The Friendly Garden has been
fully restored and opened again
to the public on November 9, 2008.
The Friendly Garden was built as a part of a set of projects that developed the outer layers of the rancho property into gardens. These outer layers are set slightly away from the ranch house and lay beyond a driveway that circles around the house and a series of immediately adjacent garden areas or outdoor rooms.
The development of this outer portion of the Rancho occurred during the time that Florence Bixby was still making refinements to the gardens immediately surrounding the ranch house. She began to work on the outer layer of gardens which lay between the main drive and the ranch fields. These outer gardens were developed over a series of years, beginning with the Foreman's House and extending around to the entrance at Anaheim Road.
The Friendly Garden is located in the southeast corner of the Rancho Los Alamitos Property. It is a small, rectangular garden measuring 62 feet in length by 33 feet in width with an hour-glass shaped lawn in the center that is anchored by a circular reflecting pool. It was designed by the Olmsted Firm in 1927 and completed by 1928. The original intent was to design a garden for Mrs. Bixby to plant the cuttings and seeds she received from friends and visitors to the Rancho.
Restoration of the Friendly Garden included artifacts and plantings based on an inventory of photographs from the significant time period; Olmsted Plant Lists prepared for Mrs. Bixby in 1927, and nursery and seed catalogues from the 1920s and 1930s.