Photography Guidelines

Photography is a wonderful way to remember your visit at Crystal Hermitage Gardens. For your own enjoyment, visitors are welcome to take photographs and videos during their visit. Handheld cameras and camera phones are welcome.

Photography must be conducted without disruption to Crystal Hermitage operations or limitation to the accessibility of other guests, including doorways, bathrooms, pathways, and high traffic areas.

Crystal Hermitage reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to photograph or videotape on its premises, if it is a disruption and/or is perceived that it might endanger garden beds, garden objects, or other visitors.

Please do not bring photography equipment such as tripods, reflectors or lights to the garden.

Please do not change costumes, clothing in bathrooms or in public.

Please do not leave large bags unattended in the garden path, benches or garden beds.

Please do not step into garden beds, flower beds or places not intended as a pathway.

Please be mindful that group photography can interfere with the enjoyment of the gardens by others.


  1. Hi Mai,

    I just left a message as well. I am a photographer in San Francisco, and would love to photograph a couple of mine at the gardens for their engagement session. I have no need for a tripod or lights. What is the permit fee and how would I go about making an appointment? We are looking to do the session closer to 3 or 4PM.

    Thank you so much,

  2. Hi! I just came across your website and was wondering if I could book a 1 hour engagement photo session at the gardens? Is that allowed? What are the parameters? Does it matter the date and time? How do we book the 2 hour photo session and when are they available? When do you recommend is the best time to visit this year, given the recent weather?

    We are also considering booking the guest house. Can you tell us how we do that?

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Unfortunately we do not have enough volunteers to offer a photography session. You can try coming to our photo walk night. There’s another photographer who is coming with her client. Go to tickets and click special event tickets. The dates will pop up.

  3. I have tried to click the “buy now” button but it does not work at the moment. I would like to book a private section for three photographers for two hours to photograph the flowers with a tripod and reflectors this coming April. Is it possible? I also e-mailed but no answer. Thanks.

  4. I can understand the prohibition on lights and reflectors, however, tripods are something different. The tripod is an essential piece of photographic equipment for serious photographers. Are you serious about not allowing tripods (even if we arrive early)?

    1. yes we are serious about tripods. if you want a photo session we can book a session. the location fee is $50 for 2 hours.

  5. Hi, I’m curious if I could get permission to take some aerial photos/videos of the tulips with my drone? It’s very safe and I’m a licensed operator, all flights would be conducted within the FAA’s rules of operation. I’d only need about 15-20 min and I’d be happy to share some shots/footage with you for you to use as you wish.

    1. Hi Sam,

      What day do you think you will shoot the footage?

      1. I was thinking Monday afternoon maybe around 4, the weather prediction is for clear skies and afternoon light is great for shooting.

  6. Hi! I’m trying to book a photography window with the $50 location fee, but don’t see how to choose a date/time? How do I book that? Thank you

    1. Hi Susan,

      Correct once you book it, our volunteer will connect with you for the agreed date. 🙂



      1. Hi Mai,
        I have only one day and time that I can book for. How do I know I’m going to be able to secure that day/time before I book?

        1. Hi did you get my email about the date or time. Please send it and I will confirm it before you purchase.

    2. Once you book it. We will contact you via email for the date and time.

  7. Someone told my friend yesterday that she heard on the news that the tulips were ruined by the rains and the garden would not even be open this month. Is this true? A couple of my friends and I were planning a trip on 4/28/19, I visited the garden last year and loved it. I told them and they got all excited. Hope my friends friend misunderstood what she heard on the news. Thank you.

    1. Hi Marina,

      Oh I don’t think that was us. The tulips love rain and snow. It’s what makes them vibrant. We have 200 in bloom right now. You can check out our Tulip Watch to see them. I assure you there is going to be an amazing display of tulips.

      Thanks for asking!


      P.s. I think they got us confused with Daffodil Hill. It is closed for the season.

  8. Hi – can we visit the gardens during the month of May?

    1. Yes you can visit in May. If Mother Nature allows it. There might be tulips. If not, the peonies and wisteria are beautiful in the lush green garden.

  9. Very worthwhile!!
    Are tulips already starting to fade?

    1. Richard,

      No tulips yet. The tulips haven’t sprouted yet. April is when they will start to bloom.

  10. I was wanting to know if the Tulips would be available for Mothers Day. My nephew is willing to take family photos of us (7), three adults and 4 children ages (13, 10, 8 & 7).
    We are a non drinking, non smoking respectful group who would love to use your gardens for photos. We understand we will be competing with others, but we are patient and love the flowers and your grounds.

    If the Tulips are gone by May 6th will there be summer flowers planted and what varieties? The westeria will still be there and the gazebo correct?
    The. Ire alone is breathtaking and exillersting, so I’m sure wevvan make this work, with your permission of course. Thank you ? Mary

    1. Dear Mary,

      The tulips will last until this weekend. Please observe our guidelines: no tripods only handheld cameras and iphones. Also changes of clothing are difficult because there is no place for you to store your personal belongings and these items usually end up in the garden path ways. Please do not block the pathways. Please arrive a little before the doors open at 9:45am to avoid the crowds.

      By the way, the wisteria is perfect by the gazebo and your photographs will be perfect.

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