I stopped by South Coast Botanic Garden again two weeks ago. Actually, "stopped by" is a misnomer as advance reservations are still required, along with masks and social distancing.
|This sign is positioned to be viewed as soon as you enter the garden after checking in (from a distance)|
My main purpose was to check on the Dahlia Garden but I took a general look around to see what's been going on since my visit in late July. What follows are the highlights of my one hour tour.
|The Japanese Garden was looking neat and tidy|
|This area had been cleared just before our March lockdown. It's being designed to offer a bright spot for visitors this coming spring.|
The Dahlia Garden sits directly to the right of the area under construction shown above. The area surrounding it has changed dramatically since my last visit.
|The photo on the left, taken in June, shows the Dahlia Garden as an intimate enclosed space (even if the storage shed to the rear didn't offer the best backdrop). I took the photo on the right on October 9th. |
|This area to the left of the Dahlia Garden once housed storage sheds, a greenhouse and SCBG's tram buses. It's been cleared to make way for an exhibition area scheduled to open next year.|
|Exposed on three sides and now open to the two new areas under construction, the Dahlia Garden struck me as small and almost out of place|
Additional dahlias had been planted to fill areas of the raised beds that had been empty on prior visits. Unfortunately, many of the older plants were well on the road to decline. I photographed the best of what the Dahlia Garden still had to offer at the time of my visit.
|The new plants were enclosed in cages, presumably to protect them from critters|
|Blooming, top row were: Dahlias 'American Beauty', 'Bahama Mama' and 'Cafe au Lait'|
Middle row: 'Emory Paul', 'Kelvin Floodlight' and 'Lisa Lisa'
Bottom row: 'Penhill Dark Monarch', 'Thomas Edison' and a variety I can't identify based on my records
Exiting the Dahlia Garden, I continued my rounds, starting with the Volunteer Garden. The volunteers themselves are still on hiatus, awaiting guidelines to cover their recall.
|The Japanese anemones (Anemone hupehensis) were blooming en masse in a few areas|
|My own bush violets (Barleria obtusa) came from a fall sale at the botanic garden years ago. If I'd seen how big it can get before I planted it, I might have been more careful about spreading it throughout my garden.|
|I've never grown Justicia carnea (aka flamingo flower) in my garden but whenever I see it in bloom I always wonder why. (The short answer is that it needs more water than I give most plants outside my cutting garden.)|
|However, I did hunt down Tithonia diversifolia (aka Mexican sunflower tree) for my garden, although I haven't planted it out yet. I'm almost afraid to as it obviously gets very big at maturity.|
|These photos are from the Vegetable Garden. The seating area on the left is planted with herbs. I discovered Helianthus maximilliani (right) growing in one of the raised vegetable beds.|
|The succulent and fern-planted Living Wall is well-maintained and always looks good|
|This blue potato bush (Lycianthes rantonnetii) occupies a bed on the edge of the garden's lower meadow across from the Vegetable Garden|
|Before the pandemic, people could often be found painting in the garden but this is the first time since March I've seen any doing that|
|The Desert Garden has been well-weeded since my July visit|
|The Rose Garden was still in serious need of deadheading but I managed a few presentable shots. From left to right are: Rosa 'Gemini', 'Grauss an Aachen' and 'Sparkle & Shine'.|
|The plants in the Lavender Field had been trimmed back but the area looked good. The desert willows (xChitalpa tashkentensis 'Morning Cloud') were still flowering.|
I only covered the front third of the garden before I ran out of time and headed back in the direction of the exit, snapping a few more photos on my way.
My last shot was taken in the parking lot as I walked to my car.
|I believe this is also a silk floss tree. I wish my own garden were large enough to support a tree this size.|
Best wishes for a colorful weekend! We have a slight chance of light rain in the forecast at intervals through Monday but it's nothing to bank on at this point (although that doesn't mean my hopes haven't been raised).
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party