Monday, August 26, 2013

Tropical Paradise Comes To Life In This Del Mar Garden


          I'm pretty sure we all have our own idea of paradise, and from my perspective it includes a garden, of course--after all, the concept is usually associated with the Garden of Eden. Some of us in California (notably my husband) consider San Diego to be paradise, not necessarily for the gardens but just because the weather is sunny and 70 degrees Fahrenheit pretty much year round. Wikipedia cites other criteria for paradise, like life free from human difficulties. That's a bit more elusive, I'm afraid.

           But for many, paradise is usually synonymous with tropical: the islands, water, palms, dense foliage, exotic blooms, steamy temps, cool island breezes and bright colors.

          I came across a pretty good version of a tropical garden in Del Mar, California just outside of the city of San Diego about a week ago. But not without some minor human difficulties. The most unexpected at the moment: my digital camera flashing "out of memory" at me when I realized I the memory card was in my laptop at home.

          What a blogger's nightmare! I'm in the middle of tropical paradise and the only working camera I have is my iPhone. At least the phone was fully charged (for a change). It would just have to do, for me and all of my 35 followers.

            I am not much of an island person myself but I admit I was swept off my feet for an hour while I wandered through this garden. And that was a good thing, too, because just before I came here I was in urgent care getting my wedding rings cut off.

           A rash I developed a day before was causing my left ring finger to swell and my rings were acting as tiny tourniquets, squeezing the life out of me. I was so desperate when I woke up in the morning that I tried to cut them with my Felco F-2 classic hand pruners. An off-label use, I know; but they were cleaned with bleach (as if that made it okay) and, like I told my husband, it's the sharpest tool we have in the shed. Luckily I didn't prune my fingers or the rings off and I am a little embarrassed that I even tried it.

          So I went to a nearby urgent care and it was torture waiting for the doctor, but with my rings safely cut off with a sterile tool and my hand feeling only slightly better, I drove off to this garden, which was opened to members of the San Diego Horticultural Society, and I briefly forgot about my morning.


               The breathtaking colors of the foliage made it easy to do.  The homeowners created this garden because of their passion for exotic locations like Bali and Indonesia. The bromeliads and succulents

 are beautiful in the garden (despite my bad cell phone pictures) and add such unexpected colors.

Lava rocks made appropriate edging

and pavement is the color of sand.

Indonesian sculpture added a feel for the wild

and the koi made the place come alive.

          The day's little difficulties quickly faded in my memory as I admired this lovely space: the plants, and how one garden room seemed to flow so nicely into another and then another: a space to enjoy a fireplace, a pond, a pool, several spots to eat, sip a boozy drink and lounge, and even a space to watch television. This very well could be a backyard paradise.

This, most definitely, is GardenEnvy. 

Copyright 2013 by Jeannine at
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  1. It looks stunning, and the sort of planting we go for :)

  2. I agree - it looks like paradise! So full of lush plantings, overlooking the pond. Just beautiful. Sorry to hear about your hand. I can't even imagine how much that must have hurt. You definitely deserved a few hours in paradise after that ordeal!

  3. This garden really is a paradise! I have never been to San Diego, but my widely traveled husband has, and he has often commented about how lovely it is.

    I am glad you did not cut your finger off! Will you be able to have your rings put back together? That situation must have been awful!

    1. I don't know yet about my rings as I haven't gone to the jeweler yet, but they are in four pieces! You should definitely visit San Diego someday! Jeannine

  4. I love San Diego (for the same reasons as your husband) and this garden is true paradise to me! Sorry about your painful experience and hope it meant you went ring shopping! P. x

  5. I do love tropical and exotic looking plants. Lots of inspiration in the photos.


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