How do you tell the tulips are in mountains, the miles of winding roads to get there. Crystal Hermitage Gardens is well worth the drive. The garden has over 16,000 Dutch tulips, in 90 varieties, in bloom. The gardens wander down a sloop, with beautiful views of the valley and river below.
(Update 2019, there are 17,000 dutch tulips, in 111 varieties.)
The garden started in the 1980s, and is constantly evolving. With the direction of Nancy and Kerry Mair, landscape designer and lead gardener, the tulip beds are planted over several months; to help stretch out the time they are in bloom. When the bulbs are placed so are thousands of color-coordinated pansies. And if lucky, don’t miss the Cherry trees, which are usually in full bloom too.
The garden is part of Ananda Village. “Ananda is one of the longest existing cooperative spiritual communities in the world.” The village covers over 700 acres. Upon turning into Ananda follow the little tulip signs to the parking area.
A recent addition to the gardens is the Temple of Soul Liberation, a memorial to Swami Kriyananda who passed away in 2013. He was the founder of the Ananda Church of Self Realization. The temple, in this beautiful, peaceful setting, is used for meditation.
There is a small gift shop with statues, some large wind chimes (that sound really great), and inside are many items with tulips on them. Go through the gift shop to a small museum that talks about the history of this village.
Coming during the weekend? Don’t miss their famous maple scones, created by Ina Garten. During April there are a couple of weekends with special events. Check their website for dates.
The event weekends include:
- Chat with our head gardener, designer and volunteer staff
- Visit our award winning wedding chapel modeled on The Little Church of St. Francis
- Visit the home of Swami Kriyananda with its display of exquisite art and antiques
- Refresh with tea and delicious maple scones at the gardens, a picnic lunch at Master’s Market or reserve a lunch at the Expanding Light Retreat (phone 530-478-7518, ext. 1)
- Turn your visit into a weekend getaway with the variety of accommodations available at the Expanding Light Retreat
The garden is open all year round: During Springtime daily 10am – 5pm. Rest of year upper garden hours are 9am – 5pm, Mon. – Fri. The lower gardens are open Mon., Wed., and Fri., 9am -5pm. Admission fee of $8.00, $10.00 on weekends.
Ananda Village, 14618 Tyler Foote Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959 The village is approximately an hour and a half from Sacramento.
The garden is vibrant with color in April; just take a look at the pictures.
Final thought from Swami Kriyananda, “Everyone who comes here should be blessed with a feeling of peace and joyful harmony.”