Landmark: Gamble Garden

Words by Sinead Chang

Photos by Courtesy of Saxon Hold / Courtesy of Gamble Garden

Gamble Garden was previously easy to overlook. Driving by on Embarcadero Road, the Palo Alto garden was hidden by an assortment of trees and a short green fence. Since 2019, a new watershed garden at the corner of Embarcadero and Waverley by designer Richard Hayden invites visitors into the little patch of horticultural paradise—2.5 acres, to be precise. The Edwardian-style house, where Gamble Garden is located, was built in 1902 and was once home to Edwin Gamble, the son of the co-founder of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. The three-story house was constructed for $6,039—the equivalent of about $180,000 today. Elizabeth Frances Gamble, one of Edwin Gamble’s four children and only daughter, returned home after attending college and discovered her passion for gardening. Upon her death in 1981, Elizabeth left the Gamble property to the City of Palo Alto. Today, over 300 volunteers continue to nurture the estate, where many families, artists and even dogs visit every day. Be sure to wander each path in the garden—there are plenty of hidden gems. Visiting is free. Check for updated guidance and hours.