Living in California without a car leaves a little to be desired. H is at the mercy of her classmates for trips to WalMart, but most often takes those on foot with her roommates who are also car-less. So when Mom comes to town, the directive is, “please can we go somewhere…..anywhere?” That was her request, mine was “Can we please go somewhere everyone else Doesn’t go?”
An Around Me search produced a number of possibilities, but we chose the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens in Claremont, and are awfully glad we did. The Botanical Gardens are open to the public daily from 8 to 5. The Gardens are dedicated to California native grown plants, there are over 6000 varieties, from the Redwoods to the Palm trees and everything in between.
The Gardens reside on an 82 acre patch of ground that was started in 1952. The whole concept dates back to 1927, but was moved to its current locale in ’52. There are three distinct areas of the gardens, the Indian Hill Mesa, the East Alluvial Gardens and the California Cultivar – which is plants that form communities.
For us, armed with our cameras, it was a beautiful fall day. The weather was a perfect 75 degrees, there were birds chirping, geckos scurrying and huge gray squirrels sneaking up on us. We are used to little brown squirrels in our neck of the woods, these babies are gigantic compared to that.
The flora is just starting to awaken after a long dormant summer, so not a lot of color was available. But for a girl living in the concrete jungle it was a little slice of heaven. No cars, no smog, no sidewalks, just a beautiful path through the woods and lots of things to snap pictures of.