California spring

Michael Mace
Thu, 18 Mar 2010 21:42:29 PDT
Uli wrote:

>> Can anybody of you recommend places (both nature and nursery or garden)
that are particularly interesting? Huntington and Strybing are already

Those are excellent choices, and I agree that Berkeley is cool.  The LA
Arboretum is also nice, I am partial to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
Quail Botanic Garden (now called San Diego Botanic Garden) is smaller than
the others but has a great collection of subtropicals you won't see
elsewhere.  Very cool giant clumping bamboos.  I'm so jealous of them.

You're coming to California in a good year.  It was a relatively wet winter,
and already the wildflowers are doing well.  The deserts will be mostly
bloomed out by mid-April, but there should be good wildflowers in many other

You'll be a little bit early for some of the native bulbs here -- many of
the prettiest Calochortus peak in late April to May as the hills start to
dry out.  But the Brodiaeas and friends will be going, and there will be a
lot of other wildflowers in bloom.

The Theodore Payne Foundation has a great website with links to a huge range
of California parks and gardens here:…

They also publish an excellent weekly report describing where wildflowers
are blooming:…

If you have the time and haven't done it before, spend a day driving Highway
1 between Big Sur and San Simeon.  Just don't do it in the rain.

Enjoy your visit!

San Jose, CA

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