flower power - San Francisco Botanical Garden
These gorgeous gardens, open to all, explode with color this month
pring is here! Like a bugle announc-
ing the queen, purple iris, orange poppies
and red columbine trumpet the arrival of
spring in Marin. If your yard hasn’t started
blooming, or you’re looking for great landscaping ideas, check out the following public
gardens, all within an hour’s drive. Like what
you see? All have plant sales this month.
Marin Art and Garden Center
For a blast of spring, amble through the but-
Gazebo sits at the center of Marin Art and Garden Center
terﬂy garden just north of the main parking
lot at this 11-acre Ross landmark. Here you’ll
place to get your spring ﬂower ﬁx is the 55-
UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
find showy monarchs resting on milkweed,
acre San Francisco Botanical Gardens (for-
Grab a map at the entrance of this sprawl-
and tiger-stripe anise swallowtails flitting
merly Strybing Arboretum). For a hint at
ing, 32-acre living museum in the Berkeley
from fennel to Queen Anne’s lace. If you’re
what much of California looked like before
hills, and head to the springtime show at
lucky, you might spy another native butter-
French broom and other exotics overran our
the Asia garden. Pass through South African
ﬂy, the burnt orange and black West Coast
hills and meadows, visit the California Native
plantings on your way—red cowslips, violet
lady (Vanessa annabella); it fancies the nec-
Plants Garden to see an abundance of wild
baboon ﬂowers, and yellow Cape marigolds—
tar from lupine. Pack a picnic, then settle on
lilacs, California poppies, meadowfoam, iris,
then take the path right to the garden’s large
and ﬂannel bush. Need more spring? Head
pond. Find a sunny boulder facing the water-
Daily, dawn to dusk. Free. 30 Sir Francis
over to the park’s dazzling seasonal plantings
fall and enjoy rhododendrons in all shapes
Drake Blvd, Ross. 415.455.5260, maagc.org.
of Icelandic poppies, pansies, and primula
and colors—shades of lilac, white ﬂowers the
Spring Flower Festival and Plant Sale, 10–4,
fronting the Conservatory of Flowers.
size of cantaloupes, and an extremely rare,
Park open daily, dawn to dusk. Garden
open weekdays 8–4:30, weekends 10–5. Free.
magenta-bloomed rhodie from Bhutan.
Daily 9–5 (closed first Tuesday). Adults $3
Golden Gate Park
Ninth Ave at Lincoln Way, San Francisco.
(free Thursdays). 200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley.
While magnificent floral displays brighten
415.661.1316, sfbotanicalgarden.org. Annual
the entire park this time of year, the best
Spring Plant Sale 10–2, April 30.
Spring Plant Sale 10–2, April 30. —M.T.
BI LL K ATIS
a bench to enjoy the show.
M A R I N A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 5
3/13/05 5:09:01 PM