Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

San Franciscan flowers

December 6, 2012

"The sun! The sun!" I yell. Ben pulls his earphones off and gives me a funny look. "Did you say something?" "The sun!" — the scene in our apartment on Sunday, the day the sun finally came out.

After gorgeous weather for our Thanksgiving road trip, the sun seemingly said goodbye to San Francisco last week. The sky seemed intent on raining endlessly. I was even jealous of the snow in Boston.

Feeling more than a little cooped up (neither public transit nor motorcycle travel is much fun in the rain), we couldn't have been happier when the sun finally peeked out. Even better, it stayed out. With a whole afternoon of daylight ahead us, we hopped on over to Golden Gate Park, the city's 1,000-acre park that we hadn't yet visited.

We walked around until we stumbled upon an attraction: the San Francisco Botanical Garden, free to SF residents (!).

south africa botanical garden
The photo directly above on the left is from the South Africa section, which we thought had some of the coolest plants (the garden is divided by countries/regions: New Zealand, Australia, Chile, temperate Asia). The photo above on the right is actually a very small plant that resembled a bonsai tree.
san francisco botanical garden mallard duck
san francisco botanical garden puya mirabilis

Puya Mirabilis from northwest Argentina; we were there! When we arrived, Ben was intrigued by the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest, where he expected to find plants that resembled clouds. Not quite. Cloud forests are vegetation zones that occur on high mountainsides with cool year-round temperatures and near constant mist and fog. Year-round fog? Sounds like outer San Francisco; and indeed, the climate here allows gardeners to cultivate plants native to cloud forests. We actually drove through a cloud forest near Tafi del Valle on our Argentina motorcycle trip.

san francisco botanical garden rose

- Steph

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