Friday, January 24, 2014

A trip up north

Last weekend Philip and I spent a few days in San Francisco, a beautiful city with a mellow climate that I have visited several times before. If I had to live in a big city, I could settle for SF! It is nearly 500 miles north of Palm Springs and has a maritime climate, meaning that it is neither very hot nor excessively cold but can be very wet and foggy! We were lucky and enjoyed mild sunny weather for our January stay. The reason for the visit was a major exhibition of David Hockney's art in the De Young Museum which was truly startling!

However I am always aware of plants and gardens wherever I am and it was lovely to see the varied flora in this different climate. There was peach blossom, polyanthus, daffodils, camellias, magnolias, hellebores and rhododendrons, all lovely temperate species that would often be seen back home in the UK but never in Palm Springs. However there were also Proteas, agave, aloes in full bloom, bromelliads  and queen palms used as street trees plus a whole host more.

Magnolia campbelii

In particular it was lovely to see Arbutus 'Marina'  freely used. This is a lovely hybrid strawberry tree that was raised in San Francisco; evergreen, pink flowers and typical red fruits. We had one at the University that grew well but was damaged in the hard winter of 2011. I believe it has regenerated from the base.

We are now back in the desert and today's job, completed under a surprisingly cloudy sky has been to fine tune the irrigation system on our new plantings. Its done but we won't really know if its adequate until the heat of mid summer - fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. Great trip to SF...especially the street trees of queen palms (are those chlorotc though, like in San Diego?), and especially those grand Arbutus 'Marina'. Looks very alive there!