"California may be the golden state but it is also a garden state. Innumerable gardens have been made since the Europeans first came, starting with the Franciscan missionaries. The gold rush was the defining period, leading to immense expenditures by newly rich miners."
"The site selected for the pueblo of Los Angeles was picturesque and romantic. From where Alameda street now is to the eastern bank of the river the land was covered with a dense growth of willows, cottonwoods and alders; while here and there, rising above the swampy copse, towered a giant aliso (sycamore). Wild grape vines festooned the branches of the trees and wild roses bloomed in profusion. Behind the narrow shelf of mesa land where the pueblo was located rose the brown hills, and in the distance towered the lofty Sierra Madre Mountains."