Friday, May 31, 2019

Another Visit to Sherman Gardens

I've visited Sherman Gardens in Corona Del Mar several times.  It's a very pretty and relatively small "horticultural retreat,"  just over 2 acres in size but jam-packed with lovely plants and lots and lots of flowers.  My most recent visit last weekend with a friend was intended as an early celebration of my birthday.  I took fewer photos than I have on previous occasions, partly because the sunlight was intense and partly because I've photographed the gardens so extensively in the past.  You can find prior posts here.

As in prior years, the Central Garden celebrated spring with a massive display of dahlias.

The centerpiece of the display changes from year to year but the color scheme seems to have been consistent, at least from 2017 to 2019

Pink and orange wouldn't be colors I'd have considered combining but it works

Within the color scheme, the flowers vary in shape (cactus, decorative, etc) and size

I found this display of cut dahlias floating in a birdbath near the rose garden

The orange and pink combination was repeated in the area surrounding the entrance fountain but foxgloves, lupines and Gerbera daisies were used instead of dahlias here

Due to the bright light, my photos of the Perennial Garden adjacent to the Central Garden weren't especially good but I pulled together a few shots to share with you.

Although orange and pink flowers were featured here too, a variety of other colors were thrown into the mix.  Last year's "it" plant, Senecio candicans 'Angel Wings', is back (lower right).  The ruby-colored goose-necked plant on the lower left looked familiar but neither my friend nor I could name it.

A section of the Sun Garden was blocked off with caution tape so I collected only a handful of photos there.

The caution tape prevented me from getting a good photo of the garden's otter mascot so I pulled up a photo from my October visit as a tour of Sherman Gardens isn't complete without him.  The passionflower, Aeonium and Plectranthus mash-up, and the red Alstroemeria flower are all current photos.

The Tropical Conservatory is one of my favorite areas within the gardens.  Although it hasn't changed much from visit to visit, I always enjoy it.  If only I had another acre or so and a big pile of money, I'd like to have a space like this, complete with turtles and Koi fish.

I've never cared much for chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) but I always appreciate it in this context, surrounded by bromeliads, ferns and water

These are the same 2 turtles I featured in my Wednesday Vignette this week, accompanied by some of the Koi occupying the pond

A nice pairing of vibrant Croton and dark-hued bromeliads

I put a Medinella magnifica like the one shown in the middle of this photo on my birthday wish list but I didn't receive one.  However, my husband bought me several Mangaves so he's forgiven.

I think all these orchids are kept in pots and changed out as their blooms fade

The plant on the upper right is torch ginger (Etlingera elatior).  The only orchids I can name off-hand here are the chocolate orchid (Oncidium 'Sharry Baby', second from the upper left) and the one on the lower left, called the hollow woman orchid (Coelogyne sp.).  The latter was tagged and who can forget a name like that one?

There's a good-sized Bromeliad Garden on the property, which now includes a display of carnivorous plants.

Once again the sun's glare interfered with my photos.  I think the plant on the lower right is Dyckia fosteriana or a hybrid.

The last area I photographed was the Tea Garden.  Much of the area is shaded by lath structures so the photos aren't sharp but I think you can appreciate just how densely planted the area is.

Ferns rub elbows here with Impatiens, Fuchsias, Alstroemeria, Clematis and other plants too numerous to name

The Clematis on the upper left looks as though it's growing in that hanging basket but it's planted in the bed below and is only using the basket as support.  The basket on the upper right is brimming with what I think are Achimenes.  There were also many hanging baskets of Fuchsias, including one (lower left) featuring red and near-black flowers.

I somehow failed to take any photos of the Succulent Garden on this visit, a serious omission but one I suspect I'll remedy before the year is out.

That's my wrap-up for this week.  I wish you good gardening.  May the weather be with you.

All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


  1. I always love your posts about Sherman Gardens. If I ever have the courage to rent a car and take to California's highways again on a trip down there (shudder!) I'd love to go there. I love all the pink and orange together. I wanted that to be my color scheme in the front originally, but it has morphed into something else (mostly a mess).

    I think the ruby-colored gooseneck plant is Lysimachia atropurpurea 'Beaujolais' which I planted here last year hoping it would be a perennial, but it wasn't. Possibly it's a short-lived perennial or biennial, because I also sowed seeds of it last year and those are flowering this year. It's on Annie's website, but they don't have any available for sale right now.

    1. I don't blame you for your apprehension about navigating the SoCal freeways, Alison. I've lived here all my life and they still make me nervous, whether I'm the driver or a passenger. Some are worse than others, though. On your next trip, maybe you should suggest staying somewhere in the South Bay or the OC. I'd be more than happy to drive you to Sherman Gardens, Rogers, Village Nursery, OC succulents...

      Thanks for the ID. You're spot on!

  2. I get hot pink and orange too from salvias blooming with aloes. Energizing! I always feel a pang when dyckias are in bloom. I had a huge clump in the front garden filled with flowers -- always ruined by the jacaranda bloom. And nowhere in the back garden for such an armed plant. That gooseneck plant looks like Lysimachia atropurpurea. Grew like an annual for me, good for one season but didn't return. Very cool in bloom though. And happy birthday!

    1. Jacarandas, so beautiful - in someone else's garden! I can't think of a more difficult plant to clear of sticky debris than a Dyckia so I sympathize with the problem, Denise.

  3. A belated Happy Birthday Kris. Your visit to the Sherman Gardens was exciting with that burst of color welcoming you. Love that pink and orange together. Makes the sun seem insignificant because they stand right up to it. A good ending to the month. Fuchsias are one of my favorite summer plants. They must be out of fashion here because no one sells them now. Too bad because they would get a few dollars from me if they did sell them.

    1. Sherman Gardens was selling Fuchsias at a very reasonable price and I almost purchased one. We've had serious problems with Fuchsia gall mite here, which has led a lot of people to avoid them. My local botanic garden treats many of theirs as annuals now. I have a couple in my shade house but, even there, they struggled with our summer heat last year so I've been reluctant to collect any more.

  4. Definitely a flower-lover's paradise. I've often wanted to pack a space like that, full of color.
    Hopefully, all the seeds I planted in the past week will come to something pretty close!

    1. I expect Sherman Gardens has a nice budget for plants and a top-notch staff responsible for grooming the gardens. They're always immaculate.

  5. Happy Birthday Kris! We share a similar birth date and gift wants. Both my mother and husband took me on nursery buying sprees for mine. The only reason I keep having birthdays. Sherman Gardens look amazing. Had to chuckle re: the dahlias as I go to extraordinary lengths to get them to grow and flower here before frost. A real treat to see them in their glory.

    1. A belated happy birthday to you, l2g! My own dahlias are nowhere near as flamboyant as those at Sherman Gardens even at their peak. I suspect theirs are grown under glass somewhere and shipped in as they begin blooming. I mean to check their bases to see how tightly they were planted but failed to do so. It's a tight planting scheme, though - they appear to be holding one another upright.

  6. I have an OC business trip in Sept this year, so I am determined to visit Sherman Gardens . Sure looking festive right now !

    1. Let me know when details of your OC trip are set, Kathy. Maybe I can meet you there. I'm sure we'll be in the middle of renovation hell here then and I'll be grateful of any opportunity to escape. Maybe Denise and Gail will be available too.

  7. Yes that Tropical Conservatory sparks dreams, doesn't it?

  8. A lovely outing indeed & even better when it's experienced with a friend. No matter the garden, I inevitably see something that surprises me or peaks my interest such as the pink and orange combo. And yeah...we could all use another acre or so and a pile of money lol!


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