Chateau CharMarron Peony Gardens

Chateau CharMarron Llama Ranch

Llama at the Chateau CharMarron Peony Gardens. Click to view slideshow.

Saturday evening, Ananda and I took an absolutely beautiful drive up into the hills of east San Jose, making our way to Chateau CharMarron Peony Gardens.  Along the way we saw deer, turkey vultures, magpies and more than one chattering Steller’s Jay. At the Peony Gardens, we were greeted by a herd of curious, dreadlocked llamas and some 200 varieties of peonies. We were also delighted to see several California quail flitting about the grounds and glorious views of Calaveras Reservoir. (see slideshow).

On our drive back, we took Sierra Road, a narrow winding road which offers breathtaking views of Silicon Valley. We were especially fortunate to witness a magnificent light show emanating from the brewing thunder clouds over San Jose. The quality of the light was literally awe-inspiring — the images I took don’t even begin the capture the illuminating beauty of the light we witnessed.  Check out the slideshow for some of the highlights of our visit.

Chateau CharMarron’s bloom season begins in early April with tree peonies and continues from late April through early June with the herbaceous peonies. During April, May and the first 2 weeks of June, garden visits are welcomed everyday: open 9am-6pm (except Wednesdays, open only from 8am-10am). Visit the Chateau CharMarron Peony Gardens’ website for directions and stunning photos of the many peony varieties they cultivate.

Next weekend: Nola’s Iris Garden!

A pink peony at the Chateau CharMarron. Click to view slideshow.

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