A Native Plant Garden in Berkeley

"Without the gift of flowers and the infinite diversity of their fruits, man and bird, if they had continued to exist at all, would be today unrecognizable." –Loren Eiseley

I recently saw this quote, tacked up near the entrance to the "Plants of the World" exhibit at the Chicago Field Museum.  The exhibit consists of a dimly lit hallway filled with case after case of intricate models of exotic plants from all over the world.  The plants featured range from cocoa plants to redwood trees to orchids.  The quote also came to mind when I was thinking about how to describe Penny Dewind's stunning California Native Plant garden in Berkeley.  The reason?  Penny's unique collection of native plants provides a little window into the diversity that California flora has to offer.   When I first visited her garden during a local garden tour, one of the first things I noticed was that even though I recognized many of the plant species in her garden, she was growing unique varieties - colors and shapes that I had never seen before.   She had some California poppies growing in a container called Eschscholzia caespitosa (Tufted Poppy).  When most people think of the California poppy they probably think of the well know pretty orange flower.   But Penny's Tufted Poppies were pale yellow and possessed a more delicate shape.  When I went back to Penny's garden to take the photographs shown below the tufted poppy was no longer in bloom but instead there were plenty of other unusual native plants growing.  Below are just a few examples.