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Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Developing into Institution for Serious Scientific ResearchYorba Linda Star April 28 1939 page 5
Among the things Orange county newspaper men learned at the luncheon given them Saturday by Mrs. Susanna Bixby Bryant at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is that for some time it has been improper to refer to the garden and the great colonial Spanish house, which stands on the shoulder of a hill above the Santa Ana canyon and overlooking the garden, as the property of Mrs. Bryant.
The botanic gardens of the native plants of California consists of about 200 acres, including bottom land, hill sides and hill tops surrounding the mansion-which at the rancho is referred to as the Administration building. This property, together with and endowment set up also by Mrs. Bryant, has been turned over to a legal entity known as the Garden Foundation-which is controlled by a board of five members. They are Allen L. Chickering of San Francisco, Mrs. Bryant, Stuart O'Melveny, Irving M. Walker and Earnest A. Bryant, Jr. Certain portions of the great house have never been reserved by Mrs. Bryant for her own use during her lifetime, but thereafter use of house and garden, as well as ownership, passes absolutely to the foundation.
Already an important feature of the institution is housed in the Administration building. This is the herbarium that contains over 22,000 pressed plant specimen and many supplementary collections of seeds, cones and wood samples.
Thus there is in an advanced stage of development an endowed institution with a serious scientific purpose, almost within a stone's throw of this community.
Soon there will also be housed in the Administration building a library of approximately 2000 botanical books and many periodicals, maps, photographs, and bulletins.
A major activity of the institution is fieldwork in California. A staff of trained botanists devotes a considerable part of each year to the making of field notes in various parts of the state, collecting specimen and obtaining seeds, roots, bulbs or other propagating material which is set out in the nursery, another important part of this institution.
A recent addition to the institution is an assembly hall where visitors may see flower shows and hear lectures, some illustrated with colored lanternslides. Last Saturday a considerable delegation of teachers of life sciences from high schools and other educational institutions from a large part of Southern California visited in the garden and attended the lecture.
Plantings in the garden numbered into the thousands each year. In the dozen years since it was founded by Mrs. Bryant the garden has grown to include over half of all the species of trees, and shrubs native to California, as well as scores of the finest perennials and annuals.
How thoroughly the place is dedicated to native flora one understands when he realizes there isn't a square yard of bluegrass or other kind of lawn about the great house. Research failed to disclose a lawnmower on the place.
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