Sonoma has a lot more than wine - and this is definitely one of them. Located in the Valley of the Moon, near the home of Jack London, Quarryhill is a quiet and calming site. Located on 22 acres in the Mayacamas foothills, meandering trails take you through lush plantings of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers the average visitor will never see anywhere else - in the world. The reason is the focus on one of the largest collections of wild-source Asian plants in North America.
The vision of Jane Jansen, it was begun 25 years ago in former quarries. There are ponds, paths, views, many surprise vistas, and plants, an abundance plants. A huge number of them are species so rare it's probable that even a visit to Sichuan, China wouldn't provide a look at the specimen. Paths cross through maples strange and wonderful;, unusual dogwoods, Paulownia (renowned in Asia and used in furniture as well as the Tokugawa family crest), a deciduous redwood thought to be extinct and with needles as soft as silk, and other horticultural wonders.
This is a stroll, perfect for a laid-back wandering. Be certain to follow the small paths through areas - finding unexpected bridges, a fieldstone planter for a special peony, or a bench tucked behind the lotus pond.The children might be bored,but it's perfect for a stroll away from the tourist crush and tour buses.
Bonus: during its 25 year anniversary in 2012, admission is free on the 25th of each month!
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