Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Visit to The Arboretum at San Francisco


(cover picture is Isopogon Formosus or the rose cone flower, a beauty isn’t it?)

I still have a few pictures left of My wonderful December trip to San Francisco and wanted to put this last tour together of a wonderful day at the Arboretum, would you care to join me?

It’s going to be another beautiful day for a morning walk around San Francisco and this time I’ll take you to Golden Gate park to my favorite arboretum in the city.  It’s still a little chilly outside so bring your warm coat and maybe a muffler. By the way, just to set the mood go ahead and click on the you tube play button below and then we can get started once the music begins.


Lets walk in through the front gates, there doesn’t seem to be anyone here in the garden. We will have more time to admire and see the more intimate parts of the arboretum’s gardens without a crowd behind us. I just love the entryway to the garden. This just showcases all the unique plants that are part of the five mediterranean zones that are covered in this arboretum, along with a cloud forest, two asian gardens, a pre-historic garden, an herb garden, a bamboo grove and an intimate library garden.

The entry garden is exciting, there are unusual combinations from all the zones above and exotic textures that are combined in interesting juxtapositions.




In front of us is the great expanse of large trees and the main lawn and pathways leading to various gardens. We’ll take a small loop around the areas that I’m interested in and have some activity and blooms happening at the moment which is alot for this time of the year.


To the right is a small sitting garden next to the botanical library, it has alot of large stones that were salvage from some old architectural sites around San Francisco and is used for a tranquil setting with various reeds, grasses and leucadendrons.



A little further down is the South African Garden, there are some major renovations going on there and in the California zones so we will only be able to take a small tour of those areas still  open. But fortunately, there were still some nice blooming plants happening at the moment.






One of my favorite silver trees, leucadendron argentium.


We are now taking this round walkway through more tall evergreens and another view of another grassy lawn area, its a very popular sun bathing spot during the summer since its sheltered by all the large trees.


We are heading to a more intimate Japanese garden, not quite as grandiose as the Main Japanese garden in the concourse area. There’s a small entryway to the garden, do you see it?


Ah yes, we found it, lets take the pathway to the small deck that over looks a small pond with acers , various grasses and some stone statues.





Another vista of a larger lawn with more large cypresses and pines.


Would you like to take a rest in this pavilion and just watch the scene unfold around the garden for a bit?  I brought some home made chocolate chip cookies for us to share, its yummy!


We will be going through the next Mediterranean zone which is the Australian Garden and hopefully we will be able to see some more interesting plants that are blooming there.

I love Grevilleas and the gardens are filled with blooming flowers right now especially this Grevillea Victoriae.


A deep red Anigozanthos in bloom.


There’s a beautiful area of blooming Banksias in this seating area, I wish I could spot a tag for this particular species, I’m guessing Banksia Ericifolia




As you can see I also love Australian mediterranean plants since I’ve actually learned to pronounce their botanical names over and over again until I finally got it.

The last garden we will visit is close to another gate entrance and its the Pre-historic dinosaur garden. Usually in summertime the garden has these amazingly large leafed Gunnera plants, melianthus and tall tree ferns, but they are hibernating now, but there is still alot to see here so lets go.


The cycads are still beautiful with their leaves intact this winter morning.


Look a gorgeous Mahonia Acquifolium is blooming today just for us!





Another cluster of blooming Mahonia with striking yellow spikes.



Well we are at the end of the tour, not enough time to visit some of the other gardens, so we’ll just have to re-visit them for another time. Here’s just one more photo at the side entrance that we will be exiting from.


Well that was truly an inspiring walk don’t you think?  We should congratulate ourselves for burning alot of calories this morning. Thanks again for joining me until we meet again!


Unknown said...

Wow. There was scarcely anything there that I recognized, because of course the flora on the cool east coast is quite different from that of California. If I ever make it out there to visit, I'll no doubt smack right into a tree while golly-walking.

debsgarden said...

Burning calories? I sat here munching on a peanut butter cup during this virtual tour! I loved it; everything was so beautiful. I especially enjoyed the Japanese and Prehistoric gardens. My youngest son will be living not too far from San Francisco after he graduates from college this May. I will remember this place and hopefully see it in the future.

Kimberly said...

How amazingly beautiful and serene! My favorite is the entry garden...the textures are incredible...and the tree ferns that remind me of a Jurasic period! What a wonderful place to visit...I can see why you wanted to share every last photo of this fabulous garden!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Noel~~ Thank you very much for inviting us along. This looks like a wonderful place. The flowers are amazing.

Burr Oak Beginnings said...

Thank you so much for inviting me Noel that was a wonderful walk. Your photos are beautiful I almost felt as if I was there with you.

Anonymous said...

You definitely hit the right place when you visited SF. The Strybing Arboretum is dear to our heart, and we feel lucky to live within walking distance. It is amazing to think that the entire Golden Gate Park area was once a big sand dune up until the last 1800s.

Autumn Belle said...

Wow, I certainly enjoyed this trip, looking at the fabulour show.

Ever Green Tree said...

Whoa! What a trip....Loved the picture of the Tree rt nxt to the front gate. Majestic!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Inspiring, indeed! I love S-F, and you managed to show us a very nice part of it. Thank you!

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