Brilliant Winter Sunlight, Sapphire Blue Sky, and...Trees?

Beaucarnea with surfboardIn the San Diego area, you are never far from a surfboard.
Beaucarnea recurvata with surfboard
I rarely blog about trees unless they are mutilated, but yesterday brilliant winter light called eyes to a searing blue sky, and rather than look at a big blue expanse, my eyes drifted to the trees framed against that blue, blue sky.  We visited San Diego Botanic Garden yesterday, blessed with the kind of winter weather people visit California to experience, mid 70s F.  Personally, I'd rather it rain, but the pure clear light made everything sing with color. 

Eucalyptus with Alluaudia procera, Beaucarnea recurvata and Aloes: 
Eucalyptus with Alluaudia procera

Aloes marlothii( or x 'Hercules'?) Aloe rupestris and barberae:
Aloe marlhothii(?) with Aloe barberae

A grand Dracena draco:
Dracena draco

Look at the size of this Beaucarnea base!  This area was strung with lights;  the Botanic Garden has one of those Holiday Light events that botanic gardens often do at this time of year.  No doubt they need holiday lights in Anchorage or Spokane, but San Diego in December has sunlight of a quality beyond need for anything else.
Beaucarnea recurvata

Encephalartos horridus, an out-of-the-ordinary cycad:
Encephalartos horridus

A baby Boojum tree, Fouquieria columnaris, backed by a Yucca and a golden cypress:

A hummingbird so secure it could relax and sit in a Banksia, there to suck up nectar in comfort:
Banksia with hummingbird

A gorgeous Quercus suber against the sky:
Quercus suber

The faded blooms of Stenocarpus sinuatus, still fantastical:
Stenocarpus sinuatus

Various cycads in a carpet of blue Senecio, reflecting that sky...

Cycad cone

Not a mutilated tree to be found.  As I said, I'd rather it rain, but sunlight and warmth can be quite seductive at the end of December.


  1. Quite different from my recent winter textural study in Kansas.

  2. "Duuude!"

    I like your new masthead text almost as much as the eclectic collection of plants and trees at that garden, all unbutchered!

    When we show pics of trees and other plants, maybe we should all show a..."___ looks like this, not that"?

  3. Some incredible specimens here! I especially love the Dracena draco and the Beaucarnea. Trees I'll never be able to grow...


  4. Beautiful pictures of a place I've never visited, but it's on my list. We're back in the rain here...I'd love to trade for those blue skies!

  5. Wonderful post! I loved looking at your photos. That beaucarnea is incredible! I was the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden yesterday and saw many of the same plants (minus the beaucarnea) but the sky in San Diego was even bluer.

  6. Great tour, incredible photos. While I marvel in how mild our winter has been, the garden as a whole is predominantly asleep. Thanks for sharing

  7. What a superb day! You made this Aussie feel quite at home with the Eucalyptus, Banksia, Stenocarpus and the surfboard! Thought my Beaucarnea was a decent size, but it's almost a pygmy alongside this one, and I love the Dracena draco.


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