A few links to public gardens in California and other
interesting places on the web.
California's Public Gardens
Descanso Gardens has notable collections of
roses, camellias and wonderful nature trails.
Huntington Gardens has excellent collections of
roses, particularly of English Roses, a world renowned succulent collection, camellias, a
slope of subtropical shrubs, and a growing Australian plant collection in addition to
their library and museum.
Quail Botanical Gardens has a wide variety of
plant sections. Notable collections include Pacific tropical plants, bamboos, and an
interactive children's garden.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens
is noted for its native California plant hybridizing and extensive collections and trails.
Ruth Bancroft Garden has taken the
drought tolerant garden and presented it in a way that is both stunningly beautiful and
Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens is
noted for its gardens with California Native plants grouped by plant community.
Lavender Gardens near Porterville is a beautiful new garden.
Lavender is not the only plant in this garden, there are a wide variety of
plants that are great for cut flowers. The Central Valley is more
noted for its agriculture, but this garden might help you change your
Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park has some
of the most complete records of trees in the state. Many early tree plantings are
still surviving in the garden. Often these are the first recorded horticultural use
of these plants in this state.
UC Berkeley Botanic Garden has an
excellent collection of interesting and unusual plants. Many have still not made it
into the trade. It is well worth the visit.
UC Irvine Arboretum has an
excellent South African plant collection but are probably most noted for their bulb
UCLA Mildred Mathias Garden has a
number of experimental beds. They have worked on a number of succulent selections,
monkey flower selections and many other plants that have become mainstays of the landscape
A few more interesting places to go:
Pest Species List: It is important not to release problem
plants into the wild. This group at UC Davis tracks plants that are
becoming problems. Responsible nurseries, at the very least, should
not sell plants that are known to be problems in the areas where there are
already expensive eradication projects funded.
Invasive Plants to Avoid: and a list of nurseries that have agreed not to sell them.
Horticultural Society has a very active group of plant enthusiasts. They have
regular meetings with notable speakers. They are involved in a number of community
projects. If you are in the area you should check them out. Due to the benign
climate the San Diego area can boast plants grown nowhere else in California.
Net Gardeners UK provides a look at what
is current in English gardens. We are often trying to emulate something in our
gardens that we only see in picture books. Look to see what is interesting to the
gardeners in Great Britain.
Water management, landscape design
Hawaii Bamboo Society Bamboos have
become a hot topic. They are being used for quick screens, hedges, and structures.
They are beautiful as specimens in their own right. While some may deserve
the label of pest, many others have a very real place in our gardens and are rather
"tame". It is one of the fastest growing building materials and incredibly
strong relative to its weight. I have used it to build fences and bridges.
Integrated Pest Management has information on the latest beneficial insect
species. Biological solutions are being worked on for the Giant Whitefly, the Lerp
Psyllid, and the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter. The Giant Whitefly is a problem for
hibiscus and a number of other large leaved plants. The plants look as if they were
growing a white beard. The Lerp Psyllid is defoliating the red gum eucalyptus.
It looks like a small cream colored cap. The Glassy Winged Sharpshooter has
gotten most of the press. While it causes some damage to plants in the garden it has
the vintners in a panic. If you walk under a tree where it looks like it is raining
while the sun is shining this is the likely culprit. They look like a 3/4"
Crabs and Crustaceans are suffering from
our garden runoff. Several problems found in the Eastern Seaboard fisheries are
being linked to excessive nitrogen in runoff waters. These pollutants are directly
linked to the destruction of the menhaden and blue crab fisheries. We have
similar issues on the West Coast with nitrates and pesticides creeping into our
groundwater, and pesticide and bacteria laced water flowing into the ocean from our
coastal communities. We can improve this problem one yard at a time by thinking of
organic means of tending our small plots of land.
For some of my favorite music