Matthew Stephens arrived in San Francisco from New York.  With a masters degree in Public Horticulture and years of planting literally a million trees in New York City, you would think he knows a lot about gardening.

Foggy view of The Mediterranean Garden with Cypress trees; San Francisco Botanical Garden

Now, as the Horticulture Director of San Francisco Botanical Garden, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers he has a lot to learn.  And like most smart people he knows it, and is eagerly soaking it all in.

As you will find out in the story he wrote for Pacific Horticulture magazine, “The Transplanted Gardener”, he has quickly learned to appreciate this “new world” where:

“Red maples have turned into redwoods, daylilies turned into phormiums, and creeping junipers turned into creeping ceanothus—along with palm trees, a dizzying array of succulents, evergreen oaks, and many, many more plants.”

Agave americana, Century Plant; gray silver leaf succulent in San Francisco Botanical Garden

The story is a fascinating read, illuminating gardening trends in the West Coast that we take for granted, for instance how we use native plants and his new awareness that our summer-dry climate leads to an emphasis water conservation.

California native iris wildflowers, Iris douglasii, along meadow path through Menzies native plant garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden

Read the “The Transplanted Gardener” on-line at the Pacific Horticulture Society website.  And while you are there, sign up for the newsletter and join the Society: support making this sort of gardening insight a public asset.

More photos from the story:

The lighting the Conservatory of Flowers:

Lighting of San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers for 2017 Summer of Love Celebration in Golden Gate Park

The Redwood Grove at San Francisco Botanical Garden:

Sequoia sempervirens, grove of coast redwood trees in San Francisco Botanical Garden

A deciduous magnolia at San Francisco Botanical Garden. (now, in late February they are  peaking )

Magnolia dawsoniana ‘Clarke’ flowering winter tree blossom in San Francisco Botanical Garden

Photobotanic Galleries: San Francisco Botanical Garden and Conservatory of Flowers