Wednesday, 15 June 2011

letters from america: part 2

Opposite the Japanese Tea Garden is the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Much more like it! It's quite scruffy for a botanical garden (at least compared to UK), but I am sure this is only down to funding and it more than makes up for it in sheer numbers and diversity of plants! There are all kinds of rarieties from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, South Africa, plus lots of native Californian stuff.

Apparently the average temperature and humidity of San Francisco’s foggy coastal climate is similar to that of the 'cloud forest' regions of tropical America and Asia, which allows them to grow so many choice plants. I tried not to be jealous.

Entry is free if you leave in SF, $7 to everyone else. It's hard to imagine one of our Botanical Gardens doing something like that (Kew is currently about £14 / $22 per person)...

I loooove Proteas. This one is Leucospermum catherinae 'Yellow Pinwheel'

Leucospermum cordifolium 'Veld Fire'  
Anigozanthus 'Regal Claw'
a native to Australia. Will it grow in Norfolk?
Hmmm probably not. Will have to move to Australia.

What's this? Some sort of Cosmos? answers on a postcard...
Aloe saponaria
How's this for a combo? Imperata cylindrica and Campanula takesimana
(aka "Bloodgrass" and "Korean Bellflower")
Am going to copy this one.
Leucadendron argenteum, "Silver tree"
A native to S.A., now endgangered. This beautiful tree can grow up to
50ft very quickly. Stunning metallic colour.
Metrosideros excelsa
aka Pohutukawa
A New Zealander with amazing aerial roots that descend to the ground and take root in the soil. They then extend to become extra trunks that support enormous great horzontal branches. Mental!

letters from america: part 1

One of the first botanical pit stops was to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. It had some lovely pools, bridges and tea house-type structures, but to be honest I was a bit disappointed. The one at Tatton Park feels more authentic somehow, maybe it's to do with the fact that you can't go in, whereas this one was all wide paths and concrete. And there's not all that much to entertain the plant enthusiast other than topiary. Still, it's worth a look. It's about $14 dollars to get in (for two of you), but is free on Wednesday mornings. I'd recommend a visit when it's free, then belt it across the road to the SF Botanical Garden.

This bridge is really fun, and unusual in that it is
meant to be climbed over rather than just looked at.