As mentioned in my last post, I met blogger friend Hoover Boo of Piece of Eden at Sherman Library & Gardens earlier this week. This botanic garden sits alongside the busy Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. It's just two and a half acres in size but the staff swaps out plants on a regular basis so there's usually something new to see with every visit. However, the something new on this occasion consisted of holiday decorations, including preparations for a light show. As workers were in the early stages of their installations, it felt somewhat chaotic. While I expect the local community will enjoy the light show, it wasn't what I had in mind, although I still found plenty of plants to focus my camera on. You can find my accounts of other visits at different times of the year here if you're interested.
I'll spare you most of the holiday installation activity as it was nowhere near finished. Both HB and I took note of a colorful display of paper umbrellas near the front entrance. I'm not sure they had anything to do with the holiday displays, which had a "Candy Land" theme.
|The colors of some of the umbrellas echoed the poinsettias in pots below
But let me take you outside to enter via the front entrance.
|The beds surrounding the front and sides of buildings facing PCH were filled with begonias, ornamental kale, snapdragons, and pansies, among other things
|The walkway from the front entrance was lined with poinsettias. Small beds surrounding posts along the same walkway were filled with Heucheras in a variety of colors like those shown on the right.
|The flame vine (Pyrostegia venusta) hanging over the arbor at the front entrance was just starting to flower. The photo on the left was taken from the exterior of the garden and the one on the right was taken from inside facing the Sun Garden.
The Tea Garden nearby was strewn with materials for a "Candy Carnival" so I tarried only briefly to check out the plants for sale outside the gift shop while awaiting HB's arrival.
|Lots of lovely plants but nothing that looked like a deal to me, although all plant prices seem sky high these days so perhaps I'm not being realistic
|The Sun Garden was in the process of being decorated (hence the gumdrop-like lights). I was pleased to see that Sherman, the garden's otter mascot, has been provided with an umbrella to hold. The hose he used to hold disappeared long ago.
|I was surprised to find a number of orchids in full bloom. Three are Cymbidiums and the other may be an Epimedium.
HB joined me in the Tropical conservatory. It was filled with schoolchildren when she arrived but the kids moved on to survey other areas of the garden soon afterwards.
|Who needs flowers when they have beautiful mixes of foliage like this? The plants on the right are mostly from the Maranta genus. Sherman has a Fantastic Flora webpage that identifies some (but not all) of the plants in each area of the garden.
|Although the foliage was nice, so was the variety of orchids in the Conservatory
|This is the most artistically arranged section of the Succulent Garden. I didn't get a good wide shot but I collected a lot of closeups.
|Bromeliad Androlepis skinneri is on the left. HB identified the aloe on the right for me but I can't remember what she she said. My phone's plant ID app, often unreliable, says it's Aloe claviflora.
|Wide shot of the opposite side of the Succulent Garden
|This is the same area viewed from the other side
|Clockwise from the upper left, agaves in that bed include: Agave americana , A. potatorum 'Kissho Kan', A. 'Sun Glow', and A. victoriae-reginae
|Clockwise from the upper left, other plants in the bed include: a tree-sized Euphorbia I can't identify, Dudleyas, Encephalartoas horridus (aka blue cycad), and Fenestaria rhopalophylla
|Beautifully mounted staghorn ferns, reminding me that I need to get mine out of a pot and properly mounted
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