Wildflowers are everywhere in the spring and summer in California, from mountains to the coast. With a love of all things that bloom, we found our way to Pacific Grove to see Monterey wildflowers.
The Annual Wildflower Show in mid-April is in fact one of the oldest and largest wildflower shows in all of the northern and western hemispheres. Yup, right in littl’ ol’ Pacific Grove. We were most certainly not disappointed, with more than 730 different types of Monterey wildflowers displayed on tables in the 132-year-old Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (itself worth its own visit as a matter of fact).
More than a century of Monterey wildflowers
For the last 54 years the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society has put on the show in a very homespun way for such a large scale show. The week leading up to the show, members of the area chapter scour the hillsides for various species, collecting different ones from various areas, meticulously labeling and preserving them in water. The Monterey wildflowers end up in hundreds of little vases, bottles and glasses, with papers that note the botanical name, common name, genus and a short description.
It’s heaven for wildflower lovers with such a dizzying array of Monterey wildflowers, from little to big, orange to white, ferns to fauna. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, telling my friend, “Oh, I want to plant that one,… that one,… that one,…” and the list just got longer and longer. From poppies and lupine to clematis and penstemon, the blooms were there for all to enjoy.
Monterey wildflowers at June show too
No worries if you missed the 2015 Annual Wildflower Show. There is another, albeit not as large, at the Garland Ranch Regional Park Visitor Center in Carmel Valley in mid-June. The 16th Annual Summer Wildflower Show in 2015 will be June 13-14 with displays, talks and walks. And, of course, Monterey wildflowers! The price is right – free! And when you’re done you can head out to enjoy the trails at this spectacular Monterey Parks and Recreation District Garland Ranch Park.