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Garden Treasures – Golden Gate Park

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Orchids, Pitcher Plants & Aquatics in the Golden Gate Park Conservatory

Orchids, Pitcher Plants & Aquatics in the Conservatory

Golden Gate Park Foot Tour…

Golden Gate Park is a a must-see foot tour for any gardener visiting San Francisco. That’s because it’s full of botanical wonders!

When I lived in the SF bay area for many years during different periods of my life, I often visited. In fact, my parents took me there as a youngster to see Santana. And as a young adult, I would return for picnics as Shakespeare was performed there. And I’ve visited simply to stroll this gorgeous nature-in-the-city.

Beginning in the Haight…

When you enter Golden Gate Park from Haight Street, you’ll pass through “Hippie Hill.” Sadly, it tends to be filled with homeless people desperate to survive.

After passing through this depressed part of the park and wander beyond tennis courts, you may find yourself at a crossroads. From here you might choose to head toward the AIDS Memorial Grove or instead toward the Lily Pond.

Let’s go the Lily Pond Way…

The Lily Pond in Green - Tree Ferns in the Background are Huge!

The Lily Pond in Green – Tree Ferns in the Background are Huge!

The Lily Pond itself is a study in soft, glowing, mossy green. Ducks paddle through the brilliant layer of green duck weed covering the surface of the water. And Tree ferns tower above.

In fact, the entire space is sunken. Plus, by being lowered, it creates a quiet space. And that peacefulness is missing from much of the rest of the park. That’s because cars traversing 19th Avenue make a lot of noise for this big green space.

Heading toward the Museum…

From the Lily Pond you might continue heading toward the museum. And if you do, you may emerge out of the wooded trail at the California Academy of Sciences.

Near this spot, you’ll come upon the Japanese Gardens, which does charge an entry fee. As does the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, which are also inside the greater Golden Gate Park.

About the San Francisco Botanical Gardens…

As you might expect, this is a stunning exploration of plants from around the world. And it’s easy to get lost in this large botanical garden, with its looping trails. Plus, the blooming fuchsia, banksia and trumpet vines are intoxicating.

In this part of Golden Gate Park, you’ll explore everything from rain forest gardens to California native gardens. And those native gardens begin as Redwood forests and tapered out to a sunny spot filled with sand-loving succulents serving as a smorgasbord for countless hummingbirds.

Golden Gate Park Victorian Conservatory

The Conservatory Reflecting on Itself

A Victorian Greenhouse in Golden Gate Park…

Conservatory of Flowers is a spectacular and giant Victorian greenhouse. And it is filled with all sorts of stunning pitcher plants, ferns, orchids and more.

Continue on your armchair garden tours now! 

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