Arboretum Visit

When I read all the wonderful posts about the visit to Kew from Ms. Country Mouse, I decided I, too, deserved a little botanical garden visit. So, last Friday, I went in to work early and left at 9:30 to meet a friend, first for a visit to the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit at the deYoung. The exhibit was totally amazing, mesmerizing, wonderful - but it felt good to have a dose of the natural world after it, so we went together to the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

With the climate quite a bit more moist than down here on the peninsula, I was amazed how lush and green everything looked, even in the California Native Plant section. Above, manzanita and at the center a mantilleja poppy with its large white flowers.

Stepping closer, I also saw a lot of color.

Oenothera hookeri (yellow) and pink clarkia in the background.

A close-up of the clarkia and some California poppies.

I was especially pleased how vibrant a new area of native plants, uphill from the original native plant garden, looked. Above, more clarkia and a Southern bush monkey flower with a strong lemon yellow.

A whole field of clarkia and some Penstemon 'Scarlet Bugler'.

It was delightful to see so many things in bloom, and made me realize what a great climate San Francisco really has. Sure, when I started driving home the temperature in SF was 59 degrees, and 35 miles later, back at work, it was 81 degrees. But we don't have Fremontodendron (flannel bush) like this in the middle of summer. 

Isn't it amazing? 


I'm embarrassed to say I've never been to the SF Botanical Garden. Silly really, as I just spent an entire week staying in the City. Now I wish I'd gone while I was there. I'm really impressed how much is in bloom, especially as my own native plants are starting to wind down for the season.
ryan said…
Nice visit. I always like to see a big patch of clarkia. I haven't been by that garden in a couple of years. I haven't seen the new section of natives. I really should go back again soon.
Country Mouse said…
Yes, it is amazing! So colorful - lovely pics indeed. In the UK similarly - spring bloomers were in full swing, like ceanothus. Here on the Central Coast we are a bit behind you in the Santa Clara Valley - The matilija poppy (not locally native - it's a garden plant for us) is going strong. BTW I see Oenothera elata around the road edges as I drive on the back roads - but I don't know if it's Oenothera elata hookeri - might be good to learn how to tell the difference!