If you've not yet had the opportunity to visit the Rock, I hope that you gardeners out there will want to see it soon. Its many restored gardens are unlike any others you've ever seen and the atmosphere is incredible. Free docent led garden tours are offered at 9:30am on Fridays and Sundays, but you have to be on the first boat out to the island. Purchase tickets in advance online though because they almost always sell out ahead of time.
During the garden tour our guide told us these were planted as a barrier by the early military posted on the island.
The trail that grants access to this area of the island is closed during most of the tourist season because of nesting birds. If you'd like to get up close and personal with these gentle giants you'll have to plan a visit during the fall or winter months. That's the only time during the year when the trail is open.
|Aeonium species and hybrids as well as Jade Plants (Crassula argentea) can be seen all over the island.|
|This Australian Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is most likely the oldest tree on the island. There are also several Dragon Trees (Dracaena draco) that were also planted by members of the military that were stationed here between 1850-1934.)|
As you leave the dock and begin to walk up the Rock you are passing through the area with the oldest gardens on the island.
|Australian Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).|
|The oldest Fuchsia on the Rock, this specimen is 70 years old.|
|A Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) near the cellhouse.|
The Garden Conservancy the program here has truly flourished.
|Aeonium arboreum gone wild.|
I was left with some great pictures from the top of the Rock.
|Kenilworth Ivy (Cymbalaria muralis) hugging the warm wall.|
|The spent flower stalks of Century Plants (Agave americana).|
|Note how the Jade plant (Crassula ovata) has its trunk partially in the shade. This adaptation also allows the plant to remain protected from the wind.|
|The hummingbirds of Alcatraz.|
To be continued...