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Don Pylant, April, 2021

San Francisco / Oakland visit

Started by Healeyjet, February 22, 2011, 04:34:40 PM

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My family and I are going to be visiting San Francisco and Oakland from May 21st to the 31st this year.  Do any of the residents of his area have any suggestions about things to try not to miss?  We are staying only a block from Golden Gate Park so we will have daily morning visits to that.  I have also read about Hakone so we will get there.  I know there are pruning classes that take place through Merritt College that work in Lakeside Park.  Is there anything I am missing?  We will be visiting and dining in Japantown as much as possible.  Are there any public gardens I am missing on my list within an hour or two of Golden Gate Park?  We are driving out to Sacramento on the 22nd so if there is anything there we would appreciate a "heads up".  Are any of you that work in the Japanese Garden industry or Japanese construction methods building anything interesting that we can come by and see?  We are well mannered adults and will not "get in the way".  We may even be be able to bring a cold drink or coffee if requested.

Thanks in advance!

ps    Group, it has been a while since my last confession.  Wait, wrong group.  It has been a while since my last posting as we have relocated to a different house within the same city and have been very busy with that.  Now that we are all set up and spring is approaching I hope to be a regular "question asker" again.


BTW, I have done the Jgarden postal code search for gardens but was hoping for an insiders opinion.


I live in Portland so have no visitors recommendations other than that I have visited all of these sites in years past.  Last fall I attended the San Diego International seminar and was fortunate to be accepted into a 1/2 day with Dennis Nakashima pruning pine.  If at all possible to join his group at Merritt College it would be more than worth your time.  He is a fantastic teacher.


Thanks Terry.  I have checked Merritt's page to see what if any classes they will be running that week but nothing is posted yet.  That would be excellent if I could take in a half day pruning class or something like that as well.

alan kren

Morning walks through Golden Gate park should be glorious in May. Be sure to walk through the rhododendron dell and tree fern forest (no, not a Japanese garden but lovely just the same). The rhodies should be in full bloom. The Conservatory of Flowers is worth a visit if only to see the Victorian era conservatory (glass house) and there is an interesting collection of tropical plants. The Strybing Arboretum sort of wanders in its garden; it's no longer free due to the usual budget problems.
If you want to break out of the garden mode consider a walk across the Golden Gate bridge but where a wind breaker over a sweater. Coit Tower offers great bay views as does a ferry ride out to Angle Island.
As bay area natives we actually do all of the above. Enjoy.
Alan Kren


Thanks Alan, we will do all of your suggestions.  We hope to spend a considerable amount of time in GG Park gardens as we are so close and our two boys usually like to sleep in a bit which gives us time to do our thing before they even wake up.  We are hoping to catch a pruning class/demonstration over at Merritt but the schedule isn't out for May yet.


Bump, as we are leaving in two days. Any of you professional gardeners in the Bay area working on anything special?


The Aesthetic Pruners Association is hosting a Japan Earthquake Relief Fundraiser on Saturday, May 28, from 10am - 3pm, at the Japantown Peace Plaza In SF, featuring Dennis Makishima giving a rare public demonstration.  Don't miss it.


Thanks Joegull.  I marked it on my calendar!


Ward, have a wonderful trip!



Whoops, too late! The Hakone gardens in Saratoga (south bay) is highly regarded.
Going there on Sunday for ideas.