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.
Villagio Inn and Spa
Feather River Fish Hatchery
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
Table Mountain Preserve
Spring Wildflowers - Foresthill Divide Loop Trail
Lynch Canyon Open Space Preserve
Wofford Acres Vineyards
Apple Ridge Farms
Larsen Apple Barn
Smokey Ridge Farmstand and Charcuterie
Allez French restaurant
UC Davis Arboretum
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Alhambra Theater Historic Site - Sacramento
Today, the former movie showplace is not much of a show. And not many folks seem to even be aware of the meaning of these palm trees, and non-functioning fountain as they dash in and out of the store for groceries. A plaque that was said to be placed there was nowhere to be found when I visited. Read our story here.
Palo Corona Regional Park - Carmel
South Yuba River State Park - Bridgeport
Underground Gardens - Fresno
The Underground Gardens is what it sounds like: A weaving labyrinth of caverns, rooms and passages all dug underground and filled with fruit trees, vines and plants in spaces that open to the sky. This oddity was built – or shall we say, dug – by Italian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere for about 38 years starting in 1906.