The 3,500-acre Garland Ranch in Monterey County’s Carmel Valley is part of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. It includes a diversity of habitats that support the growth of more than 350 species of flowering plants.
The ranch’s fifty miles of hiking trails make its floral bounty accessible to both casual observers and specialists in California native plants. Several people have helped list Garland Park’s flora: Jim Griffin, director of UC’s Hastings Reservation, Lee Dittman, park district staff, and members of the California Native Plant Society and the Sierra Club. Until the publication of this book, however, visitors have not had a compact reference work for plant identification.
Michael Mitchell, a retired legal practitioner, relocated from England to Carmel Valley to focus on and photograph the local wildflowers. Rod M Yeager, a cardiovascular surgeon who retired from Louisiana to Pebble Beach, is active as a photographer of wildflowers and creator of several photographic books and the website Wildflowers of Monterey County (www.rodyeager.com).
Mitchell and Yeager have arranged their plant list by blossom color, a flowering plant’s most visible characteristic. Within each color section, they list plants by family, genus, and speciesâ€”an approach that supports appreciation and understanding of the relationships among the plants. Each plant entry includes excellent photographs to aid in identification, brief descriptors, and interesting comments about the plant.
Wildflowers of Garland Ranch is an indispensable resource for Garland Ranch visitors and a valuable reference for hikers among any of California’s wildflowers. The book can be purchased at Garland Ranch and on Yeager’s website (www.rodyeager.com).
Tom Karwin, Master Gardener
Santa Cruz, California