Having been long time subscribers to Sunset Magazine, we've always talked about going to the gardens and finally made it down there. We had almost the exact experience as the folks from Australia. The parking lot was empty, we walked through the great wooden doors and were greeted by....wait, no, we weren't greeted at all. The receptionist just sat there and looked at us like we had ten heads when we asked if this was the right place to see the gardens. No "Hello, welcome to Sunset," or "May I help you?" or anything. She pointed to the brochures, told us to go through the glass doors and close them behind us. Upon stepping through the doors the very strong stink of manure fertilizer hit us (no wonder she wanted to make sure we closed the doors behind us)
We did enjoy our brief stroll through the gardens (once we got used to the manure smell) but were very underwhelmed with the entire experience. The place was a ghost town. And to read a nearly identical experience from almost two years ago, it's very sad that Sunset lacks any semblance of graciousness and hospitality to guests that came to see their gardens. We felt as if we were intruding. No worries, we will certainly not intrude again, nor will we recommend that our friends intrude as well.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.