If you follow my Instagram feed then no doubt you're aware I spent part of last week in California. I flew into Sacramento on Thursday and Gerhard and I visited the Ruth Bancroft Garden. Friday morning we were up on and on the road headed south to Santa Barbara, for a 3-day extravaganza billed as the Bromeliad Summit. We stayed at an Airbnb in La Conchita, a small community about 16 miles south of Santa Barbara. This was our home base...
Strelitzia nicolai towered above the house.
And tall papyrus happily grew in the pond just outside our apartment door.
In addition to several colorful fish the pond was also home to a pair of turtles.
If we'd had the time we certainly would have enjoyed morning coffee here, in the garden...
...surveying the lost sunglasses art installation (morning dew obscured my photograph)...
...and the garden itself...
Unfortunately we did not have the time, our weekend was tightly scheduled. We did however eek out about 15 minutes one morning to walk a couple of streets and soak up the beachy-atmosphere of this tiny community.
But let me back up. This sign greets you when you pull off Highway 101, the only entrance into, and out of, the area.
Our Airbnb hosts told us about the landslide the sign refers to (more here) and about just how close recent fires came to taking their homes (here). Living in paradise comes at a cost.
Thankfully I was so tired each night when I crawled into bed there was no time to worry about ecological disasters during our visit.
Let's get back to our sunny morning exploration, shall we? This is the view standing in the street, in front of our Airbnb. You can see a smidge of the highway, then beach and the Pacific Ocean.
I joked that this is the only place I could ever afford to live in the area, but it's actually not a joke. Santa Barbara has such high real estate prices the number of people living in trailers and tents is off the charts.
Most every home had a garden of some sort, and there was plenty of garden art...
This house was quite fancy compared to some of the others
I wonder what's behind the wall?
This is what's outside the wall.
Across the street was a house with a boat in an old tree "stump". Naturally there were humongous staghorn ferns too.
A better look at the boat.
Since we were in the area to learn more about bromeliads it was great to see several here in La Conchita.
Happy times living at the corner of Surfside and Sunland.
The strip along Highway 101 was planted up with lots of wonderful things. It must be a community effort.
There's an underpass tunnel that takes you under the highway to the beach. Can you believe we didn't even have time to visit the beach?
I wonder what interesting things she's seen?
Variegated Agave attenuata...
Firesticks in an old boat. I wonder if there's a metaphor there somewhere?
Every seaside planting needs a cement seagull, right?
OMG! That cactus and pot pairing!
The one gas station in the community closed several years ago, there are no other commercial establishments.
But there are brugmansia trees...
And agaves at the on/off ramp to the highway...
Weather Diary, April 10: Hi 54, Low 47/ Precip .09"
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