Sacramento’s Capitol Park

An edifice should be constructed…satisfactory of the grandeur of the coming time … surrounded by grounds … with a beauty and luxuriousness that no other capitol can boast.”

~Governor Leland Stanford, 1863img_1899img_1890img_1848img_1878On a recent November day I spent a delightful morning with my love strolling around the grounds of the Capitol admiring the memorials, gardens, statues, fountains and trees.

Covering forty acres and spanning twelve city blocks, Capitol Park began life in 1860 as just four blocks, and from then to 1917 the remaining blocks became part of the park’s expansion projects. Since 1869 eight hundred flowering trees and shrubs have been planted, representing over two hundred native and exotic varieties.

Here’s just a glimpse of the World Peace Rose Garden in Capitol Park, still bursting with blooms in November and displaying 650 roses in over 140 varieties of colors and fragrances.img_1866img_1865img_1864In honor of Veteran’s Day two harpists played gentle melodies in front of war memorials.img_1863Many of the trees planted are dedicated to former members of staff of the California State Legislature, or to mark special anniversaries. There’s also the Moon Tree, a Coastal Redwood that began life as one seed among hundreds which orbited the moon aboard the command module of the Apollo 14 mission.

Just look at all of this tree magic.img_1855img_1856img_1860img_1873img_1869img_1868img_1867img_1880img_1877img_1891img_1893Beautiful and luxurious grounds, indeed. What a great way to spend a few hours. I think Governor Leland Stanford would be quite proud.

 

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
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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.

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.

Fairytale Town Fun

 

IMG_6032Fairytale Town in Sacramento has provided families great fun for over fifty years. This storybook park featuring live farm animals, gardens, and playgrounds, all beautifully maintained within two and a half acres, offers safe and unlimited enjoyment for all.

We brought our toddler aged grand children here to play a week ago and had such fun.

There are a number of gardens within the park, each one lovingly tended to. In Mr. McGregor’s Garden, Beatrix Potter’s long loved Tale of Peter Rabbit comes to life. The hands-on garden features raised beds full of seasonal vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers. What a great sensory experience! IMG_5945Child sized watering cans hanging from low hooks invite young ones to water the gardens.IMG_6031IMG_6034IMG_6033Further inside Mr. McGregor’s Garden is the Alphabet Garden. Each colorful letter of the alphabet sits alongside a plant that starts with that letter. Plants include annuals, perennials, shrubs and a few trees.IMG_5926IMG_5927IMG_5929IMG_5931IMG_5932Here is the plant list for the Alphabet Garden: Agapanthus, Bird of Paradise, Cherry Tree, Daphne, Escallonia, Feverfew, Geranium, Hummingbird Bush, Ice Plant, Jasmine, Kniphofia, Lamb’s Ear, Magnolia, Nandina, Orchid Rockrose, Pomegranate, Quince, Rose of Sharon, Sea Pink, Thyme, Umbrella Plant, Verbena, Wisteria, Xylosma, Yarrow, Zebra Grass.

What a delightful morning of wonder, magic and discovery we all had! Here’s to many more fun filled visits.

Note – Some of the photos in this post were downloaded from the website.