Tuesday, January 19, 2010


When we travel, and we seem to do quite a lot of that these days, I always have plans to keep a diary. Sometimes I manage as much as a week before I give up. I have many of these unfinished diaries most started as we travel around the US in our trailer, others on visits to England.

Children's garden at the Huntington Museum

This winter's trip to California left me with no time to write even a word. Our days were so busy with visits to so many interesting places. By the time we returned to our home on wheels and I made the dinner it was all I could do to crawl into bed. I have my photographic record but the most I can do now is make a quick record of where our travels took us and add a few photos of my favorite memories. Here goes.
The day after our trip to the Huntington, (see earlier post of this fabulous garden) we drove down into LA to visit the La Brea Tar Pits.

Not a garden you would have wanted to walk into thousands of years ago. Still pools of water, where animals went to drink, turned out to be a deadly trap. Underneath that still surface was a thick viscous tar from which there was no escape.

The next day we visited Descanso Gardens, former home and gardens of E. Manchester Boddy. Cool and shady walks among camellias.

In the afternoon we enjoyed the California native plants growing in the 86 acre Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, in Claremont. We fell in love with the Manzanitas which were in full bloom.
The smooth burgundy colored bark of the Manzanita tree.

The following day was the big game day, so with only a morning free we hiked nearby in the San Bernadino Mountains.

Where bees were enjoying the blossoms on the wild gooseberry bushes.

The big game.

Friday morning - cycled from Santa Monica to Venice Beach.

Arrived at the Getty Villa in Malibu for our 1:30 pm time slot.

After which we enjoyed the sunset at Malibu.

Saturday we drove down to our old haunt in Laguna Beach. We had the good fortune to live in SoCal in the 80s. It is always wonderful to walk along the beach.

Sunday was moving day. On down to San Diego and arrive just in time to see the seals (pupping season) at La Jolla.

We spent Monday morning in Balboa Park and the afternoon in Old Town San Diego.

The lath house.

The Alcazar garden.

On Tuesday, on our way to visit and spend a couple of days with friends, we enjoyed a morning at the Quail Botanic Gardens.

We were fortunate to see A shawii in bloom.

Succulents have been arranged to reflect an underwater garden.

Our friends who live in the hills above Fallbrook are growing Cherimoyas.

While Texas experienced the coldest spell of weather in years we have been fortunate to enjoy beautiful weather every day for the last two weeks, but now the rain is chasing us home along
I 10. We have seen some beautiful gardens but I am looking forward to home and my own garden-and I'm bringing back a few of those gorgeous succulents.


  1. Wonderful post! I so enjoyed tagging along for the teasers of what a lovely time you had in California. I am enamoured of the manzanita's smooth reddish trunk and those button like blossoms.

  2. It looks like you had a wonderful trip and saw some beautiful gardens and nature areas. I went to La Brea tar pits many years ago - very interesting place and amazing to think of all that under your feet as you stand there.

  3. Whew! I'm exhausted, just reading about your trip.
    But, looks like you had a wonderful time.
    Be careful on your way home.

  4. What a lot you saw. I loved tagging along on your trip. I've never seen any of these places. You'll have to tell us more about that unusual fruit in the last pic.

  5. What fun - thanks for the ride!

    We lived in No.Calif for a couple of years when I was a much younger gardener and I got quite the false sense of confidence there in the land of plentiful winter rains and no freezing temperatures. A move back to Texas schooled me quickly.

    Looking forward to seeing your new succulents.

  6. What a jam-packed holiday -- but you got some lovely photos out of it!