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Unexpected and delightful: mangaves & co. in the rain

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Rain. I'd almost forgotten what it feels like on my face, on my hair. This may sound weird to some of you. However, water falling from the sky is a precious resource here in the West, and the first rain of the season is always a feverishly anticipated event. Lest you become jealous, it didn't rain in Davis. Rather, it rained when I was at Peacock Horticultural Nursery , located in  Sebastopol  about 80 miles west of here. I hadn't looked at the weather forecast, assuming it would be sunny, so I was utterly surprised.  What started out as a soft drizzle gradually increased in intensity, eventually turning into a gentle rain. Marty, one of the two owners of Peacock Horticultural Nursery, asked me if I wanted a rain coat, but I happily declined. I didn't mind getting wet, not at all.  I'll have a longer post about my visit to Peacock in a day or two, but I'm very eager to share an initial set of photos celebrating the glory of rain. May this unexpected event be the

Exploring the Desert Collection at the Fullerton Arboretum

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The biggest surprise of my early-August trip to Southern California  was the Arboretum at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), a.k.a. the Fullerton Arboretum . I knew from my wife and others that the Fullerton Arboretum had a desert garden, but I'd never been there myself.  Opened in 1979, the 26-acre Arboretum is located on the north end of the CSUF campus, right off the 57 Freeway  in northern Orange County . That made it an easy stop on my way from the Inter-City Show at the Los Angeles County Arboretum to where my daughter lives in southern Orange County. As you can see in this garden map , the Fullerton Arboretum is divided into four major living collections—the Cultivated Collection, the Mediterranean Collection, the Woodlands Collection, and the Desert Collection—as well as a few dedicated gardens, including the Community Gardens and the Children's Garden. I managed to get lost (literally) in the Woodlands Collection, which takes up about half of the Arboretum