It was love at first sight
The first time I saw a magnolia in full bloom,
and now every January and February,
I look forward to seeing my loves again!
It’s no secret that I love flowers! But I admit to being late to the game when it comes to the magnificent magnolias. I don’t know how it’s possible, but I “discovered” them only a couple years ago. I was so stunned when I first saw these gorgeous, unique and huge flowers up close that I don’t know how I could’ve missed them for so long. And to think that there’s a garden full of them in my hometown of San Francisco!
Magnolias are one of the most unique, most distinctive and most beautiful flowers in the world, an ancient flowering tree that’s beloved worldwide. It’s native to Asia, but if you live in or are visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, you can see 200 of these spectacular trees, all in one garden inside Golden Gate Park – the San Francisco Botanical Garden!
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Magnolias at the San Francisco Botanical Garden
In 1940, history was made at the newly-opened San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gare Park when its Magnolia became the first of its kind to bloom in the United States! Today, the garden has over 200 Magnolias, including 63 species. They come in pink, magenta and white and range in size from the small white star magnolias to the large pink and magenta cup and saucer-type magnolias (Magnolia campbellii). They are all magnificent!
The trees are spread throughout the beautiful garden, joining other winter blooms such as camellias. What a delight they bring to the winter season in the city!
Many of these mature magnolia trees are large with flowers that are higher up, so make sure to bring a camera with a zoom lens, preferably a macro lens. My favorite Nikon 105 mm macro lens is perfect for these situations and take such amazing flower pictures!
About the San Francisco Botanical Garden
The San Francisco Botanical Garden is located inside Golden Gate Park, near the Japanese Tea Garden, de Young Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences. It has almost 9000 types of plants from all over the world in its 55 acres space and hosts many interesting events year-round.
Entrance is free for S.F. residents and garden members, and also for everyone between 7:30 and 9 a.m.! Otherwise, it’s $9 for adults ($12 on weekends). More information is on their website here. For transit information, please see their website here.
The Magnificent Magnolias
Since I discovered these magnificent magnolias, I’ve been looking forward to January and February of every year and I especially look forward to visiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden. These photos were taken from the garden over the past couple of years.
Since then, I’ve also become much more aware of these amazing trees in general and have noticed that there are also quite a few in my own city of Walnut Creek! In addition, I have seen some really beautiful ones in Berkeley residential neighborhoods, and am always on the lookout for more!
Books For Flower Lovers
If you love flowers as much as I do, then I think you’ll love these beautiful flower books too! 🌸
See my complete list of favorite flower books here. They’re all available from Amazon!
My Photography Gear
I enjoy the art of photography and I love being able to capture the beauty from my travels both near and far. Here’s a quick list of the equipment that used to photograph the garden and flowers:
Nikon D750 – a fantastic full-frame camera and one of the most economical ones on the market today.
Nikon 50 mm f/1.4G Lens – my go-to lens for portraits and for general photography.
Nikon Micro 105 mm Lens – this macro lens is my favorite lens – it’s super sharp and has great bokeh.
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