Senator Phelan created this garden in the 1920s to showcase interesting and unusual plants including two Ponytail Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata). Over time, the surrounding trees grew and created the shadier conditions we see today. In 2009, a group of volunteers began to rehabilitate the garden with a collection of succulents and cacti more suited to the setting. The group continues to meet weekly, constantly upgrading and refining the garden. ​Though the species are new, the exotic combination of textures, shapes, and colors of the plants is true to the spirit of the original.