My trip to the Bay Area included a little reunion of sorts as I met up with a former classmate of mine from the UW/Sichuan Program. Zeng Yu was my equivalent of the Chinese students we worked with when I spent a school year in China. His passion, however, was insects. But coming from the natural sciences, there was a natural respect and admiration for each other's work.
He played tour guide as we walked the campus and also explored some of the neighborhoods around the Berkeley Hills. There are some avid gardeners out there!
He's currently working on his PhD at UC Berkeley so, naturally, I planned a trip to the botanical garden, which, coincidentally, was also highly recommended by my UK colleagues, Dr. John Grimshaw.
I'll let the photos speak for themselves. It was a lovely garden that I wish I had more time to really soak in. The eco-geographical displays and incredible selection of plants was absolutely fantastic and being that it was the mild-climate Bay Area, they're just a little bit ahead of the game when it came to blooms. But then, of course, there's always something blooming!
|This stand of Agave parryi was simply jaw-dropping!|
|A phenomenal display of South African flora!|
|Upon closer inspection, you see its many colorful treasures|
|...like this Helichrysum or "Everlasting"...|
|...and I'm a sucker for blue and this Babiana pulchra fits the bill!|
|And how 'bout the blue eye of this splendid Sparaxis|
|Turn around and this is your view. Lots of spiny things to see!|
|Head up the hill and there's more splendid things to see|
|From a distance I noticed this remarkable tree.|
|And I had to smell it as well. Magnolia doltsopa...mmmmmmm...|
|This Vaccinium was stunning with the chalky undersides.|
|Various Rhododendron species were in full bloom including this one with spectacular peeling bark!|
|Couldn't ask for a more dramatic setting for Old Garden Roses.|
|And the views from the hill were remarkable!|
As you can see, the weather was absolutely perfect! Unfortunately, I had to rush my visit so I could hit up another garden. This time, a recommendation by Mr. Ken Druse who insisted that I see this garden and meet this remarkable and very talented individual who created it!.