Thursday, 09 February 2017 20:24

The Movie-Like History Behind Moorten's Botanical Gardens

Written by Jeff Shotwell
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Moorten's Botanical Gardens Moorten's Botanical Gardens

 When you are in Palm Springs, you'll want to visit Moorten's Botanical Garden and Cactarium.  With over 3,000 specimens, it isn't hard to believe it's one of the best cactus gardens anywhere.  What you might not know is the Hollywood connection of the birth of Moorten's Botanical Garden.  The founder's life actually reads like a movie.

The Sad Beginning

The original founder of Moorten's was the father of the present owner.  With a tragic beginning, losing his mother and father before he was 16, he still managed to be such a character that people would tell him he 'ought to be in movies' so he headed to Hollywood.

The Happy Build

In Hollywood, he landed a part as a Keystone Cop.  He got other roles as well. The talking movies weren't good to him for acting in as he didn't have the voice for it, but he worked on the technical side of some movies as well.  He did do work on Howard Hughes' Hells Angels.

The Tragedy

Diagnosed with tuberculosis, he was given 3 months to live.  He was told to go to a sanitarium.  Things looked bleak indeed.

The Comeback

Moorten decided he didn't want to go to a sanitarium, but the desert.  While he healed, he thought his plan was to collect gold, but he ended up collecting cacti as he saw how much more lucrative the trade was.  

The Happy Ending

He came to Palm Springs in 1938, and was introduced to a botanist whom he later married, Wholesale plants became dish gardens, which eventually became landscaping which led to Moorten's Botanical Garden.

Proof that there is always more to the story, the history of the founding of Moorten's Botanical Garden and Cactarium will give you even more wonder as you visit this jewel of Palm Springs.


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Read 748 times Last modified on Friday, 17 February 2017 01:53

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