The drive to the frost free but still climatically challenged North Coast is stomach -lurching for some , but this 3 hour interlude always lifts my spirits and leaves my digestive system intact. Once the Interstate is left behind the traffic is sparse and the natural beauty can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
Spring was in full throttle in zone 17; Ceonothus,Poppies, Phlomis, and fresh new growth on conifers of all kinds. There was no intent to visit the Botanical Garden as it was visited in October and will be visited again in June, but the car turned in none the less seduced by the banner reading "Rhododendrons Blooming Today" prominently displayed along the highway.
Geranium maderense was in majestic full bloom, waist high and unfazed by it's full sun position . The bronze stems and the large palmate leaves make a nice counterpoint to the ballistic magenta
Were I to undertake growing Rhodies again, yellow would be the color of choice.
The Heather Garden is outstanding in any season.
Art installations change throughout the year and set off the plant combinations and a dynamic way with sensitive placement and echos of shapes and color. This made me envision the Phormium turned in upon itself ..