Not many botanical gardens come with a thundering ocean sound track in the background. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg enjoys that distinction, along with a moody maritime climate that fosters its signature displays of rare rhododendrons native to the cloud forests of Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. Camellias, dahlias, heaths and heathers also thrive here, and a perennial garden is bright with color from spring to fall.
A combination of salty smells and botanical aromas will have your dog’s nose working overtime as you meander the garden’s manicured paths. You’ll find lots to admire, both from a panoramic perspective and in close-up mode. With an eye to the sky, you might also spot circling ospreys, hawks, oystercatchers and other sea birds. Bring binoculars to get a better look at migrating whales swimming northbound between January and April.
The Mendocino Coast gardens are not only dog-friendly; they’re wheelchair-friendly, as well. Electric scooters are available on a first-come basis for those who need help getting around.
Photo: "Dogs on a bench at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens" courtesy www.gardenbythesea.org
Story posted 3/28/12