University of CA, Santa Cruz Arboretum

I almost stepped on this snake today.


Yes, I was leading off down the trail and just walked into a shady patch.  There Mr. Snake was resting, all stretched out.  He scared me more than I scared him.  Fortunately no rattle, just a pretty marking and a rather chilled out snake that barely moved as we stepped carefully around him.  There are critters in the garden.

This Arboretum is (according to my garden guide) in “one of the most propitious horticultural sites in the world.”  I had to look it up, very favorable, advantageous, and it is in a beautiful setting on the University campus, overlooking the valley and Monterey Bay.  The growing conditions are ideal for plants from all over California, Australia, New Zealand, Chili and South Africa.  This is a museum of living plants used for study and research.   Today I saw my first Celery Pine, with leaves like celery and a strong scent of pine.

Celery Pine, Tanekaha or Toatoa, Phyliocladus a conifer related to the kauri trees from New Zealand.

This isn’t a pretty place as gardens go, there aren’t formal flowers beds and brilliant displays of urns or water features,  but it is an important place in research and study of plants. It was a beautiful day and a fine walk (with one high jump).

This is a dried seed head against a Eucalyptus bark.


An amazing Eucalyptus with a branching structure that just wants you to sit.



And Proteas were in bloom in both red and yellow.  These lovely blossoms are sold in floral bouquets as a feature item.  Here there were bushes full of them.



Yes, it was a fine walk through this arboretum. There is no cell service here, no crowds and lots of blue sky.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *