UC Santa Cruz Arboretum
We've come to see the January Protaceae show, but first a short stop in California.
Despite recent rains, California still seems quite parched.
The fescues are greening up.
A huge Artemisia behind this low wall.
We like the simple wall.
Another Eriogonum arborescens, with dead inflorescences I'm ready to snap off, but don't.
Ribes malvaceum. Why isn't mine flowering like this? Argh!
A pan on a cairn with some flowers. Simple, perfect.
This botanical garden isn't like the others I frequent. There are no real garden beds, and you can walk right up to every plant and look it over quite thoroughly. There are some nice plant combinations (coming up!) but there is no landscape design here which might be in or out of style at some point down the road. It's nice.
That's it for California.
The world has five mediterranean climate zones: the Mediterranenan, California, South Africa, south and west Australia, and Chile. South African landscapes like the one below are so distinct you can identify them at a distance with a quick glance.
The dead head.
The thing about Protea sp., is that on older specimens, it's not uncommon for the trunk to split at the crown.
Then the both halves are toast.
This happens at Strybing too.
And now, moving in to Australia, Banksia.
Hummingbirds love these.
The fruit are crazy.
The fruit is a cone-like woody capsule that opens with heat. You can hold the "cone" over an open flame and these little mouths will open slowly and release the seed.
Banksia are shrubs, or 30-foot trees.
This picture is dark, but you can imagine having a tree full of the crazy cones.
I like the wood too.
Soft and fuzzy.
The garden guru spies something in the rocks...
For you succulent lovers:
The fragrance garden abuts the cactus garden, and I think that's cool. A scented geranium (Pelargonium) in the foreground.
The sculpture is named Stack O' Seeds, by Doug Hennig.
I need to wrap up. Why not end with a sight more familiar to most readers...