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TRAVELING IN STYLE : Northern California Is a Garden-Lover's Paradise, and the Gates Are Open to One and All : Bloom Country

March 07, 1993|Levick divides her time between Los Angeles, Barcelona and Paris. Her books include "Barcelona: An Open-Air Sculpture Gallery" and "The Missions of California . "

FROM SANTA CRUZ TO MENDOCINO, PALO ALTO TO VOLCANO, THE northern portion of our state is well endowed with public gardens. For several springs, Melba Levick--best-known for her photographs of European cities --has roamed these earthbound wonderlands, capturing their irresistible evocations of the season. A collection of her photographs, "Visiting Eden: The Public Gardens of Northern California," with text by Joan Chatfield-Taylor, will be published in June by Chronicle Books. Please turn to Page 49 for details on how to visit these gardens.

Northern California Gardens

Blake Garden, 70 Rincon Road, Kensington, (510) 524-2449. Open Monday through Friday (except UC Berkeley holidays), 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission: Free.

Daffodil Hill, 18310 Ram's Horn Grade, Volcano, (209) 296-7048. Open daily from mid-March to mid-April only (closed in rainy weather), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations appreciated.

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden Center (pictured on contents page), 1431 Waverly St., Palo Alto, (415) 329-1356. Open daily, 8 a.m. to dusk. Admission: Free.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 18220 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg, (707) 964-4352. Open daily, March to October, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; November to February, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $5; seniors, $4; students, $3; children under 12, free.

Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, 3970 Azalea Ave., Sebastopol, (707) 823-6832. Open Thursday though Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom in April.) Admission: Free.

Western Hills Nursery, 16250 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental, (707) 874-3731. Open Wednesday through Sunday, April through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Free.

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