Lush and vibrant - two words that I wouldn't expect to use to describe California. But I was wrong!
My husband and I recently traveled in California (just before the fires) and did see plenty of dry, golden-colored landscapes. From our view out the train windows, the familiar look from Hollywood's westerns seemed to confirm this opinion...
Until we came upon the succulents and beautiful fountain-drenched gardens of the Monterey area.
This lovely garden soothed our travel-weary, Midwestern souls as we listened to the sound of the fountain and smelled the exotic fragrances of many unfamiliar blooming flowers. Outside the garden gates, the ocean lay within walking distance and along our way, we spotted many and varied gardens whose key feature was succulents - gorgeous, larger than any we'd ever seen, and brilliantly colored.
Our path also took us by the lovely but difficult-to-pronounce Bougainvillea trees with their brilliant red bracts.
We even came upon a cute little side garden with a spunky flag, which showed the owner's enjoyment of New Orleans jazz!
Somehow, I got into a conversation about garden flags with one of the guests at the B&B where we stayed. She told me that they had a dear neighbor who would look after their home while they traveled. Their gift to her was always a garden flag representing where they had traveled. Although it might seem a rather selfish gift (because it would remind them of their fond trip memories as well), their neighbor enjoyed the flags and always put the most recent one in her garden.
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