Friday, September 4, 2015

San Francisco Botanical Garden

Members of the families Proteaceae & Restionaceae from South Africa.

Agave americana in the succulent garden.

Banksia from Australia.

Bromeliad from Chile.

The Chilean collection.  All photos were taken at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in April 2014.

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  It was once known as Strybing Arboretum.  The name changed in 2004, when Strybing Arboretum became the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum.  The present location was selected in 1890, based on the presence of  a variety of soil and exposure, with sloping, dry and sunny hillsides, sheltered spots & marshy land.  Helene Strybing donated the money to establish the arboretum in 1926, work began during the 1930s & the arboretum opened in 1940.

Landscape architect Robert Tetlow prepared a master plan in 1959.  It established present features such as the great meadow, the fountain & the basic layout of the gardens.  I consider the meadow a great waste of space.  Seven existing gardens were renovated in the 2000s & the Southeast Asian Cloud Forest was added at that time.  Maintenance is not always very good at the botanical garden.  I have been disappointed in almost all of the plant collections at different times.  I've visited the garden every few years since I left San Francisco in 1992.  The Moon-Viewing Garden, added in the 1970s, was looking rather bare in 2014.  The Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants has been a constant delight.  The Succulent Garden is always impressive.  The South African, Chilean, Australian & New Zealand gardens wax & wane.  But overall, it's a wonderful experience for people interested in plants.