WPA Rock Garden

The Works Progress Administration was a depression era work relief program that was instituted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of his New Deal Agency. WPA employed out of work individuals to work on projects with the goal of  improving cities all over the country.

Built in 1940 by the WPA, this beautiful little one acre jewel box of a garden is nestled in Sacramento’s Land Park, near Fairytale town on one side and the duck pond on the other. Meandering paths wind through colorful garden beds full of shrubs, perennials, succulents and trees. There’s so much to see so take it slowly. You don’t want to miss a thing.IMG_8468IMG_8474IMG_8473IMG_8482IMG_8469IMG_8480IMG_8477IMG_8466 What a treat it was to find this special tree bearing its heart. I had just turned a corner and there it was. Next time you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping for a stroll!IMG_8475

Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden


IMG_8901“A living reminder that peace begins in the hearts of each one of us – in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions. Daily, each one of us has an opportunity to make our  world a better place.” ~ Sylvia Villalobos

Sylvia Villalobos is the founder of the International World Peace Rose Garden Organization. In downtown Sacramento at Capitol Park, this rose garden was established in 2003. Created as a sanctuary of peace, love, and inspiration for people of all nations, cultures, and religions, it is dedicated to women, children and families.IMG_8887IMG_8888As we enter the garden, walkways lead to a courtyard which has a fountain as its centerpiece. Benches are scattered throughout the garden, and all throughout are inspirational messages of peace created by Sacramento area grade school children. IMG_8890IMG_8889There’s the golden dome of the capitol peeking out behind the trees.IMG_8891Oh, that first mad flower frenzy of blossoms in a rose garden at springtime! Isn’t it exquisite? Here there are approximately 650 varieties featured; each one putting on their finest show!IMG_8892IMG_8895IMG_8896IMG_8868IMG_8867IMG_8601I was absolutely captivated on this day with the beauty of the roses, the heavenly fragrance perfuming the air, and heartfelt messages of peace all around.

May peace be with you.

Table Mountain Hike

Wildflowers? Why yes, indeed.IMG_8777Scenic views? Take a look!.IMG_8798Waterfalls? Yep, and some trickling streams.IMG_8794We weren’t the only ones to think that last Saturday was a perfect day to hike around Oroville’s Table Mountain. We arrived to a full parking lot and once we were inside the gate we saw many people picnicking, flying kites, taking photos, and yes, hiking and exploring.

The North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is a nature reserve of 3,315 acres. With no established trails, you just make your way through the landscape of vernal pools, small streams, grasslands and woodlands. It’s a flat topped, table-like elevated basalt mesa, likely formed by an ancient volcanic eruption.

Last year at this time we made the drive to Oroville’s North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve only to be disappointed. We expected to see masses of wildflowers flourishing, but actually saw more on the drive than while here because of drought conditions. We’ll try to get here even earlier next year, perhaps mid to late March rather than mid April. We were greeted with a show of lupine and red clover, as well as buttercups and poppies, but have learned that the floral fields are even more abundant earlier in spring.IMG_8776IMG_8770IMG_8805IMG_8775What’s not to love? And the icing on the cake? A found heart rock!

Glorious Hills of Poppies

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair. ~Susan Polis Shutz
IMG_8607IMG_8620IMG_8622IMG_8649IMG_8610IMG_8612IMG_8643IMG_8635A week and a half ago we had the pleasure of going on a poppy hike facilitated by the American River Conservancy. The hike was on private property in Coloma which had spectacular views of the American River below us and hills of happy poppies everywhere we looked. Bill and Robin Center were so generous, leading groups of us on their trails, sharing their wisdom, and providing a delicious spread of appetizers and desserts afterwards under the shady oaks. Being surrounded by nature’s beauty in Coloma is something we won’t forget. We are so grateful for the experience!

Old City Cemetery Gardens

For a few weeks I’ve been reading about the new guidelines the city of Sacramento has issued in Old City Cemetery. The recent designation of the gold rush era cemetery has triggered new rules that would require the many historic roses planted there to be removed or drastically cut back. The new guidelines state that to better preserve the stone monuments and head stones the city has ordered arbors, trellises, and decorative arches to be removed and plants be removed from plots. Markers and monuments now need to be visible in all directions. No plants of any type can be draping a headstone and plants can not be planted closer that twelve inches to headstones. A recent news article reported that so far about 200 rosebushes had been severely cut back and 10 bushes removed. Another 75 – 100 bushes likely will need to be relocated.

This cemetery was established in 1849 when Captain John Sutter donated acreage for this purpose, and thousands of early settlers are buried here.  Over the years the cemetery expanded to its nearly 60 acres.  The grounds were landscaped in the Victorian garden style that was popular at that time. For decades the graves and gardens have co-existed, and have been lovingly cared for by volunteers. Many of the antique roses were carried in wagon trains by early pioneers to California. This world famous rose garden features more than 500 varieties of roses. Several of these can only be found in this cemetery garden which contains the largest collection of rare and endangered roses in the United States.

Never having visited this particular cemetery, I wanted to see for myself what all the controversy was about. Won’t you join me as I wander?IMG_8601IMG_8604IMG_8598IMG_8592IMG_8574IMG_8579IMG_8586IMG_8587IMG_8588IMG_8564IMG_8562IMG_8561IMG_8555IMG_8551IMG_8556IMG_8558It really is quite charming and full of character. The roses most certainly enhance the beauty of this cemetery garden that is the final resting place for over 25,000 individuals. I can bet that the garden volunteers are frantically doing their best to propagate and relocate these historical jewels. I wish them much success with that endeavor.

There will be an Open Garden event on April 9th from 9:30 – 2:00. This may be the last time to view the climbing roses as they are now.