Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bright Colors at South Coast Botanic Garden

I recently spent a couple of hours at South Coast Botanic Garden with a friend.  She had a rare day off and we met to stroll the garden and have lunch.  The sun was already high in the sky when we arrived so many of my pictures didn't come out well but I thought I'd share some of the highlights, which make it clear that spring is here, even if its arrival has been delayed elsewhere.

Aloe, Aeoniums and assorted ice plants were in full bloom near the entrance.

The flowering Aloes immediately grab your attention...

but I was particularly impressed by the flowering Aeonium...

and the bright colors of the flowering ice plants kicked the mix up another notch

The Volunteer Garden was also full of color.

This area contains a jumble of plants but it's a cheerful mix

Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) were in bloom throughout

Blue and chartreuse dominated this bed filled with Echium, Borage and Euphorbia

The California poppies were already in bloom

There were also lots of Scilla peruviana...

and a sea of Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)...

and even tulips, which survived only a nanosecond in my garden less than 5 miles away

The coral trees were covered with vibrant blooms.

Erythrina of some variety

The Japanese flowering cherry trees were also in full flower in an area clearly designed to host spring weddings.

Prunus serrulata 'Pink Cloud'

Weeds were rampant in the cactus garden, perhaps the result of our recent rains, but there were some handsome Agaves and succulents throughout.

Bed fronted with what I think was Sawtooth Agave

A neater version of the Yucca elephantipes that sits at the bottom of my own back slope, bordered by Senecio, Aeonium and assorted cactus

Aeonium arboreum 'Atropurpureum'

My favorite 'Blue Glow' Agave

The spineless Agave desmetiana

Dudleya brittonii

This area impressed me, although my photo isn't especially good.

The large Loropetalum had leaves with a golden cast that was picked up in the yellow Arctotis at the front of the bed

Before we headed out to lunch, passing a statuesque palm tree, I even picked up a couple of plants at the garden gift shop.

Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata)

All in all, it was a great visit - I had time to catch up with a good friend; the sky was a clear bright blue; it was warm but comfortable; and I even got 2 new plants.  What could be better?  You can see pictures from last summer's visit to the same garden here.


  1. Your photographs have me longing for summer!

    1. It might as well be summer here, Loree - our temps are due to climb near 90F by Sunday.

  2. Oh la la! Our kind of place to visit! Stunning!

    1. The garden actually needs a lot of work - there's a lake/pond that's currently in bad shape, for example. They have a development/improvement plan but, as with many things, funding is the problem.

  3. So what did you buy? Were they for your new bed? Loved all the bright colors, but especially that closeup of the Erythrina. Glad you had fun, had a nice lunch, and got to see a friend.

    1. I bought a small-flowered burgundy and white Cymbidium and a Hibiscus trionum, which I knew absolutely nothing about beyond what was written on the label. If I'd been better informed prior to my impulse purchase, I might have taken a pass on the Hibiscus, which some people characterize it as a weed - maybe our drought will keep it in check.

  4. So many exotic flowers!
    Cerastium tomentosum have I in the gravel in my white garden room.
    Best regards

    1. I'll have to check your site to find a picture of your Cerastium, Mariana - I think it could be useful in an area of my own garden.

  5. What a beautiful garden and a lovely day out. The plants seem to be a mixture of spring and summer. I hope you are going to show us what you bought.

    1. I meant to include a photo of my purchases, Chloris. Maybe I can fit them into my Bloom Day post. I picked up a very nice small-flowered Cymbidium orchid and a Hibiscus trionum I possibly shouldn't have purchased given that some people characterize it as a weed.

  6. A gorgeous garden! Sounds like you had a great time. Hooray for impulse purchases!

  7. Some of the plants look positively Suessian, I love them! The planting in front of the trellis is very lovely. A beautiful and interesting garden. Thank you for the tour!


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