Since achieving full COVID-19 vaccination status in late March, I've been to the dentist, had my eyes examined, and gotten my hair cut. I've visited my local botanic garden and my local garden center too but then I'd done that off-and-on throughout the last year. However, on Tuesday, I broke through several of my self-imposed pandemic restrictions to meet up with three vaccinated friends in person; toured a botanic garden approximately 50 miles from home; visited a garden center I hadn't explored in over a year; and had lunch in an outdoor restaurant. It was a blast.
Because I spent so much time chatting with my friends while touring Sherman Gardens in Corona Del Mar, I took fewer photos than I've done in the past but I've some worth sharing. The botanic garden is small, just 2.5 acres, but it's meticulously maintained and plant beds are refreshed several times a year so there's always something new to see. (You can find prior posts featuring this garden here.)
We started in the Central Garden after entering via the main parking lot.
|Although the area surrounding the fountain pool, featuring Ranunculus and Papaver nudicaule (Iceland Poppies) looked good to me, the garden is already planning to replace them after a recent burst of very warm weather|
|Left to right, the biggest Iceland poppy I've ever seen; the garden cat, Julius (Caesar), perhaps the biggest domestic cat I've ever seen; and a vine that looked like Mandevilla sporting flowers in a color I haven't seen before|
|View of a mixed flower bed outside the garden's shade structure, featuring Clarkia, Digiplexis, and Leucospermums among other plants|
|Another mixed bed across from the previous one, adjacent to the Tropical Conservatory|
|The yellow Leucospermum (left) was drawing a lot of attention from visitors but I was also drawn to the attractive Dyckia nearby (right)|
|This mixed bed sat on the other side of the lawn|
|A closer look at the Digiplexis (an intergeneric hybrid of Digitalis and Isoplexis) and an unusual white-flowered Geranium maderense|
Next, we headed into the Tropical Conservatory.
|The koi pond is a central feature. You can almost always find turtles sunning themselves on that rock.|
|The orchid area|
|A few closeups from within the conservatory|
We checked out a couple of vignettes outside the Tropical Conservatory.
|My favorite flamingo, bedecked with Tillandsias, in a bed filled with bromeliads|
|A display of carnivorous plants|
This knot garden on the north side of the property formerly featured roses.
|There was a mix of edible plants, Violas and chartreuse-green shrubs (|
We passed by the Sun Garden on the way to the shade structure.
|My favorite otter figure, standing on the edge of the pond partly shaded by a large Callistemon (left), is still missing the hose he used to hold. The goddess statue that used to occupy the sunnier other end of the area (right) has also disappeared.|
|I'm very fond of the garden's shade structure, which was the inspiration for my own, much smaller, lath house. This area is all about specimen Begonias.|
|Other plants located inside the shade structure include, clockwise from the upper left, a yellow-flowered Clivia, a pelican surrounded by assorted bromeliads, a collection of Peperomias, and a Rhododendeon|
|This noID plant momentarily drew us up short with the unfolding leaf (right) that almost looked like a flower. UPDATE: Identified by commentator as Ficus dammaropsis.|
Heading in the direction of the Tea Garden, I admired the paper umbrellas hung under the arbor.
|I was captivated by the way the filtered light under the arbor looked like rain. My photo doesn't do the light effect justice. Unfortunately, I'd elected to carry my small, lightweight Canon rather than my DSLR camera.|
|A wider view of the arbor, decorated with colorful paper umbrellas, and the shade beds surrounding the Tea Garden|
|Cyclamen, Heuchera, Nemesia, Peperomia and Pericallis (aka Cineraria) were planted here along with Camellias|
As usual, I focused on the Succulent Garden to a greater extent than the many of the other areas, even though it arguably changes less from visit to visit.
|View of the tree-sized Euphorbias and barrel cactus|
|A beautifully backlit bromeliad fronted by an artistic succulent display|
|Agaves, Aloes and bromeliads - oh my!|
|One of the most interesting plants here is the groundcover-like plant, which I think is Deuterocohnia brevifolia, a mat-forming bromeliad|
|I was drawn in by the Euphorbia polygona in this area|
|The best-looking Dudleya I've ever seen|
Heading back to the parking lot for the next leg of excursion, I snapped a couple quick photos in the Fern Grotto.
Then we were off to Roger's Gardens to do a little shopping and have lunch at the Farmhouse restaurant onsite. I only bought a few plants but I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to chat casually with friends in person in the open-air setting. For the first time in more than a year, life felt a little bit more normal.
Best wishes for a pleasant weekend!
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party