Q. We are heading to San Francisco, Carmel , Monterrey. What gardens should we NOT miss? We will be there in early-mid July
I asked Brandy Kuhl, horticultural librarian at the San Francisco Botanical Garden for advice. Below are her suggestions sent via email:
San Francisco Botanical Garden - its perennial garden will be lovely in mid-July and the Redwood Grove plants will be just starting to bloom. Our Garden of Fragrance is always nice. There are other beautiful gardens in Golden Gate Park; the Conservatory of Flowers and the Rose Garden in particular.
Filoli is always a great choice and should be beautiful in mid-July.
UC Berkeley Botanical Garden is always nice.
Regional Parks Botanic Garden is one of my favorites. It is a small 10-acre garden of California natives; the collection is impressive and is representative of many native habitats. Mid-July would not be the ideal time to visit, but it is a wonderful experience if you are interested in native flora.
There are a lot of natural areas in the Bay Area I highly recommend:Muir Woods, Mount Tamalpias, Point Lobos, Point Reyes National Seashore, the Big Sur area (Andrew Molera State Park, Pfieffer Big Sur State Park) and Pinnacles National Park are my favorites.