Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

The dog-friendly Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens were founded in 1961 by retired nurseryman Ernest Schoefer and his wife, Betty. Ernest’s keen eye spotted the ample supply of water augmented by the mild coastal climate and quality soil essential to acid-loving plants like rhododendrons. The gardens opened in 1966 and by 1992 had been purchased with grants from the California Coastal Conservancy and transferred to the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District.

The gardens are best known for their tender, fragrant and rare species of rhododendrons. Native to the cloud forests of Southeast Asia and the Himalayas, these gems are restricted in the United States to a narrow band along the Northern California coast, where they thrive in the foggy, coastal climate.

Don’t leave your best friend in the car! Dogs are welcome on leash in the gardens.

What’s in Bloom:
February, March, April: Early rhododendrons, camellias, daffodils, magnolias, cherries and Pacific Coast iris (spring whale migration also occurs during this time.)

May, June, July: Rhododendrons, heritage roses, perennials,cactus, succulents, lilies, heathers, coastal and forest wildflowers.

August, September, October: Perennials, dahlias, heritage roses, heathers, fuchsias and hydrangeas.

November, December, January: Late perennials, winter heathers, camellias and wild mushrooms (winter whale migration occurs during this season).

Check their website for hours, directions and reservations.

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