The tree trunk and grist mill are my favorites but the images are all beautiful.
I am happy you think so and glad you stopped by! Cheers to you & have a great weekend~
Looks like a very interesting place to visit – your well shot photos certainly bring out all the different facets of the place
Just happy you enjoyed & thank you for stopping by~
Thank you for the utterly gorgeous images of nature you share here Cindy! Absolutely spectacular. All are lovely, but I especially love that close up of a white bird. Other than the color it looks like a heron (having seen many Great Blue’s). Whatever it is, that photo is wonderful. Thanks again for sharing your talented eye with us here. Cheers, Gina
Visa versa 2 U x 2! I love your blog and value it’s importance greatly. Your comments are very kind and very appreciated! Cheers to you~
I live pretty close to the Wilderness Gardens. Such a great place! Beautiful photos.
We are neighbors! How cool is that!