Hotel rooms were running at nearly $400 a night so I had opted to stay with a generous friend but despite his hospitality - many thanks Josip - I was not comfortable. The first night I was frozen in bed, the second night, I woke up with migraine, the third night I was woken by my host and his friends arriving back after a jolly night out at 2am and 4am. (jolly = drunken!) The fourth night I ventured to the bathroom in the middle of the night for the inevitable comfort break (yes - its my age!) and nearly stood in a little gift the dog had kindly left on the mat by the toilet. If I am charitable I might say that the poor animal fell off the toilet seat but maybe not! I am glad to be back in Palm Springs, nicely sweating and sleeping in my own bed.
|Dancer - a Chinese Crested - the culprit!|
Whilst in San Francisco, I visited the Botanic Garden in the Golden Gate Park. This extends to 55 acres divided into various geographic collections and themed gardens. In the past I have been with Philip when visiting these gardens and although he's very patient, well fairly patient, I have always taken a lightening trip round, aware of him sitting on a bench waiting with his friend Kindle. This time I was able to take a leisurely trip round in the early morning sunshine and take hundreds of pictures, most of which I'll never use! Anyway - have a look at a few of the best - apologies if they seem disjointed - just plants or views that caught my eye as interesting!
|The succulent garden - not as good as the Huntington but still attractive|
|Fascicularia - a terrestrial bromeliad but is it F. bicolor or F. pitcairniifolia? How do you tell?|
|Just loved these sunflowers - part of a small trial bed.|
|Passiflora parritae - in the Andean cloud forest garden|
|Interesting colour in a group of ferns - anyone identify?|
|Tibouchina semidecandra - common here - often seen in gardens|
|Now this is sad - plant graffiti|
|Bergenia 'Silberlicht' - strangely flowering in autumn|
|The Redwood Grove|
I also went out to the Botanic Garden on the University of California campus at Berkeley which I have also visited previously. This is an extensive and beautiful garden established in 1890 and extending to 34 acres. The garden contains over 20,000 different plants, all carefully labelled. The site in Strawberry Canyon is undulating and includes various hot slopes as well as cool moist valleys, making it possible to provide ideal conditions for desert plants from South Africa through to Asia's rhododendrons and so on. Now if you read my post a couple of weeks ago, you will know that I am not a great lover of things that jump, crawl or slither in the garden - yes I know I'm a big girl's blouse! Well I was trying not to respond too much as small lizards skittered over the paths in the midday sun but I did jump when a snake slithered away! It was only a small one but it was a snake not an earthworm! It left me rather jumpy!
|View from near the garden entrance|
|Aloe polyphylla - what a wonderful pattern|
|Another curly plant - yes I'm easily pleased! Probably Costus speciosus - thanks Chad for the name correction!|
|Brunsdonna parkeri (the garden's name) - growing in the South Africa area (Chad corrects this as X Amarygia parkeri)|
|Cautleya spicata - I think - patterns of light and shade were dramatic|
|Comarostaphylis arbutoides - easily mistaken for an Arbutus|
|Heliconia rostrata - in the trpoical house|
|Justicia fulvicoma - a lovely rusty colour|
|Opuntia phaecantha - a Caifornian native|
|Sarracenia - no idea of species|
|Sedum rubrotinctum 'Aurora' - again - lovely colourings|
Although I didn't walk the streets this time, I must mention San Francisco's wonderful record with street tree planting, most of which is organised by The Friends of the Urban Forest. Over the years this organisation has planted thousands of trees in residential areas including some quite unusual species. This beautiful tree was growing just down the road from where I was staying.
|Corymbia ficifolia - used to be a Eucalyptus ( or is that an Eucalyptus?) Again - thanks Chad for the spelling correction - I'm glad someone is reading this blog!|