A Winter Road Trip, Part 2 (California Dreamin’ at the Gamble Garden)
Several weeks after my Winter Road Trip Part 1, I headed west – far west – to visit my younger son who is in college in northern California. Before leaving I decided that I would spend some of his class time visiting some gardens within easy driving distance. First stop, the day I arrived: the Elizabeth Gamble Community Garden in Palo Alto.
The Gamble Garden is a non-profit community horticultural foundation, with two and a half acres of gardens for strolling and enjoyment. It’s tucked away in a residential neighbhorhood – not surprising, since it was once the private residence of Miss Elizabeth Gamble. Elizabeth, whose father was a co-founder of Procter & Gamble Co., spent one year at Stanford before transferring to Wellesley for the rest of college. Having no doubt realized the error of her ways in terms of climate (!), she returned to Palo Alto after college and spent the rest of her life in the Gamble house. Her gardens became well-known and she enjoyed sharing them.
Any photographer loves to find a public garden that is open as early as you can get there, because of better light in the early morning and late afternoon hours. The Gamble Garden is one of those, and admission is free, with access for disabled persons. In short, a wonderful gem to find. There are demonstration gardens, a gazebo, and even the occasional wedding on site!
Here’s what caught my eye the day I visited with my trusty point-and-shoot.
Camellias were in bloom throughout the garden. Here is one of my favorites.
Island beds were green and surprisingly full, even in February.
Finally, there were the succulents. Agaves and sempervivums made me wish to be a California gardener – if only temporarily.
So if you ever find yourself in Palo Alto, take a detour to this garden. Waverly Street, where it’s located, is full of beautiful gardens as well. I’m looking foward to visiting in another season. If winter is like this, the rest of the gardening year must be stunning indeed.
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