Nice wine, attractive tasting room, friendly staff.. but I gravitate out to the garden. This was my 3rd visit this year, and I loved the bittersweet beauty of the decay - the annual flowers and vegetables were being allowed to go out gracefully in-situ, waving their hankies as they decline; the horticultural manifestation of Blanche Du Bois. The grasses, salvias and sub-tropicals were robust- at peak performance, a full month before the first killing frost.
I liked the banana -grapevine combo. Not something I would have thought of, but very medit-centric I think.
Coolness- fall Salvias , a bit of the foliage action, and the grasses steal the scene.
The cycle this fall: warmth, frost , rain , (again) warmth, frost, rain ..and so on. Today is rain, and on it goes til mid-week. The Dahlias look horrid , but soldier-on, the frosts have been light and spared all but the wimpiest specimens. I move plants inside, and then back out.
Daylily scapes at Thanksgiving ? 3 are blooming, one of the deciduous models is pumping up spring growth in the midst of the dying foliage of 2010.
The Fuchsias bloom away. I wish it would stop raining so I could go out and look at them. They never look this good in August.
Nicotiana undaunted, with a blur of Lavender in the background.
All Oreganos (and there are many) think it's summer.
Aha ! Now here finally is a typical Norcal late fall-winter scene.Please disregard the dandelion. They too are confused.
It doesn't happen all at once. I have photos taken in December that feature flaming foliage that has held on since October . I have 1 Japanese Maple that hasn't a leaf on it , and one that has just started to turn. The Crepe Myrtle in the back garden is red-orange-gold , the front garden specimen is still green.
These photos were taken on Saturday morning a bit south of Calistoga and at Trefethen Vineyards
I first visited this garden several years ago when it was the property of Belvedere Vineyards. Belvedere alas is no more, but thank goodness, the gardens still live on under the proprietorship of the Donatiello family. My previous visit was a tour escorted by Gary Ratway , who designed the gardens , and whose signature can be seen still . I think Garys gardens look particularly fine in fall, and this garden though quite geometric, still somehow fulfills my desire for horticultural untidiness.