This Mother’s Day, you’re raising the bar. It’s not pancakes and juice in bed, it’s crepes and a latte. And you’re not only giving Mom a bouquet, you’re giving her a garden. Mother’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to give Mom the gift of beauty and time together, by exploring our area’s stunning public gardens. Here’s a sampling of the many area options:






Filoli –, 650.364.8300
For the classics lover: Stroll an English Renaissance garden, gentleman’s orchard, and Georgian country estate house at this designated site of the water garden, .

Photo courtesy of Filoli




San Francisco Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum,, 415.661.1316
For the world traveler: Discover Golden Gate Park’s 55-acre botanical gardens, featuring over 8,000 varieties of plants from all over the world.

Photo: Kathryn Rummel




Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden –, 415.752.1171
For the tea lover: Enjoy native Japanese plants along with classic elements such as an arched drum bridge, koi ponds, pagodas and a stone stepping path.

Forrest Deaner Native Plant Garden, Benicia State Recreation Area, 707.747.6204
For the California girl: Discover native California plants, a butterfly/hummingbird garden, a wildflower meadow and more as you soak in views of the Carquinez Strait.

Cornerstone, 707.933.3010
For the designer: Walk through an ever-changing garden gallery that showcases landscape design, landscape architecture and sculpture from around the world.

Photo: Benicia Magazine archives




Ruth Bancroft, 925.210.9663
For the environmentalist: Discover the beauty of a water-conserving garden, teeming with stunning succulents, and view important collections of aloes, yuccas, agaves and more.

Di Rosa Preserve (Art Garden), 707.226.5991
For the art-lover: Gardens, vineyards, and natural landscape form the stunning backdrop for a world-class art collection of over 2,000 works of art throughout the grounds.

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley –, 510.643.2755
For the student: Experience this 150-year-old research and conservation garden featuring over 13,000 varieties of plants from around the world.

Garden Alternatives

Annie’s, 510.215.3301
For the home gardener: Visit a shop that specializes in rare and unusual annuals and perennials, including heirloom varieties for a stunning cottage garden.

Morningsun Herb Farm, 707.451.9406
For the cook: Meander through an herb farm, then create an unforgettable Mother’s Day meal with the herbs and vegetables you discover.

So invite Mom to explore a garden, no matter what her style. Check admission fees, potential reservation requirements and hours of operation in advance. You won’t just give Mom flowers; you’ll give her memories that last a lifetime.