Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Visit to Digging Dog

 Way back in June I made a Mendocino county loop that featured three Garden Conservacy open days , among them was  Digging Dog Nursery. Though they are open for visitors often throughout the summer, in my experience their private garden has only been open in conjunction with the Open Days program. I try not to miss the opportunity, and this garden as a whole remains my favorite California garden.
 As with any garden that is frequently visited, changes are noted and pending changes are looked forward to. This summer, an area that had long been enticingly viewed in the distance  over a barrier  of caution tape for the last few years was open at last.

 The abundant borders were in their summer best- the tail end of the 'green times' here in summer-dry Northern California. The nursery is in our coastal Redwood belt, and only a couple of miles inland from the Pacific, so summer temperatures are moderate.


 Sanguisorba (which one ?) hangs out with Nepeta.


The proprietress , Deborah Whigam , collects and propagates a wonderful selection of Kniphofias.



 The path that runs along the west border has seen many improvements. On the right is the vegetable garden , an area that has been in development and off limits for visitors for several years , the left side is the magnificent west facing border that will feature prominently in a future post pending my fall trip back to the coast.





I took this photo in Oct 2009, where we see the juvenile versions of the Hornbeam pillars that now provide a vertical accent throughout this area of the garden.



Mature Hornbeam pillars...







In this photo from Oct 2011 , one of the pyramid features can be seen in the distance.


 The same view , current. The pyramid tip can barely be seen above the jar.


  Now in 2015 we see the pyramids completed and planted with what appears to be Tuechrium fruticans.




Steel pond , formerly a caution tape festooned hole.




 In the private garden, paths meander through portals a- device seen frequently in this garden -that move the visitor from shady retreats like this ,


..into sunny colorful borders.



Rammed-earth columns lead the way .





 And June was Thalictrum season out on the coast. This is a challenging plant for my garden-I have grown them with success but they would prefer cooler summers. It's a matter of the absolute correct location.





Lobelia tupa season too...


Digging Dogs fall plant sale this year runs 3 days , October 9th 10th and the 11th. Guided tours of the gardens are offered at specific times throughout the weekend.


15 comments:

  1. Some fabulous vertical structures they have there!

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    1. Wouldn't it be nice to have the space to do things like that !

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  2. I love Thalictrum but it's foolish for me even to think about planting it.

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    1. When my BIL's lived in Huntington Beach they had a really nice one-apparently a cultivar that needed no chill. Plus they were a half mile from the beach so summers were relatively mild. I think I'm going to give on a try again in fall.

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  3. Something about the words "rammed earth" makes my arms ache, but I love the effect. Love thalictrums, very short-lived here. I think 'Elin' was pretty good. Just read a piece on Ratway this morning, here: http://c-home.com/homes/in-a-mendocino-mood/

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    1. The house is rammed earth too Denise.When I stumbled upon Gary Ratways 'wine walk' of the gardens a couple years ago he took us back to the house and gave us some background.Thanks for that link--I've seen a few photos of that garden here and there but never a nice write-up like that. I hope it will be open for touring one day .

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  4. I love the Hornbeams and your photos. Maybe your photos a little more. Everything is beautiful, but the dirt pyramid seems---???

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    1. The pyramids must be seen in context Hoov ..I hope for a better picture-story when I return in fall !

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  5. Great shots. The shady paths have me straight away, something I need to do more of here. Not that we need a shady retreat, especially this year when summer seems notably absent in England, but because they would enable me to grow a wider variety of plants! It's a challenge growing in drought conditions but I certainly envy you all that blue sky and warmth.
    Sanguisorba is one of my current favourites, but I've yet to try Thalictrum. Perhaps one of the shorter ones. It will only be a matter of time to be sure.

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    1. I expect Thalictrum would thrive in your maritime climate..they certainly make a statement. Where I live they need to be planted in some shade, and of course then flopping can be an issue !

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  6. You're not going to believe this, but I've never been to Digging Dog! I know, it's the height of negligence on my part. Will aim for the October open house. Great time of year, too!

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    1. A longer commute for you Gerhard ..you get a pass. Fair warning, no succulents here ..You should do a stay-over and visit Mendo Coast Botanical as well.

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  7. Fantastic vertical structure in this garden! I love all those doorways and framed views. Thanks for sharing!

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