Scilla

Scilla siberica

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South Coast Botanic Garden

Desert garden

Desert garden

As I continue to pore over and process photos from my vacation, I get to relive the wonderful places and people I met along the way. One such treat was getting to meet fellow garden blogger Kris Peterson, whose Late to the Garden Party blog I’ve followed for nearly five years.

living wall

Kris & living wall

Kris is a docent at the South Coast Botanic Garden, where we met for a tour. It had rained hard the day before, so everything was sparkling with raindrops, though we had to dodge a few puddles en route. It was beautiful!

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We enjoyed the garden, then chatted over a delicious lunch nearby before heading to view Kris’ home garden.

It was a thrill to see her garden in person after seeing tantalizing shots of it only on a computer screen for so many years. I even got to meet sweet Pipig, her tabby cat! I didn’t take any photos of her garden as I wanted to be totally present, but do click the link above to her site to see her latest photo tour. My friend MK took a shot of us heading down the steps to what Kris calls the ‘dreaded back slope’ (because of its gardening challenges).

In the garden

Kris and me

What a lovely day it was – thank you, Kris!

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Wordless Wednesday

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Silent Sunday

A smile for your Sunday! Just had to pass this along. 😉

CIMPLE - A Curious Introvert's Musings & Photos about Life and Enjoyment

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Huntington Gardens

IMG_1312Huntington Botanical Garden in San Marino, California is one of the best gardens I have ever visited. Well-designed with a great variety of specimens, and vistas opening here and there, pleasure awaits the plant lover around every bend.

At the entrance, the xerophytic California garden demonstrates the beauty that can be had without the use of a great deal of water.

There are many different habitats represented over 120 acres– a forest of Palms from the world over, a large Desert garden (my favorite), Australian, Japanese (wonderful bonsai), Chinese with outdoor pavilions around a pond (fairly new and still becoming established), Rose, Herb, Children’s, Camellias plus a jungle Conservatory.

Also on the 207-acre estate are museums housing a fine research library (they have a Gutenberg bible) and art collections of Henry and Arabella Huntington (including ‘Blue Boy’ and ‘Pinkie’).

So much to see, but I’ll share my favorites, mostly from the Desert gardens (my IDs may be fuzzy, as many tags were tough to see):

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Joshua Tree National Park

IMG_1260Joshua Tree National Park is located 140 miles east of Los Angeles, encompassing 792,510 acres of the Mojave and Colorado deserts. This fragile and unique ecosystem is dominated by Joshua trees that are actually species of Yucca (Y. brevifolia in the west and Y. schidigera in the east). Slow-growing at only one inch per year, they can reach 40 feet tall and live up to 500 years. The one pictured above could very old indeed!

Home to a wide range of plants, animals and unusual rock formations, it offers camping and miles of trails. Being a desert, one must bring ample water and wear protection from the sun. The range between night and day temperatures can go from below freezing to over 100F. To live here, plants and animals must be very hardy!

I was fascinated by the geology and learned that the piles of granite boulders were formed when two tectonic plates collided. Here is a two-minute video explaining the process.

In the slideshow below, you can see snow-covered San Bernadino mountains that range east of Los Angeles beyond a forest of Joshua trees, different rock formations, cacti and the lovely textured bark of a Joshua tree. What a cool place to visit!

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Super Bloom

IMG_1596Seeing California’s spring wildflowers has long been on my bucket list. With the long drought quenched by soaking rains the past few months, this year’s bloom promised to be a big one. I am most fortunate to have friends in SoCal willing to take me to see the show at Walker Canyon, Lake Elsinore and wow, what a mind-blowing event it was. The tiny people on the far ridge above give you an idea of how vast the coverage was, 180 degrees of mountain vistas covered with California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and several other wildflowers.

Below is a slideshow to enjoy–

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