San Diego Bamboo

 My recent business meeting in Southern California put me within striking distance of of several gardens and nurseries that I had not had the opportunity to visit in many years. I spent  hours in route preparation to make the best use of the time I had and clamped a couple of vacation days at the beginning and the end of my trip. One of the goals was to swing down to Encinitas on the SD County coast to visit San Diego Botanic Gardens , which in my former life as a San Diegan was known as Quail Gardens.I would say it had been at least 20 years since I had been to this garden and as I recalled it was pretty rustic and very tropical in it's planting style.The tropical action is still there, and very mature as one would expect after a couple of decades. This post however features the bamboo grove which for some reason captivated me to the point that I walked through it twice.

 I don't pretend to be knowledgeable about bamboo. I own 3, and by far my favorite is my black Bamboo Phyllostachys nigra. It is kept in a large container and I am vigilant about potential escape, for it is a runner. I believe lack of water keeps it in check.

 Meanwhile back in San Diego, this dried up timber bamboo marks the entrance to the grove.

This photo is from outside the entrance looking in.

 I was the only visitor here and though there were many others in the garden at large, the Bamboo grove was pretty deserted.

 There was a teahouse with a small Japanese garden in the depths of the grove. No people to be seen. I am always appreciative of serenity.

 This stand of Black Bamboo put mine to shame. I assume there must be some sort of barrier below ground.

Along the path back to the entrance.

These culms were among my faves.

 Another view of the entry area from within the garden.

  This is not anything I could have for my own garden, but a visit to places that are impossible can be deeply satisfying. No matter your zone there are always plants you wish for that will elude you. We have rain here in Norcal, but nights are rarely warm in my area, and that is the key. 49 degree nights in July limit the plant palette.

  As I write this we are expecting the Pineapple Express to deliver what will probably be our last significant rainfall of the season. Collection buckets are in place.


  1. 49 degree nights in July? That's crazy. Lovely photos KS, I skipped this part of the garden when I visited in 2014, what was I thinking?

    1. I almost skipped it, but not on purpose-at first I couldn't find it.I'm glad I succeeded.

  2. Forty-nine degree nighttime temps in summer sound blissful! I can't tell you how many times I've gone to bed at 11pm with the temperature still reading 90F outside. As to the bamboos, they're plants I admire and fear in equal measure. They're great in botanic gardens, though. It looks as though you timed your visit well, skirting the rain and avoiding the clouds. Best wishes with the rain collection effort! Reports are that we can expect little, if any, down this way.

    1. I'm glad it cools off at night here in summer (unless we are in a heat wave) though sometimes it would be nice to sit outside at night without fleece. I always enjoy those evenings when they roll around.This was the year I was going to get a couple rain barrels but I failed-still using several 5 gal buckets. Pretty sad ! I claim victory if I don't have to water the garden til May . The buckets are for the containers and the fuchsias.

  3. But the pinot noir grapes love those cool summer nights! So glad you reconnected with some of your San Diego haunts!

    (hey, and don't you and I share the same birthday?!)

    1. You and I and Babs are Apr7 B-day peeps. Yes, the Pinot and the Chardonnay like the Carneros temps with the wind and the fog. Hope you enjoyed your B-day -mine was spent in the garden.What could be better ?


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