California, Part 1 -- Plants

I'm back from California. Actually, I've been back since Monday night, but it's been a full week with lots of catching up to do. Matthias was (and still is) there for training for work so most of the time I was on my own, a vacation first for me. Being able to do whatever I wanted, go wherever I wanted, eat whatever I wanted... So what did I do? Mostly drive around looking for flowers, art and other beautiful things. And take photos. I didn't want to lug around my real camera, making do with my phone. Yes, it sounds a bit lame, but I still managed to take 591 photos. If you follow me on Instagram you saw some of them there. And yes, I thought I'd share some here, too.

I found the plants of California amazing.  I loved seeing figs, olives and of course, citrus growing in people's gardens. My lemon and orange trees looked puny in comparison. I kept coming across other varieties that I grow indoors in pots growing outside as large bushes or trees.  Like this pittosporum.

Lovely jasmine scented flowers.  Mine is in an 8 inch pot.  This one was growing in a shrubby row around this house:

Adorable little house, no? That's another of my favorite things. Walking around looking at houses and gardens. When I visited the "shopping" town of Los Gatos, I spent most of it walking in a park and ambling through neighborhoods. So many sweet little (and not so little) houses with lovely gardens.

Purple trim on the house, purple roses in the garden. And yes, I did manage to find four rose gardens to visit. None were as spectacular as the one in Portland, but roses are roses.

The rose garden I most enjoyed in California was the most scruffy. The San Jose Heritage Rose Garden needed a bit of TLC (while I was there a large group of people were working on it), but it had the most impressive collection with many English roses, old roses and found roses.

The most beautiful garden I visited was in Palo Alto, the Elizabeth Gamble Garden.

So much packed into a little space.

On a much larger scale, the San Francisco Botanical Garden was beautiful, too, though my favorite things there were little details. Like the gnarled trunk (trunk!) of a rosemary plant.

And the teeniest fuchsia flowers I've ever seen.

And then there were the trees. On one of the two days we spent together Matthias and I drove through the redwoods.

Beautiful and peaceful and fragrant. But not as fragrant as the eucalyptus.

Oh how I loved the groves of eucalyptus. Sometimes you'd smell them before seeing them. Even with the windows closed in the car.

Ok, that's enough for today. Thanks for humoring me! Hope you've been having a wonderful week. Oh, and if you have a chance, stop by Paula's blog today. I've got a guest post over there. Thanks, Paula!


  1. Nice to have you back Anne! Fantastic photos esecially the trees. I hope you a feeling great after your break. It is good to visit different places.

  2. Anne...what wonderful pictures you took!!! I love the Elizabeth Gamble Garden...I'd love to visit it!! I appreciate that you put attention at tiny details: I really think they do the difference! You like traveling with me...and I love traveling with you!!
    Thank you for the pictures!!

  3. Happy memories - we had. An amazing holiday driving from San fran to la. if there's one place I'd live with no thought it would be Big Sur. it's so beautiful down that stretch and not unlike out south coast. Glad you had fun :)

  4. That house is so cute!! I love all the roses and your descriptions too. Glad you had a nice time Anne!

  5. Such lovely places! Thanks for the cyber tour of California. :)
    It´s a pleasure to have you as a guest. I´ve been having a good look at everybody´s bags these days. I will be making mine too. Thank you for being such a wonderful guest this week. :)

  6. What a nice journey through the plants of California! I used to live in the Bay Area and love all of those places you mentioned. Aren't the redwoods impressive? Their scent brings me right back to my childhood. Thank you for sharing your trip (and wow, 591 photos on your phone! that's a lot of inspiration!)


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