Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hopelessly Devoted

 Eucalyptus is an introduced presence that looms over and defines many regions of California , rows of them providing windbreaks in agricultural areas and lining highways . Many consider them to be 'weed trees' , with their year round leaf-drop and reputation for flammability-a notable example of the latter being the devastating  Oakland Hills fire of 1991 . Debates abound over the wisdom or foolishness of their presence here-Eucs are second only to Redwood in the arena of controversial trees in our fair state. 

I admit that I love them. I love their looks, I love the fragrance-they are the most significant  tree of my childhood and the first tree I ever planted as a homeowner. Like a wayward and beloved friend I forgive them over and over for their defects. Ironically I don't currently own one, and in all likelihood I never will-they are far too large for my tiny lot. But I can step outside and see them along the river to the east,and on the hillside to the south. At Christmastime I roam parking lots and the perimeter of vineyards with the pruners collecting their greenery for the mantle, vases and wreaths. I take photos, and I look forward to road trips that will take me through favorite groves. Here are a few from the collection of specimen trees at the Ruth Bancroft Garden, and from the Carneros wine growing region of the Napa Valley.




















Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chapter Two from Ruths'

 As the home garden continues to look disheveled, in need of Prince Charming stopping by with his machete' , photos from other places are clearly more pleasing. For those who asked, the goods brought home from the sale at the Bancroft Garden last weekend included a Spiral Aloe , Echeveria gibbiflora 'Etna', Echeveria 'Afterglow', Mangave 'Bloodspot' , a species Gasteria, Kalanchoe 'Mother of Millions (!!! not a mistake I hope) and Agave 'Cornelius' for which I am providing a foster home til it moves in permanently with Denise .

Here are a few more photos from this grande' cool  garden.
















Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Visit to Ruths-Chapter One.

 Commuter mug loaded with Peets French roast, camera in the backpack with suitable size memory card and an extra battery, it was off this morning to The Ruth Bancroft Garden for the fall sale. Membership entitles a visitor to two hours of shopping and garden touring before the gates are open to the general public and full advantage was taken of both; the shopping was accomplished briskly,  the plants safely stowed in the car  and the camera retrieved from the back pack. Don't believe I've ever taken less than 100 images at this garden, a place that I find intensely photogenic. With the bulk of the visitors buzzing around the plant sales area, I had the garden nearly to myself .














And here is the grande finale  for this huge Agave -those readers and garden bloggers following the doings over at Rancho Reubidoux can preview the inevitable end to that story.






Saturday, October 2, 2010

This Time I Really Mean It...

..I'm not buying anymore plants.Well, except for the sale at the Ruth Bancroft next weekend. Bulbs don't count-it's fall, you need bulbs , right ?

 These 2 were 30% off today at Cottage Gardens in Petaluma. No contest for which one gets the cool pot purchased in August --got to be the Agave. Pigskin gloves are at the ready for the operation.