In the mid-1880s, when the Stanfords had plans for a home where the Mausoleum now stands, Mrs. Stanford had landscape architect, Rudolph Ulrich, design a cactus garden, known then as 'the Arizona Garden'. Upon the death of the Stanford's son, however, plans to build the home were abandoned. (See Mausoleum). Half a century later, during World War II, garden maintenance was discontinued, and up to 80 percent of the specimens were lost.
Ongoing garden restoration includes new plantings and some reduction in tree cover to allow the cacti and succulents needed sunlight.