The San Francisco Bay Area is not just known as being a technology hub, it is well-known for its scenic valleys and mountains, and a vibrant culture. Cities and towns in the Bay Area are filled with people who like to work hard and play hard. In this hub of knowledge and education, it is not uncommon to find diversity in people and culture. Many of them could be found exploring outdoor activities like hiking, biking, walking, boating and camping in the parks, and many others exploring indoor activities like bowling, rock climbing, skydiving and zero gravity chambers. The weather in the Bay Area is to die for. The public gardens in this area clearly showcase the opportunity in their landscaping styles and arrangements. Today, let us explore some extremely gorgeous outdoor gardens in and around this happening piece of the world.
Botanical Gardens and Arboretum
This magnificent garden was created in the late 1800s, guess what!, as a resource for study, research and conservation in the field of horticulture. It has a huge collection of diverse plants, about 10,000 plus specimens, spread over acres and acres as far as the eye can wander. As you explore the garden, you will find multiple exhibitions, workshops and other events happening that can engage your mind for hours. Just be very careful exploring the plants, some are extremely rare and endangered species. But, they are a treat to watch in full bloom. You can definitely go around asking about the different classes and informative presentations happening, on many different topics like pruning, designing a garden, succulent care and cultivation techniques etc.
The Garden of Ruth Bancroft
For those who love cacti and succulents, this is the place to visit. California has recently suffered through years of drought, with all of this global warming; and is generally drought-prone anyways. Three and a half acres of this beautiful garden is focused on drought-tolerant plants, it serves as an awesome example of water conservation. You will see some really important collections of echeverias, aloes and agaves. You can come here to understand how to create and design your own garden of water-wise plants. This garden used to be a walnut farm and a pear orchard at one time, now it is a unique garden of plants with different textures and colors, arranged in an exquisite contrasting theme.
This English Renaissance-style garden actually belonged to a private family, which later was donated and opened to public viewing. The private estate is 654 acres, with 16 acres of formal gardens, 10 acres of orchard, vegetable garden, and much more. The garden now belongs to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and serves to preserve the cultural traditions and history of the private estate, for education and enjoyment of the public.
Botanical Gardens of Golden Gate Park
This is pretty much a living museum including both landscaped gardens and open areas. There is a collection of over 8,500 botanical specimens from all around the world. The unique climate allows to conserve high altitude growing plants, as well as ones that can thrive in dry climates as well. There is an extensive Magnolia collection that is renowned world-wide as the fourth most important conservation collection of Magnolias. There are gardens featuring native California plants, redwood trees, succulents, conifer trees and much more. Inside the arboretum, you will find a Butterfly Garden, a Hummingbird Garden, a Eucalyptus Grove and a Fragrance Garden.
Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden
Heard of Procter and Gamble? The granddaughter of the co-founder was the creator of this absolutely exquisite site of colors and harmony. She left her home and her garden to the city of Palo Alto, and is now open for free public viewing. There is an aura of peace surrounding this historic house and in the garden. You will also find a library dedicated to horticulture for reference, and walkways, fountains and patios that just resonate with goodness, fragrance and beauty.
This has a cute little history behind it. A descendant of a Japanese Samurai built this garden some hundred years ago. It nestles around an estate, and is open to public viewing. As you walk around it, you will notice the Japanese style, with colorful bridges and an interesting mix of plants, rocks and flowing water with Koi fishes.
So, this is it for today. Hope you were able to take a nice, peaceful walk along with us through these beautiful and fragrant, not to mention educational gardens, in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. For those who love gardening, the next time you visit, keep a couple of these gorgeous places in mind.
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