I went back to visit friends and family during the holiday season in the Bay Area / San Francisco and of course to take some amazing hikes, see some beautiful gardens and nurseries on my visit. Surprisingly, I did get to see alot of things still blooming in spite of the cooler, icy conditions around the Bay Area.
Take for example my friends home in Noe Valley in San Francisco, it has a nice sheltered and sunny exposure and the tropical garden is set up directly for sun, shade and protection and almost everything is blooming or growing extremely well despite the low 30's night time temperatures. Its truly amazing that some of these tropical and semi-tropical plants can even survive in these extremes.
Take a look and see what I mean.....
This Brugmansia was just starting to bloom just outside the stairs to the home and climbing the stairs each morning was completely intoxicating. I couldn't believe these beauties were still blooming at this time of the year here.
Even the beautiful Tibouchinas where blooming here at this time of the year!
I love these long and large fushias, not sure what they are called, I think they are from Chile so it makes sense that they are blooming at this time of the year.
These gorgeous Iochromas bloom in this garden year round and in large amazing clusters. I think the Iochroma Fuschiodis tends to be hardy even down to the low 20s.
This is a view of the driveway and front of the garden leading down to the street, since the garden has southern exposure and are flanked by two tall homes, they are securely protected from harsh winds. The Queen palm in the front and brumansias are happy here :)
Another view of the blooming brugmansia off the staircase and a not too happy bird of paradise and shredded banana plants :(
I'm just in awe how some well established plants can indeed survive the elements when just the right conditions come into place to keep them active and growing in spite of the odds.