We broke into small groups. Mine started out in the Succulent Garden.
|The huge California pepper tree just inside the Succulent Garden was serving a dual purpose as a wishing tree. In December, children touring the garden wrote wishes on red paper that were then affixed to the tree.|
|The succulent display in this area is highly stylized and absolutely captivating|
|Rock and colored stone is mixed with succulents to create a garden mosaic of sorts|
|I've never seen this garden is less than pristine condition|
|The plants on the other side of the Succulent Garden are arranged in a more natural layout but far more densely planted than you'd see in nature|
|This fellow is Julius (Caesar), the garden cat, who followed our group for a portion of the tour. He had no trouble whatsoever maneuvering among spiky plants|
We checked the borders on the other side of the Succulent Garden before moving into the Fern Grotto.
|This area contained a papaya tree, a banana tree, and a huge Buddha's Hand (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis)|
|I'm not sure of the identity of the fern in the upper left. The fern on the upper right was described as a "moose-horn" fern. The gorgeous fern in the bottom 2 photos is Microsorum musafolium, aka the crocodile fern.|
Then we headed back across the garden toward the Tropical Conservatory.
|We passed the fountain near the south entrance to the gardens, and another group of fellow docents. The plants around the fountain are changed out several times a year.|
|This was the best photo I managed to get of Caryota obtusa, aka the fishtail palm|
|This border area outside the Tropical Conservatory got a lot of attention, mostly focused of the ruffled silver-gray foliage of the plant in the middle of the photo and the other one to its left rear. The docent wasn't able to identify it for us but I guessed it was an Echium. Although I've never grown this one, I'm fairly certain it's Echium wildpretii. Now that I've seen it in person, I'm going to have to get hold of one for my own garden.|
|Unfortunately, the Tropical Conservatory was closed during our tour as work was being done there. We just got a chance to stick our heads in for a quick photo of the Koi pond.|
|The area around the exterior of the conservatory featured carnivorous plants, bromeliads, and orchids|
As we rounded the exterior of the Tropical Conservatory, I was surprised to discover that the Rose Garden was missing!
|Apparently, the roses are all moved out during the winter months when they're not at their best. Pretty ornamentals like Cordyline, bedding plants such as Cyclamen, and even edibles like kale fill the area during the off-season.|
The area beyond the Rose Garden is officially called the Sun Garden but I like the think of it as "Sherman's Garden" as the botanic garden's mascot holds court there.
|A statue of an otter holding a hose stands at the edge of the pond. I once asked if he had a name and I was told it was Sherman (of course!). Silver plants, including the popular Senecio 'Angel Wings', featured heavily in the area on this visit.|
As we were concluding our tour I noticed a striking vine dangling from the roof of the gift shop.
|Fabulous plants are everywhere in this garden. This Begonia was planted in a narrow border next to the gift shop. I was told its name but I'm afraid I've already forgotten it.|
|Even small areas in the middle of paths surrounding posts were planted with colorful specimens, in this case Heucheras of various kinds|
Sherman Gardens is small, less than 3 acres in size, but as you can see from this post, every square inch contains something interesting. It's definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the area of Newport Beach. The fact that it's also only a mile or so from Roger's Gardens, a wonderful garden center, is an added bonus in my view.
Have a great weekend!
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party