We were a bit early to see a mass display of the Matilija poppies (Romneya coulteri) but the meadow area near the garden's entrance didn't disappoint.
|Orange and purple blooms dominated the meadow but there were other colors mixed in here and there|
There were agaves and other desert plants both near the entrance and at the outskirts of the meadow.
|From left, a mass of Agave shawii, Agave sebastiana in bloom, and noID Yucca?|
It was a very warm day and we appreciated the opportunity to stroll under the shade of the redwood trees.
|A mass of wild ginger (Asarum caudatum) created a pool of green below the trees|
We had a great view of the chaparral area along the Campbell Trail. One feature caught my fancy and I'm offering it as this week's Wednesday Vignette.
|Mature live oaks balanced precariously on top of a massive rock formation|
|A closer view from another angle (For other Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum)|
There were other interesting rocks, like this one:
|I don't know why but every time I see this rock, I think it's about to speak to me|
We followed Mission Creek through the canyon area.
|Although our rainy season has been over for some time, I still expected to see more water in the creek but perhaps the parched soil had already absorbed it|
|We weren't at much risk of getting wet at the stream crossing|
|We hiked up the trail on the other side of the creek|
|and found a reminder of just how old some of the trees at this site are|
What I love most about Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is that it's very natural. Unlike many other botanic gardens that provide visitors a little bit of everything - from manicured rose gardens to stylized Asian gardens and everything in between - the Santa Barbara garden is all about plants native to Southern California. It doesn't seek to impress so much as it tries to enfold you into the unique natural environment of this part of the world. There are flowers but not massed flower displays - you discover blooms at intervals as you pass through the garden.
The garden deserved a longer visit than we gave it but it was hot and we were hungry. We also had two more stops to make before we tackled the long drive home. I have to make it back there one day during a different season, perhaps fall, when the temperature comes down again.
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party