Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’ is the largest magnolia at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, towering over 80 feet. Photo by Auweia
In February, the San Francisco Botanical Garden becomes the ideal setting for a romantic rendezvous. It’s the time of year when the velvety silver buds on the branches of the garden’s magnolia trees burst open into pink and white flowers that fill the garden with soft pastel colors and sweet, fragrant scents.
An overhead view of the floral clock. A brick walkway encircles the clock and continues to a restored marble fountain, where a low boxwood maze flanks the path. Photo credit: Bill Dewey
Telling time and taming wild animals takes on a whole new meaning in the whimsical Topiary Garden at Lotusland, located on a large estate in Santa Barbara, Calif.
In 17th century Europe, horticulturalists began opening their gardens to plants from around the world. Plant explorers were forging into new botanical territories—inlets in South American waterways, crevasses in China's mountains—and returning with roses and fruits, orchids and lilies. Exotic plants were traded, cultivated, and illustrated. Previously, botanic illustration was largely produced for medical texts and herbals.