San Joaquin Magazine | March 2020

Crystal Hermitage is part of Ananda Village and Ananda International, a spiritual community located about 30 minutes from downtown Nevada City. The quaint community opens its gardens year round for visitors, acting as a tranquil space to meditate alongside the property’s spiritual vibrations or simply walk the grounds admiring the floral phenomenon. April at Crystal Hermitage is peak tulip season. During this time, more than 17,000 tulips create a rainbow hillside. It’s easily the most popular time of year to visit the gardens—last April saw more than 13,500 visitors—as tulips takeover for a brief period of time before giving way to the other florals planted on site.

It took 20 years to get the gardens where they are today. What started as a smattering of bulbs being planted each year slowly grew to an outrageous display of tulips honoring the founder of Ananda, the late Swami Kriyananda. Crystal Hermitage has gardeners and volunteers who plant pansies, wisteria, rhododendrons, azaleas, and peonies in the spaces between and surrounding the tulips, plus dogwood and cherry trees. In summer the tulips fade and are instead replaced by geraniums, marigolds, roses, fuchsias, dahlias, and hibiscus.

While guests visit, they can also step inside the on-site temple, tour part of the property’s home, and take the walking path through the gardens past statues, a swimming pool, and more. Visiting during tulip season costs $8 per person but is free the rest of the year. The upper gardens are open daily year round from 10 AM to 5 PM and the lower garden is open 10 AM to 12:30 P.M. and 1:45 to 5 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 14618 Tyler Foote Rd., Nevada City, (530) 478-7587,

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