Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich, Susan Greene and Richard VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Location: 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar

Information: (714) 673-2261.

Gardens: The botanical collection ranges from rare cacti to exotic vegetation from the tropics, representing more than 1,000 species and 200 genera. The setting includes fountains, sculpture, shrubs, lawns, flower beds and hanging baskets. A conservatory houses bromeliads, orchids, ferns and other tropical plants and a koi pond. The recently added Discovery Garden is designed for the blind and contains plants whose essential appeal is to the senses of touch or smell.

Library: The history of the Pacific Southwest, including California, Arizona, parts of Nevada and Baja California, is the focus of a historical research center with more than 15,000 books and pamphlets. It is open to the public, although materials are not available for circulation.

Programs: Continuing education programs in history,horticulture and the arts are offered, as well as a seasonal series of concerts and lectures. Group tours can be scheduled.

Background: The Sherman Library and Gardens was started in 1958 and has grown to occupy a full city block. It was named in memory of Moses H. Sherman (1853-1932), an educator and California pioneer. Land acquisition and construction costs were funded by the Sherman Foundation; operation of the site is now supported in part by Friends of Sherman Library and Gardens.

Hours: The garden and gift shop are open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the library is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Tea Garden, a small patio cafe, is open Saturday to Monday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission: $2 for adults; free on Mondays. Youth group tours, if arranged in advance, are free.

Mass transit: OCTD route 57. Call (714) 636-7433 for information.

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