Tucked behind a mature vineyard of cabernet sauvignon grapes, just off Highway 12 in Glen Ellen, lies one of the most exotic and biologically diverse places in Sonoma Valley—a hidden gem that most Sonomans are unaware exists.
This is not your typical botanical garden. There are no expanses of lawn or neat hedges enclosing specimen plants, no sculpted shrubs. Quarryhill is a wild Asian woodland garden, the closest that most people will come to visiting the wilds of Asia and home to one of the largest collections of scientifically documented, wild-sourced Asian plants in the Western World. Ancestors of garden favorites like roses, camellias, rhododendrons, magnolias, dogwoods, maples, birches and lilies, create a living museum of temperate Asian plants, all the more remarkable given that the majority of plants were started from wild-collected seed and none were planted in the ground before 1990.
It is also a serene, beautiful recreation destination, open to the public to simply enjoy. Gravel paths wind through glades of flowering shrubs, under shading branches of exotic trees, past tranquil ponds, and over and down rolling knolls with hidden places to sit and relax, while surrounded by ponds, waterfalls, and vistas of the Sonoma Valley. It's a place of varying beauty throughout the seasons, a locals’ getaway or easy day trip for walks, hikes, birding, photography, or the perfect picnic spot away from the crowds.