I have always loved spring as it was a time for regrowth from new leaves on the trees to the beautiful blooms and wildflowers all around. Symbolically, it is a new opportunity for life and a new beginning, something many of us feel is much needed after the past year. It is a season of renewal and a reminder of the need to take care of Earth not just today on Earth Day but every day.
With significantly less rainfall this past winter due to climate change, superblooms are not in the cards this year. However, the wildflowers that blanket the mountains along the coast and in areas of Point Reyes, isn’t anything to sneeze at (pun intended), unless your allergies are acting up early.
Nothing makes you feel like spring like the masterpiece the blooms at Filoli Gardens paints for us. Last year, I signed up for a membership about 2 weeks before the shelter in place went into effect. Even though I only took advantage of the early members hour last spring that one time since they closed for 3 months after, the gardens was our first outing after the shelter lifted when they welcomed us “home” and has become a respite many times throughout the year when the country had been in chaos. So, it seems to come full circle returning for the first weekend of Spring Members Hour this year.
With the gardens ever changing, I already plan on taking advantage of that early members hour again this weekend, rain or shine so check back for more pictures or better yet, see if for yourself.
Update: Less than 2 months later, look at the change in the color palette from predominantly pink last time to more purple this time with the wisteria all around.
Most people when visiting the Bay Area automatically think about the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco - Around the Bay and Away: Cherry Blossom Season at the Japanese Tea Garden which is one of the best places for cherry blossoms in the Bay, but very few people including myself was aware of other Japanese Gardens in the area. Not as extensive as the SF one and no tea house, you can easily enjoy these at a leisurely pace in under 30 minutes. However, due to the lack of crowds especially if you find yourself there on a weekday or early morning, you may be tempted to linger, meditate, or just relax.
Last year I discovered one in Hayward, literally just the next town over and only 5-10 minutes away from the Trader Joe’s I frequent almost weekly.
This year, I found another across the bridge on the Peninsula tucked into San Mateo’s Central Park.
Apple Farm Inn
It may seem strange to include a hotel/inn on this list but Apple Farm Inn has such beautiful gardens on property that they actually have a designated gardener on staff. Although normally we are just walking pass on the way to the parking lot, pool, or patio area, this recent time I took advantage of the quiet since the gift shop and restaurant have yet to reopen and strolled around the property enjoying the blooms.
Take this Earth Day or any day this spring to return to an old fave or explore something new, near or afar, as a reminder of what is as stake. Because if this past year has taught us anything, just being able to opt outside and appreciate nature’s beauty is a luxury not to be taken for granted. Let’s make that our new normal.
Filoli Holidays – Advanced Paid Tickets Required
86 Canada Road
Woodside, CA 94062
Apple Farm Inn
2015 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Japanese Gardens (within San Mateo Central Park) - free
50 E 5th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401
Japanese Gardens - free
22373 N 3rd Street
Hayward, CA 94546