Gardens in Southern California are very different from those I remember from the Midwest.  In spring I think of daffodils and tulips, but that isn’t what I find nowadays as I explore the gardens located in my neighborhood.   This is what is known as a Mediterranean climate, which I guess means hot summers and dry conditions most of the year.  The native plants are used to this kind of climate (I’m not) and it’s these plants that are so often featured in the local gardens. Garden bed filled with prickly cactus

The above image was taken at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.  I stopped by there one morning while the sun was low and the visitors were few.  It’s located in Claremont, very near the Claremont colleges.  It specializes in native plants.  My goodness, there are a lot of cactus types!  I spent a bit of time admiring their thorns but, I guess I’m just not a cactus kind of person.

Garden flower with dry fronds
I had hoped to find some wildflowers but it was too early in the season.  I did find a fuzzy, wispy thing that to me resembled a bedraggled dandelion.  Still it was lovely against the shaded leaves in the background.

I had the place to myself for a while and enjoyed shuffling along the paths that took me deeper into the garden.  Sycamore leaves were scattered everywhere.

Garden road through the leaf-strewn desert

As I was leaving I did see a few daisies (or is it a sunflower?) and other small flowers turning their heads to the sun.   Garden alight with sunshine as a yellow flower turns its head toward the rays.

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