Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Groovin' in the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Springtime is a groovy time to visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Though we’d never been there before, I felt like I had for this hit tune from younger days kept playing in my head.

Mendocino, Mendocino
Where life's such a groove
You'll blow your mind in the mornin'
We used to walk through the park
Make love along the way in Mendocino

The album, Mendocino, by the Sir Douglas Quintet, came out in 1969. Lyrics were by Doug Sahm.

In fact, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is a child of the ‘60s. It was founded in 1961 by Ernest Schoefer – a retired nurseryman – and his wife, Betty. Ernest's experience in horticulture enabled him to discover just the right combination of water, mild coastal climate and ideal soil conditions for his dream garden. The Gardens on 47 acres opened to the public in 1966. The Schoefers maintained the Gardens until 1978.

The garden is more or less divided into sections featuring particular plant groupings. The best known and most popular is the Rhododendron garden. Though we visited in May, most of the fragrant blossoms were still in bloom. These delightful shrubs are native to Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. Schoefer realized that the foggy northern California coast would be an ideal environment for them. 

Many of the older Rhododendron hybrids are no longer available to the nursery trade. The Gardens may be the only place where they can still be enjoyed.

The Perennial Garden was delightful with its mix of lilies, herbs, and annuals. The cacti and succulents were among my favorites. 

Other lovely collections include old-fashioned roses, Heaths and Heathers, camellias, and a natural area in which various endangered species thrive. Those who have the time and energy to walk a bit further will enjoy a path through a pine forest to a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to your camera, be sure to bring binoculars. Bird watchers will be amply rewarded for their patience.

Here are some more photographs from our "walk through the park."

Geranium spp.

If anyone can tell me what this is, I'd appreciate it.

Garden scene

Helianthemum 'Fire Dragon'

Aquilegia spp.

Fuschia spp.

Acer palmatum 'Holland Special'

Persicaria capitata

Bergenia cordifolia

Rhododendron 'The Honorable Jean Marie de Montague'

Limnanthes douglasii


Sedum dendroideum

Aeonium undulatum

Grevillea 'Fanfare'

Leucospermum cordifolium

Heath and Heather collection

Campanula poscharskyana

Garden scene

No matter the time of year, you'll feel like groovin' in the Gardens. There's always something to tempt you. 

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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Charming Plants for Wedding Favors and Table Decorations

Wedding table

Shouldn't thoughtful hostesses give a little something to their wedding guests to remember the occasion? But, of course! Living plants can grow in their gardens, reminding them of you for years to come. What's more, the meaning behind them taken from "the language of flowers" will lend them special significance. Here are a few selections from our offering that will be very memorable and long-lasting.


Candytuft (Iberis) whispers joy, sweetness, and beauty even in the face of adversity.

Catmint speaks of intoxicating love, fertility, and future happiness.


Coreopsis promises wealth and cheerfulness.

Chrysanthemum/Dendranthema assure friendship, love, and all the best wishes.


Dianthus tells of love, affection, gratitude, admiration, and hints of a little bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure.

Japanese Painted Fern

Ferns wish for good luck, riches, happiness, strong family bonds, and hope for future generations.

Goldenstar bets on good luck and healthy ambition.


Ivy (Hedera) declares eternal fidelity.

Moneywort hopes for wealth and life-long happiness.

Creeping Phlox

Phlox symbolizes harmony, unity in marriage.

Rudbeckia is full of bright encouragement.

St. John’s Wort declares God’s design for marriage and home.


Thyme is a symbol of healing, young love, romance and courage.

Verbena signifies romance, pleasant memories, happiness, personal creativity, and protection.


Veronica/Speedwell hopes for healing, recovery from broken hearts, and joyfulness.

Vinca expresses nostalgia, benevolence, and purity of heart.


Yarrow (Achillea) speaks of love, healing a broken heart, courage and inspiration.

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel prays for wisdom, courage, and protection in the years ahead.

These can be treasured reminders of that festive day in the life of your adorable bride and groom.

Visit GoGardenNow.com for current availability. For pre-orders, contact us for details. We'll do our best to make your special day unforgettable. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Springtime, Loving, And The Meaning Of Flowers

Now is the month of maying,

When merry lads are playing,

Fa la la la la la la la la,

Fa la la la la la la lah.

Each with his bonny lass

Upon the greeny grass.

Fa la la la la la la la la, etc...

 The Spring, clad all in gladness,

Doth laugh at Winter's sadness,

Fa la la, etc...

And to the bagpipe's sound

The nymphs tread out their ground.

Fa la la, etc...

Fie then! why sit we musing,

Youth's sweet delight refusing?

Fa la la, etc...

Say, dainty nymphs, and speak,

Shall we play barley break?

Fa la la etc…

When springtime comes and flowers begin to bloom, frisky hearts turn to thoughts of love, gifts of affection, and perhaps even plans for the future. As the old nursery rhyme (or taunt) went:

[She] and [he] sitting in a tree,

K-I-S-S-I-N G.

First comes love,

Then comes marriage,

Then comes baby in a baby carriage.

It’s the natural progression of things.

Gifts are often plucked straight from the garden – or purchased – to express deepest feelings, and, traditionally, those gifts have had special meanings. In fact, an entire language of flowers developed over the centuries. It’s called floriography. With the language of flowers, friends and lovers have been able to express themselves without words, which, for sake of modesty or or other reasons, are sometimes better left unsaid.

The language of flowers is also helpful for expressing sympathy, disappointment, timidity – the whole range of human emotions.

Whether intended for deepest heartfelt expressions, occasional gifts or wedding favors, here are a few to consider.

Astilbe – Dedication and patience.

Yarrow (Achillea) – Love, healing a broken heart, courage and inspiration.

Ivy (Hedera) – Eternal fidelity, strong attachment.

Ferns – Luck, riches, happiness, family bonds, hope for future generations.

Candytuft (Iberis) – Joy, sweetness, and beauty in the face of adversity.

Coreopsis – Wealth and cheerfulness.

Daylily – Depending on the color, they can symbolize purity, innocence (white); devotion, motherly love, joy, beauty and courage (orange and yellow).

Chrysanthemum/Dendranthema – Friendship, love, well-wishing, death and grief (white).

Carnation – Depending on the color, they can symbolize purity, innocence, death (white); life and love (red); gratitude (pink); rejection (yellow).

Dianthus – Love, affection, gratitude, admiration, whimsy.

Goldenstar – Good luck, ambition.

Plumbago – Hope and well-wishing.

Iris – Trust, courage, hope.

Yellow Archangel – Wisdom, courage, protection.

Lily-of-the-Valley – Good luck in marriage, happiness, love.

Liriope – Nymph-like, capriciousness.

CreepingJenny/Moneywort – Wealth, happiness,

Catmint – Love, fertility, happiness.

Phlox – Harmony, unity.

Rudbeckia – Encouragement.

St. John’s Wort – God’s design.

Thyme – Healing, young love, romance, courage.

Verbena – Romance, pleasant memories, happiness, creativity, protection.

Veronica/Speedwell – Healing, recovery, joyfulness.

Vinca – Nostalgia, benevolence, purity.

With so many flowers to choose from, you can express all your loving thoughts without speaking a word.

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