On Wednesday I went with Colleen Wheeler, RSABG grounds staff, to collect wildflowers for the annual Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Wildflower Show. Equipped with collecting permits, ziplock bags, coolers, ice and clippers, we made our way to Gorman and beyond. The best displays were seen early in the day on Bear Mountain Blvd, east of Arvin.
We continued on SR 223 to Hwy 58 and Hart Flat Road but didn’t see many flowers there, though the landscape was incredibly bucolic. We drove further east through the quirky town of Tehachapi, seeing many wonders including an enormous quarry and some great neon signs. Still didn’t see many flowers and those we did notice were along fast, narrow roads with no shoulder for stopping. We then headed back to the west on 58 and south to Maricopa Highway and the Wind Wolves Preserve. Alas the wildflowers were mostly gone, though the weedy grasses were making a good show. Returning to Los Angeles we stopped at the Hungry Valley SVRA. Last year I saw some amazing wildflowers there but it was not to be. The area is only open on Friday through Monday. Still the hills near Arvin were truly breathtaking. The pictures do not it justice! So go and see for yourself. Remember it is illegal to pick or collect wildflowers, and do respect private property.
And finally, check out the Wildflower Show at Rancho this weekend. Garden staff and graduate students search the hills and dales of southern California to bring together an amazing collection of flowers. The flowers are labeled and displayed in vases in a room that is chilled to help keep them fresh through the weekend.