Thursday, February 16, 2012


Yesterday was our first visit of the year to the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. It’s Magnolia Season!

Said to be the best array of Magnolia trees outside of China, the blooming beauties were stunning. Several white and pink flowered trees were at their peak. A few were past their prime. Some were on their way to full glory. A couple hadn’t yet got started.

Over the years we’ve made it a habit to make this pilgrimage in February. But we’ve never been able to predict which trees will bloom when. This year the blooming seems a little later than usual. And unlike in the past, when the whites opened up later than the pinks, this time both colors were blooming – or not.

It was a beautiful, sunny day. Crisp but not uncomfortable. I thought I’d see more visitors, but there were only a few. Part of the reason is the ridiculous decision by the City to charge out-of-towners an entrance fee of $7/per person at the Garden gate. I saw several people choose not to enter rather than pay. A dumb, inhospitable move. A tourism disincentive that yields almost no revenue. The Magnolias deserve better.


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