Dexter Filming Locations: The Botanical Garden (Dying Angel)

DEXTER Filming Locations - hundreds of actual places where the TV show Dexter was filmed.

The location: The Botanical Garden

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A botanical garden.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. In Coral Gables, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 4, of Season 6, "A Horse of a Different Color".

    The police are seeking a serial killer they have nicknamed "The Doomsday Killer", because his crimes have been inspired by the Book of Revelation.

    While Dexter is in the hospital with his sick son, Debra calls him and tells him they have a lead on Doomsday - that a gardener found the Alpha & Omega symbols (a signature of the killer) at a botanical garden in Coral Gables.

    Dexter goes there, and joins Debra, Quinn and Batista in the investigation.  At first, what interests them is an arrangement of large, dead fish, arranged to spell out the Greek letters Alpha and Omega.

    But then Dexter spots something else: blood on the handle of a nearby greenhouse.  Looking inside, they see a young woman (Erin Baer, who had dated Travis), gagged & chained up with spiked iron on a pedestal, dressed in white like an angel.

    As the cops approach, Erin shakes her head in a warning, but it is too late.  One of the cops accidentally touches a trip-wire, which triggers a mechanism that simultaneously raises the large, white angel wings strapped to Erin's arms, while dropping her to her death - the spiked collar severing her jugular.

    She is dead by the time the cops get to her.

    As they are just starting to absorb the shock of the killing, they hear a buzzing sound. Opening a cabinet, they are startled by a cloud of buzzing insects, a biblical swarm of locusts, that fill the greenhouse before escaping outdoors.

    While Dexter watches the locusts, he spots Travis, calmly standing in the background, watching.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A botanic garden.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

A. This scene was shot in the San Fernando Valley, at the botanic garden at Cal-State University Northridge (CSUN), at 18111 Nordhoff Street, in Northridge, CA.

The greenhouses where they filmed the scene are located east of Lindley Ave, and just west of where Bertrand Ave curves into Prairie St., on the east side of the campus, between the University Student Union and Chaparral Hall.

The university's webpage about the garden says:

"Originally planted in 1959 with California natives, the 1.5-acre Garden and Greenhouse Complex is now a collection of some 1,200 plant species representing many regions and climates.

The Garden is open to the public.  Visitors can explore areas devoted to cacti and succulents, tropical plants, California native plants, New Zealand plants, palms, herbs, butterfly plants, and much more.

Inquisitive squirrels, beautiful butterflies and many species of birds and insects entertain the observer.

Step inside the four greenhouses and you will find a dazzling profusion of orchids, tropicals, bromeliads and ferns."

The garden is open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m, except on holidays.

This location is less than a mile southeast of the Italian restaurant where they filmed both the cafe scene and the later restaurant scene, seen in this same episode.

    Rick the photos below in July 2011, as they were prepping for the shoot.

    Rick tells me that the red arrow points to actor David Zayas ('Angel Batista') - wearing his usual hat.

    Here is an aerial photo of the greenhouses.  And here is a map link.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A.  In previous seasons, I've usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes, using clues from the various scenes.  By the 6th season, though, I'd developed a small group of fans, spies & tipsters who kept an eye out for Dexter filming in their neighborhoods, and would let me know in advance when something was about to film there.

    Between those reports, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a few new resources I discovered, by the time the first episode aired, I already knew most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only needed to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct locations.

    This group of helpful fans includes 
    Kerry, Rick, Ellen, Susan, Joel, Julie, Geoff, Jeff, and others. My thanks to all of them.

    This one came from Rick, who not only tipped me to the location, but visited the set just before filming, and shot the photos you see above (as well as photos of the two nearby restaurant scenes).  (Thanks, Rick. Great Job!)

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