Thursday, 18 February 2010

Never thought I'd find blooms like this in the Bay Area!

We have rhododendrons in the UK and we're very proud of them, but when I went to the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley yesterday, my heart stopped - the Asian garden there is just magnificent and I saw blooms that just made me want to scream with joy!! What an enchanting garden this is, and how lucky I was to see it in full bloom. In all honesty, I've never been a fan of rhododendrons before, but this garden made my whole trip to the West Coast something to remember!

Everywhere you look in the Asian Garden at this time of year, there are magnificent camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias, sourced from India, China and other Far Eastern countries. It's an astounding collection and well worth making a special visit for.

As you wander through this section of the garden, keep your eyes up, because every tree has fantastic blooms, and this is just one part of the garden - elsewhere you will find plants from Africa, South America, South Africa, and Central America to name just a few of the collections.

I'll be doing a full review when I get settled back in Florida, but I wanted to get these pictures up so that those of you within reach of this beautiful garden can get there to see the flowers in bloom right now. It certainly convinced me that rhododendrons are fantastic!

And, on a different subject, have you all been having problems with Blotanical?? I haven't been able to access the site for several days now.

15 comments:

  1. Those are gorgeous! Our native rhododendrons don't start blooming here until June, it's odd to think they've started already in California.

    I'll have to tell my sister to go visit them since she lives next door to Berkeley, it might make her less homesick. :)

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  2. Never thought rhododendrons where beautiful..just missed my thoughts as there are many here - again, with so many warning about their poison issues - it seemed to create a shunning effect rather than an admirable one.

    And yes, I have been noticing my missing blotanical link from my sidebar & also not able to access it directly either.

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  3. How magnificent!! Glad you found something special to remember.

    Blotanical has been offline for a few days. I read somewhere that Stuart sent out a 'tweet' to that effect, I hope it's back soon. ~Rebecca

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  4. They are simply stunning Tiggerlot ... that first white rhodo is definitely spectacular. Great photos.

    Blotanical has been off-line for a few days now ... apparently the site is moving servers and Stuart has let everyone know on his twitter page that it will be a few days yet before everything is sorted.

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  5. Hi Tiggerlot, I posted Stuart's tweet. Blotanical went down on Sunday evening. Someone joked that Stuart was making time for his wife on Valentine's Day. Maybe save the link I posted to Stuart's Tweet? Someone else was posting a message, and thought she'd broken something. And everyone is hissing, I thought it was just me!! MUST be back soon, Jean thinks a week ...

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  6. There will always be surprises as we walk through the garden. Great you found something very interesting. ~ bangchik

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  7. How gorgeous! I love seeing Asian gardens around California. The Japanese Garden at Descanso Gardens in Los Angeles as well as the brand new Chinese Garden at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.

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  8. We have some beautiful Asian, Chinese gardens over here that have been created by the masters who were brought in for the task. Sadly Americans don't appreciate such beauty so they go unnoticed. I have seen one in St. Louis, Missouri, in their large botanical garden, one small one in Colorado, Denver, and there is a very small but authentic one hiding at the back of a small zoo, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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  9. Those blooms are amazing! Especially in the first couple of photos...:D

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  10. Lovely photos. I can't grow them here in my garden but I do enjoy seeing them and must have a trip to Wisley in a few weeks when they will be in flower.

    I enjoyed seeing them at Trebah gardens.

    Yes I have had problems with Blotanical but as I have been busy on my other blog I haven't really had much time to visit garden blogs.

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  11. Stunning photographs! Can't decide which I like best :-)

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  12. really, really nice pictures. jim

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  13. Charlotte, While you've been busy looking at beautiful gardens, those of us stuck at home have been dealing with serious symptoms of Blotanical withdrawal. I think I may have first fallen in love with the wonderful variety of rhododendrons at Kew! These are really a treat. -Jean

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  14. Very nice blossoms, I wish I was back in the Bay Area right about now. We lived there for 3 years, and I remember sitting in the park with other moms in 70 degree temps in March. Ah, I sighed, this is why we pay such high rents! Now my friends are sunning themselves without me since we moved to a colder climate.

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  15. Thanks for stopping by my site. I'm glad you enjoyed our Bay Area gardens. Climate-wise it's a great place to grow all sorts of things. The UC botanical garden is rather stunning. Haven't been up there this early in the year though. Thanks for the photos.

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