My snubbing of this event went out the window when I saw that Robin Parers Geraniaceae was open- a legendary nursery that I have never visited. I'm not exactly sure when I first heard of Ms. Parers operation, but I do know it was a very long time ago-the 80's maybe. I know that at the time I was just learning of the existance of the 'Hardy Geranium' without any real understanding of what that meant. When I worked at the garden center in San Diego in the late 70's , it was assumed that when a customer asked if something was "hardy" they really meant "something easy to grow that I won't kill" ; the concept of winter hardiness seldom was an issue in zone 10. My first true Geranium purchase was G. Johnsons Blue , a plant which I still have even though it's been improved upon significantly by newer varieties. I can't seem to bring myself to get rid of it-remembering my excitement at finding a plant I had read about in so many magazines and catalogs and had never seen in person.
Geraniaceae is in the decidedly upscale burg of Kentfield , perched on a hillside and terraced with shady paths leading through the property. Clearly a gardener lives here, and a collector. The plant palette was vast.
The entry path .
I got a Berkeley Hills vibe in this garden, I expect the two areas had much more in common back in the 60's , 70's era than they do now.
The light was bad for photos, but there you see tables at the back of the house , long rows of them, packed with plants.
And a magnificent stand of bamboo hugged one of the lower terraces .
Honor plant sale..I had no cash ! damn.
Garden 2 was quite nearby, but could not have been more dissimilar. It was beautiful , cleverly designed , spotless, perfect... it was clear to me that the residents here were not gardeners . What they had was in reality an art installation made of plants and hardscape, a stage set.
The entry wall was a row of hedged Arbutus marina..not something you see every day . It was quite striking , but one wonders what it will look like in 5 years.
And then, well what can you say about a specimen sized agave plopped right in the middle of a very lush, green lawn. Apparently there is some sort of underground barrier that prevents the lawn irrigation from bleeding into the Agaves territory.
Agave , lawn , water feature. Quite striking.
A path lined with Phormium on one side and reed on the other, leads to the back of the house. I liked the idea alot, but the Phormium was stretching.
Once you traverse the path, you are confronted with a killer view of Mt Tamalpias.
This is were you sit to view the view.
The designer used Asparagus meyeri to excellent effect in this garden, a softer echo of the spiky Aloes and Agaves.
Poolside. Of course there was a poolside.