Mendocino Botanical Gardens - a MUST see!

jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)May 5, 2010

My DH and I are traveling around the Wine Country for two weeks and were in Mendocino/Ft. Bragg for three days. We visited the Mendo Botanical Gardens and they are SPECTACULAR!

April and May are cold windy months up here (well, most months are, LOL) but the rhodies and pieris love it. There is one pink rhodie that is a thick-trunked 25' tall tree - an amazing sight!

The paths are windy. It reminded me a lot of Golden Gate Park - some of it's very carefully cultivated and landscaped, but much of the 47 acres are hilly, left-to-coastal-wilderness trails all the way down to the ocean.

My non-gardening DH loved this place as much as I did and said he wished we lived closer by so we could visit more often.

On the website they list what is usually in bloom. They have a nice heather garden which would bloom in summer, and the dahlias are just setting leaves so they will be gorgeous later on too.

I'll have to wait until I get back home to sort out and post some photos. But if anyone is thinking of visiting the area, I can assure you that there are extremely good wineries even up here, excellent restaurants (we loved Cafe Beaujolais, MacCallum House and Rendezvous) as good as the ones we went to in Napa/Sonoma/Healdsburg. The Agate Cove Inn is a must-stay B&B, the best place we've ever stayed in - private cabins and jetted tubs, with gorgeous ocean views. The tourist crowds are much smaller - it's a longer drive from SF - and a hikers/walkers dream. Tons of well-marked trails both easy or hard as you prefer, with many ocean and river beaches easily accessible by foot or car.

As I said, I'll post some pix within the next week. But this area deserves more visitors, so if you have the chance, please think about coming up here and exploring the area. Note that the East-West hwys to the ocean are twisty and windy, with 128 being a much longer drive and 120 one-third the length of 128, but still very twisty in some spots (it took an hour to drive 24 miles!).

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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

I would love to be there right NOW! Isn't it wonderful to be so close to vacation opportunities (or even one-day runs) that the rest of the world would die for? Now you've got me wondering how I can get away....

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 3:33PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I've been there. It was lovely. They had a monsterous 'Mermaid' rose, as I remember. But it was chilly!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:29PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

We visited about 20 years ago and were struck by the tranquility and the feeling of it being largely untouched by man. It seemed to be operated on a very small budget with a lot of dedicated volunteers. For anyone(especially gardeners)wanting to free themselves from the frantic pace most of us maintain today, a week in the area in one of many small B&Bs is sure to recharge your batteries. Al

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:51AM
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I've been there a number of times. They have a nice art show in the summer. (It is warmer then.)

My favorite part-it was created by a guy after he retired. In my dreams, an empty 20 acres to landscape!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:27PM
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davissue_zone9(z9 Sunset 14)

I've been there in the summer (the dahlia garden is spectacular.) I was amazed at the diversity of species being grown. And the on site nursery had some great, unusual stuff. Definitely worth a stop if you're nearby.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 1:10AM
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Propaganda Garden Design

I did a 6 month internship there in 2003. It was one of the happiest times of my life. The gardens are beautiful and the staff made me feel like family. I haven't been back since but this post reminds me that I really need to make an effort to visit this summer.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 5:55AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Finally got my photos loaded and organized. They didn't have labels for all the plants, but I've noted the ones that were identified. Hope you enjoy the show!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mendocino Botanical Gardens - my slideshow

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 12:18AM
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Very pretty. I saw several I was unfamiliar with which is always fun and interesting. thank you for posting.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 9:16AM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

What a beautiful garden. Some of the pictures just call you to "come on". Thanks for sharing your pictures. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself and had some relaxing down time.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:06PM
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Propaganda Garden Design

Thank you so much for that. As I said I have not been back since 2003 and it looks like they have made a great many changes. I can't wait to see it in person again.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:47PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Again, for those who might be going up to Mendo, we can heartily recommend the B&B we stayed at. The Agate Cove Inn is located on Lansing Rd., right by the ocean, about 1 mile just north of the town of Mendocino. It was far and away the best place we stayed during our long trip! They are duplex cabins, all with patios, full baths with jetted tubs, comfortable beds, nice little breakfast in the morning, extremely quiet and peaceful. We stayed in Zircon but really liked all of them - we were the only ones staying on a Sunday so hosts Roger and Lorraine gave us their master key so we could go into all the cottages to check them out. Emerald and Obsidian are the biggest and most luxe; Garnet has an extra twin bed for those who are traveling with a small child. As mentioned above, all of them have gas-fired stoves or fireplaces for heat, very easy to work (unlike some we've encountered) and the cabins are extremely well insulated and toasty-warm.

The view from their front lawn, where they have two separate patios with lots of lawn furniture, is stunning. Bundle up, though, weather can be wildly changeable up there. The winds can be icy-cold one hour then warm up again the next! We made good use of Agate's blankets when sitting outside, even though we were all bundled up in Polarfleece, gloves, and hats, LOL.

Here is a link that might be useful: Agate Cove Inn's website

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:50AM
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