Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mendo Botanical

  In the course of an all too brief road trip I spent a day at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden which is bordered on the west by coastal bluffs overlooking  the Pacific . The spectacular beauty of the coastline in Mendocino County itself is a feature of this garden, as the trails that meander through the forests and meadows of the garden terminate at the sea.

 The garden is is USDA zone 9b, the same zone as mine; an indicator of the limited usefulness of the USDA zones here on the micro-climate laden west coast. Sunset (the go-to zone guide for gardeners in the west) classifies this area as zone 17 , mild wet and frostless winters with summer fog and lack of heat.  Growing a tomato in Mendocino is an exercise in futility, Fuchsias can sit out in the sun all day long, and frost is rare. The perennial gardens here are planted with tough customers that can withstand winds, pounding rain, fog and salt air.




 They grow some dandy Kniphofias out here on the coast.



 Verbena bonarienses, Melianthus (evergreen here) and large scale grasses anchor this bed.


Verbenas are used extensively and effectively.



I failed to note the name of this grass, but it made a dramatic transition between the lawn and the borders, and even the mist couldn't keep it from lighting up the view.




 There were several really nice Astelias in the garden, this is Astelia chathamica .


 Astelia nivicola 'Red Gem'


Angelicas love the climate here, not so much at my house ! Of course I grow (and coddle) them anyway.



 The heather collection is particularly splendid and one of my favorite features here. This is not prime season so I didn't take nearly as many photos as I usually do . This collection has received recognition as a collection of  national significance from the American Public Gardens Association.





 Had my lunch on a bench looking at this..






13 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous garden, Kathy! It's one I've never heard of. The fog added a nice atmospheric touch and I love those Kniphofias, a genus I've never been particularly fond of (until now). I may have to copy the combination of Verbena and Melianthus one day too.

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    1. Kris, I've never planted Kniphofia either, but I have to say they sure have a ton of varieties to choose from these days. Sounds to me like you need to put together a Norcal road trip for yourself !

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  2. The place, your photos...all gorgeous. I hope to visit someday. Any idea what Kniphofia that is?

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    1. Loree, this is K. multiflora. Digging Dog and Mendo Botanical make a nice tour day when they are both open.

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  3. What a view. What a garden. What heaven for Astelias. What photos! Must have been a great lunch.

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    1. Thanks Hoov ..I try to go at least once a year, and in different seasons. Going back in Feb for the heathers I think..

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  4. Just stunning. Brings back fond memories of my visit a little over a year ago. If only Mendocino was a little easier to get to...

    As much as I like the climate there, I do think I'd go a bit nuts with the persistently overcast skies...

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    1. I guess it's remoteness is one of it's charms Gerhard--it's only 3 hours for me which is an easy weekend trip. They are indeed hearty souls who can live out there year round.

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  5. So true about the microclimates. Kniphofias just don't like zone 10 generally, even though they're often touted for sunny dry gardens, but then aloes do. I love the mix of plants they grow at Mendo. And V. bonar never looks like that here either!

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    1. I think the fact that you can put just about any plant, including Fuchsias in full sun out there is a bonus . I love the mix there too.

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  6. Zowie! That's a nice lunch view! A beautiful garden and setting and the fog enhanced it's charms. Zone 9b without a really hot summer sounds divine to me. I bet begonias thrive in the ground here!

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    1. They have a lath house full of tuberous begonias Peter , I didn't post any of those photos ! And you can grow any Fuchsia on the planet here , in the ground year round.

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  7. I love the view and those kniphofias.

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