Sunday, August 22, 2010

Golden Gate Park/The Japanese Tea Garden's amazing how a job will affect my blogging time:) It's hot and muggy here in Tucson. We had a bit of rain last night which was good and I'm hoping we'll have more because it's humid and I really hate being outside. I pretty much think anyone who lives in the lower deserts right now are all feeling the same way. sucks. I water and rake planting trees, bushes, or plants....I just look at the plants from my window can plants grow and flourish with this sun and heat??? A 110 degree day with humidity is no fun! I read on another blogger's site that they are feeling that same summer depression.....the one that happens this time of year when you just want the heat to go a non Sonoran desert person will ask....."When does the heat go away?" The oppressive heat leaves in Tucson around mid October and in November for the Phoenix and Yuma areas. October and November here are the last of our planting months to get trees and vines established before the overnight frosts and cold rains hit in December. This "rainy" period will last through the first weeks of March.
The Drum Bridge
One of the things I love about reading blogs is sharing information with each other. One of the magazines I read during the weekends is Phoenix Home and Garden. It's around 18 bucks a year and the magazine highlights our state from Phoenix down to Tucson beautifully. It also gives some nice gardening tips for people. If you want our entire state, check out Arizona Highways.  The pictures alone are amazing.

So on this hot and nasty day, I thought I'd share some thoughts and pics about a very cool and wonderful garden found in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park....the Japanese Tea Garden. Everyone and their mother goes to San Francisco at some point in their lives. I grew up in Wisconsin wondering what it would be like to live in I did for two years. While I loved everything CA had to offer, I discovered that it wasn't for me.....and that what I wanted was a little bit of a quieter I missed the Sonoran Desert A LOT!! It's not Phoenix or Yuma or Flagstaff that I's Tucson. We are a special city here with a beauty that can't be described. I am Tucson and this is my home. I travelled so much when I was younger and I never felt at peace in any place until I moved to the Old Pueblo and when I left her for the first time, I felt really sad. California taught me about good wine and times. To this day, I am still fascinated by how different this state is from the rest of the country. Talk about microclimate changes!! So there is a lot from this state that I'll write about down the's focus....The Japanese Tea Garden. So let's begin with my wordy teacher introduction........

First, you have to enter Golden Gate Park before you get here and that in itself is a real treat. The city is cold and misty most of the year, but you'll find people with their shirts off playing frisbee in this park. Personally, I thought it was too cold to be doing that kind of activity without clothes.....but being in San Francisco, you'll soon discover that anything goes. Do bring a light jacket when you visit or you'll be purchasing an overpriced tourist sweater from one of the shops. However be aware, San Francisco is cool...the other cities around it will be warmer....and a lot warmer during the summer. It's seriously a microclimate.

So while you're in any part of California and with the limited time you have, make sure you see everything and I'm not talking about the rides and theme parks....I'm talking about the gardens!! And give yourself time...the traffic is terrible ANYWHERE in this state. My suggestion is plan ONE big thing.  In other states, like Arizona, you can cover more ground, but not in the high traffic areas like the Bay Area. In Golden Gate park, there are TWO places to explore...the trail/conservatory and the tea garden....and that's just in the park!!!

It was a cloudy gray day when we arrived and I didn't know what to expect. We walked in through the wooden gates and wow!!! Water, trees, blooms, buildings, and beauty. Here is some history on the garden from their site and for more current information, prices, etc...  I've been there twice and I'll go back again when up in the area.  Happy travels!!

"The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California is a historical Japanese-style garden originally built as the Japanese Village for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition. Japanese immigrant and gardener Makoto Hagiwara designed the bulk of the garden and was officially appointed caretaker in 1894 until the hysteria surrounding World War II. In the years to follow, many Hagiwara family treasures were liquidated from the gardens, but new additions were also made. Today, the Tea Garden is one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, featuring beautiful monuments, bridges, native Japanese plants and ponds. Guests can also enjoy the service at the tea house and gift shop."

PS. Note to self.  I give up on verbena.  It does not grow for me.  I see it in the sun and I plant it in the sun and it dies.  Do not buy anymore verbena....choose the purple trailing lantana instead.


  1. Japanese gardens are so refined, actually like everything, their homes, art etc. This garden is really gorgeous to see. Yes I would prefer to see the gardens, I actually can't stand theme parks.
    I appreciate how you describe your home town. It is good to travel, learn other ways and then settle and be happy.
    I get the gardening blues in summer when the humidity is high and the temperatures soar.
    What sort of Lavender are you growing. Here in my area I have made the best experience with French Lavender it is easy to propagate from cuttings but does not seed. I also grow English Lavender it sets seed and I like its winged, purple flowers. I also grow Allards
    lavender which grows very well but is a bit shy to flower, so when it does the long sprays are delightful. Another I grow is an Australian lavender called Sidony. Unfortunately it has no scent but the flowers are a pretty blue and the foliage too. It is easy to propagate from cuttings. (Sorry this got a bit long) T.

  2. Certainly a wonderful park to be in ;-D The trees are lovely.

    Those two birds flamingo? They stand so straight he he...

  3. Thank you for reading my posts:) The lavender I planted was Angustfolia. Very purply and good smelling:) And a bit more heat and drought friendly. Enjoy your week.

  4. Thanks for the tour of Golden Gate park and The Japanese Tea Garden. I lived in California for 35 years but never saw these places. I love the picture with the drum bridge.


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