DryStoneGarden

Plants, Stone, California Landscapes

Flower

Cataviña Boulder Gardens

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Death Valley and the ‘super bloom’ was just one stop on the trip, we spent the bulk of our time south of the border in Baja. We revisited Cerro San Ignacio, an amazing spot that deserves an interpretive trail perhaps more than any other site in the world. But we’d been there once before; the botanical highlight of this trip was the Boojums. Boojums! I’d wanted to see the boojum forests for years.

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We did our boojum viewing amongst the boulder gardens around the oasis town Cataviña, a beautiful area with pinkish granular granite reminiscent of the rock at Joshua Tree (there’s apparently good climbing on some of it, too). Some of the boojums had strange curlicues at the top like something out of Dr. Seuss, but my favorites were the graceful upright ones. There’s something illogical about them, as if the plant got confused and put it’s taproot in the air and it’s branches underground.

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The area also has tremendous Cardón cactus trees.

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Elephant trees are another favorite. A little bit like small oaks from a distance, but with striking caudiciform trunks up close.

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As with any great rock garden, in some places the plants were a compliment to the rocks and in other places the rocks were a compliment to the plants.

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There were plenty of showy flowers tucked amongst the rocks and arroyos. A few of my favorites are below.

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Prickly poppy.

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Encelia. The highway north of Cataviña was sometimes lined with blooming Encelias, really beautiful.

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Baja Fairy Duster.

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We just scratched the surface. The boulders went on and on, with seemingly endless potential for further exploring. A great desert area.

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