A friend and I took a spin through South Coast Botanic Garden this week. With summer heat expected to move into the area soon, I suspect I may not be making more trips there until fall. Frankly, the garden already wasn't looking as spiffy as it did back in April, although some areas were tidier than others. I'll start with my favorite views.
Jacaranda trees are in bloom throughout the area but it's easier to photograph the trees at the botanic garden than it is to pull the car to the side of the road as I head down the hill into town.
|Jacaranda trees signal the beginning of summer for me|
I was also drawn to what I think of as the lavender field, located in the grass garden area.
|Mingling with the lavender, clockwise from the upper left, are Lagerstroemia (crape myrtle trees), Salvia canariensis, and Romneya coulteri (aka Matilija poppies)|
There are all sorts of critters in the garden - including birds, lizards, and squirrels - but the sheer number of rabbits we saw was a surprise. We seemed to come across one or more at every turn.
The Desert Garden was looking pretty scruffy but some plants still stood out.
|Aloe elgonica was blooming. Few other Aloes were at this time of year.|
|This mass planting of Aloe vanbalenii is attractive even when it isn't blooming|
|Cussonia paniculata (aka mountain cabbage tree)|
|This was labeled as organ cactus but I'm not sure it's what's commonly called organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi). I can't read the scientific name on the label but I think this could be Pachycereus marginatus (aka fence post cactus).|
There were some interesting succulents outside the Desert Garden as well.
|A dark-toned Aeonium arboreum with a noID blue-flowered Salvia made a nice combination|
|The white orchid cactus on the left (presumably Epiphyllum) was growing in the Desert Garden but we came across the pink one on the right was in another area laying alongside a path.|
Toward the end of our rounds we stopped in the shade of the Banyan Grove, one of my favorite areas of the garden, partly because it's always at least ten degrees cooler than the rest of the garden. Although the late morning temperature was fairly pleasant the day of our walk-through, we nonetheless appreciated the area's cool shade.
|The Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) create a massive shade canopy|
As we headed toward the rose garden, we passed the Mediterranean Garden.
|I cringed seeing kids were crawling inside the Fuller sculpture, which isn't intended as a play structure. Their mothers appeared to be having difficulty getting them out.|
The sun was exceptionally bright and the few photos I took in the rose garden were badly washed out but I'll offer an assortment of other random photos taken in spots throughout the garden that stood up better under the harsh light conditions.
|Brugmansia (aka angel's trumpet)|
|Fuchsia Garden specimens|
|Salvia mexicana 'Limelight'|
|What we guessed is Sambucus mexicana|
|On our way out, we saw a passionflower vine (Passiflora incarnata) in full bloom, attended by a host of Gulf Fritillary butterflies|
That's it from me this week. Enjoy your weekend!
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