Steven Gunther

Near Carlsbad, Ca, Dr. Mardy Darien plans a subtropical rain forest on 15-acre Brengle Terrace Park.

Sharon Cohoon,  – November 22, 2004

Mardy Darian dreams big. On the 15-acre site that the city of Vista (east of Carlsbad) has set aside for a botanical garden in Brengle Terrace Park, he pictures a subtropical rain forest containing thousands of palms, ferns, orchids, and other exotic species. At the very crown of this hilltop site, he envisions a transparent conservatory, housing a true tropical forest.

An impossible fantasy? The city of Vista doesn’t think so. They’ve already given the proposed project a name (Vista Botanical Forest) and appointed Dr. Darian as its executive director.

If you visit Dr. Darian’s home garden, you’ll understand the city’s confidence. Darian has spent the last 35 years turning a rocky, exposed hillside into a subtropical fantasy. His rain forest has a lacy canopy, a shady understory, and plenty of orchids and tree ferns in between. In essence, it’s the prototype for the new botanical garden. Now Darian just has to think a little bigger–obviously something that comes naturally.

To encourage interest in the Vista Botanical Forest, Darian is opening his home garden for tours. Call (760) 945-3954 for an appointment and details.