Here’s how it works: you turn onto a narrow, unassuming street and then get confused about where to park, so you parallel park in front of someone’s mailbox. You follow the sign that says “entrance” to what looks like an ordinary home and are greeted by the very kind and very patient wife of John Abbuhl, the man who has been cultivating the twenty-five acres for the last 45 years. Then you walk out the back door into a biological wonderland.
It’s seriously impressive. Paths lead everywhere and sometimes not really anywhere, just about every plant is labeled, and even getting lost is interesting. They seem to be particularly proud of their four Metasequoia specimens, which is understandable because it’s an interesting tree. The genus was disovered as a fossil first, and only later was the sole surving species (Metasequoia glyptostroboides, the Dawn Redwood) discovered in China. Seeds have been distributed to only a handful of organizations, and just over 5,000 exist in the wild — it’s classified as critically endangered. Thanks, Wikipedia!.
Great place to spend an afternoon. Go there.