July 21, 2013 – Humboldt Botanical Garden and Ferndale, CA

Shortly after breakfast we leave for the Humboldt Botanical Garden about 10 miles away from Ferndale. The day is overcast (as is every day as far as we can tell), windy and chilly, only about 54 degrees. We are pleased for the overcast because it will make the colors of the flowers more apparent rather than being washed out.

It seems that the Garden is a work in progress. There’s no permanent building and some of the gardens are annotated as “future.” But what they have is very nice and we spend a few hours roaming the garden trying to identify different flowers and shrubs. Some are labeled and some are not. Here’s a little of what we saw –

Blanket flower and bee balm (I tried to grow bee balm in MA)
Blanket flower and bee balm (I tried to grow bee balm in MA)

John and a hollyhock compare heights
John and a hollyhock compare heights

John works hard at identifying plants. The purple ones closest to the walk are heuchera "plum pudding."
John works hard at identifying plants. The purple ones closest to the walk are heuchera “plum pudding.”

Euphorbia
Euphorbia

The rose "Julia Child"
The rose “Julia Child”

There’s also a section devoted to plants native to the area and lots of benches to sit on and contemplate the Garden.

California wild rose
California wild rose

Lupine
Lupine

John studies the brochure on one of the many benches
John studies the brochure on one of the many benches

Finishing up at the Garden we make our way back into Ferndale to look at the many Victorian houses and buildings. Ferndale was built upon dairy farming and the houses are known as “cream or butterfat palaces.”

Queen Anne Victorian 1894
Queen Anne Victorian 1894

Another Queen Anne but in the Eastlake style
Another Queen Anne but in the Eastlake style

The Gingerbread Mansion
The Gingerbread Mansion

The Palace Saloon, the westernmost place to get a drink, 1902
The Palace Saloon, the westernmost place to get a drink, 1902

Now housing the gift shop, Gazebo, this 1898 store was built in the Eastlake stick style
Now housing the gift shop, Gazebo, this 1898 store was built in the Eastlake stick style

In the midst of all this Victorian viewing, we stopped at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant for a fine lunch. I have come to the conclusion that if we stop at a vegetarian or Mediterranean place that I will always find something I like.

After resting up a bit we head down to the tavern where a table has been reserved for us. I think we spend more than most people because as the days have worn on the staff has become more obsequious.

We have enjoyed our stay in Ferndale but are ready to spend some time under sunnier skies.

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