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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Fling: Visiting The San Francisco botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum

One of the optional activities at the San Francisco Garden Bloggers' Fling was a morning photo shoot with Saxon Holt at the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum.  Mr. Holt was friendly, approachable, and full of great tips for taking better pictures.  After the formal presentation, Mr. Holt generously stuck around answering all kinds of questions.  This being our only chance to see the Arboretum, many of us left the group to explore.  Realizing that it would be impossible to see all 55 acres in the 40 minutes we had left, I walked briskly. 



Here's Saxon Holt telling the group that we should always use a tripod. 

Fun California poppy sculpture by the entrance gate.

 
Do you remember the Joni Mitchell song, "They Paved Paradise?"  Something about the next image with the fence around the trees reminded me of part of the lyrics:
 
They took all the trees
And put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half to seem 'em

Admission is free for all San Francisco City and county residents.  Pretty cool huh!





Here we are in the Fountain plaza. 
 
 
Arriving in Africa, where the sprinkler system is on. 
 
This is what Toto was singing about in their song "The Rains Down in Africa."



Dodging the sprinkler heads I got to see some beautiful restios and other South African gems growing happily in  San Francisco's mild climate.  I was not a particularly artful dodger which is how the map above got a little wrinkled.  On the positive side, the water felt pretty good on such a warm morning.
 Aloes

 Pelargoniums (Geraniums)

Now we're out of Africa.  Musa Basjoo.


 
 On the way to the succulent garden.







Who should I run into in the succulent garden but Ms. Danger.  How large is that agave?  Bigger than a Bohl!



Spent Echium flower spikes still create sculptural interest.




So much to see!










All too soon it was time to head back to the bus for another day of garden viewing adventure.  This is a wonderful botanical garden which is also part of Golden Gate Park.  I look forward to revisiting in the future!

28 comments:

  1. That flower does look like a hand, with very sharp fingernails! I didn't travel far in the botanical garden, so I really appreciate seeing your pictures of what I missed. I'd love to go back too.

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    1. There was so much that I didn't see like parts of New Zeland and Australia, Andean Cloud Forest, etc. So much to see in this Garden and in the Bay area in general!

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  2. It's such a beautiful place isn't it? I wish we had just a little more time to explore (with less sprinklers).

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    1. Amazing. Would be nice to return someday!

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  3. Loved it! a must visit botanic garden!

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    1. Oh Lisa, you would have a great time there!

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  4. The morning session with Saxon Holt was wonderful...I was so excited. I do wish we'd had more time, I guess there's always next time :-)

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    1. It had been 30 years since I'd visited SF and can see that there are a lot of great reasons to go back!

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  5. The succulent garden is gorgeous! I love the silent place near the lake, the bench. Thank you for sharing these interesting trip to Botanic garden!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the garden. There were many silent places within the larger area. Glad you came along!

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  6. Wow Peter, we do love a good botanic garden and this certainly is one of them!

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    1. It's definitely worth a visit! Maybe you could spend a few days in California before coming up the coast to Portland next summer.

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  7. San Francisco is home to some amazing plants. I enjoyed seeing this garden and I often think of the "Tree Museum" line when visiting gardens like this too.

    Always use a tripod? I do use one at home but rarely on the road and I can just imagine all those tripods and bloggers trying to fit on the Fling transport vans or smaller gardens.

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    1. It was quite a treat to see so many plants that we baby in pots here growing with wild abandon in the ground there!

      I have an old tripod somewhere. Now they make really cool ones that collapse down into something fairly small.

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  8. Thanks for the very nice photographic overview of this garden ... love the rainbow! Oh, and thanks for the musical trip back to the early 80s.

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    1. Glad to take you back! The 80's were a wonderous time.

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  9. You could easily spend a whole day there: yet another reason to follow your heart back to San Francisco.

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    1. Indeed! And yet, there are so many places in Seattle and Portland that I haven't yet explored. That whole job thing takes up far too much of my time!

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  10. Nice tour! Thanks for showing those great plants!

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  11. That Toto song always makes me giggle because of that crazy line, "As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti." I always wanted to see them live to see if he could get that line out in a reasonable manner. Your pictures are gorgeous, I'm really regretting not making it to this fling.

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    1. There's always next year in Portland!

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  12. Ooh, that claw flower is creepy -- I missed that while I was there.

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    1. if you're not careful, the hands will reach down and pull your hair and pinch you! Extreme caution is advised! A few flowers had fallen on the path so we were able to examine them closely and that "hand" part of the flower was leathery & felt more like a chicken claw than part of a flower.

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  13. Great pictures! Especially I love the tree pictures--they're so grand and it's quite a feeling. Here, things tend to be on the stunted side--a more closed in feeling.

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    1. Thanks Linda. Parts of the west coast with abundant rain an cool summers are very lush and green.

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  14. Always use a tripod??? Who knew! ;)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.