Saturday, June 11, 2016

Marin County Open Garden Stinson Beach

 I was happy to see Marin County Open Days venture out to the coast; I have had bad luck with the weather in past years (hot! ) even though Marin is typically moderated by San Francisco Bay. Three gardens were on the roster and I planned my route to take advantage of light Saturday morning traffic and avoidance of more congestion in the afternoon. My first stop was garden perched on the hillside overlooking Bolinas Bay and adjacent to Mt Tamalpias State Park.

 The garden is mature, having been created 20 years ago from undeveloped land reportedly choked with poison oak and other undesirables  surrounding an imposing rock outcropping .Elevation changes were numerous, but the gardener built a network of paths that allowed for relatively easy navigation of the property.

It was hard to resist multiple photos of this stand of Poppies near the entry. 




 Beyond the poppies and through the main entry gate into  the garden, this view reveals itself. It was clear at this point that this garden was not going to be a dud.



Down to the bottom step--I was getting that 'wow' feeling.  I love layered textural gardens . Here both the exotic and mundane were combined for a beautiful effect.



Turning  to the left..the wow meter went off again.


Compelled by this scene , I moved to the left and started up the path that took the visitor up into  the rock cliffs.

 The  view was dynamic, changing as you moved from one landing pad to another, and benches were placed frequently in strategic locations to take advantage of the seaview or just to be at rest within the garden.


Pulling in a bit closer on this scene.

As you move up the paths you see the plants viewed from below , along with the smaller plants that were not as visible, hugging the path. The entire hillside is densely planted and thriving in this frost free maritime location.







 Once you get higher up Bolinas Bay comes into view.


Back down the hillside, the plant diversity continues





 Our host spoke to us of his creation of the garden- I only heard part of his talk I was so intent on exploring the garden and taking photos it was hard to stop and focus on anything else. I did hear that he purchased many of his exotics at the venerable  Western Hills Nursery.

Coming off the hill, a path leads to the vegetable garden and beyond that a gate takes you outside the deer fence.

More Poppies among the veggies framed by kale and a fabulous Restio. Elegia capensis perhaps ? I was quite taken by this outside the box combination.


 Your view as you toil in the vegetable garden.


The gate beyond leads the way to the Koi pond. Our host explained that he had taken down the network of sea-bird excluding wires that cover the pond for the tour day.



The pond was a generous size (this photo only shows a portion) and the koi were numerous and quite happy to see the visitors.



Returning to the main garden .



This area is across the path from one of the homes' decks, all of which had splendid views, either out to the ocean or over the the garden.



Philadephus 'Belle Etoile' in full bloom

 I stayed in this garden a very long time indeed, but there were two more gardens to visit , so reluctantly I headed back to my car and north to Bolinas. These were final shots on the way out.




20 comments:

  1. I'd have been tempted to hide out in the garden and spend the entire weekend there. Did you see any bare earth at all? I can't remember ever seeing a garden so densely planted with what appears to be largely xeric plants.

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    1. They had a restroom available Kris and it was attached to a a little guest suite . I would have happily passed them a c-note to put me up for the night ! Not much bare earth at all.

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  2. Gorgeous garden in a beautiful location!

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  3. OMG! That has to be one of the most stunning private gardens I've ever seen. On a par with the Landcraft gadens in LOng Island we saw. I absolutely adore being able to garden with all those gorgeous succulents. Almost makes me want to change growing zones! LOL

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    1. It was pretty stunning Deanne, and the climate there sure helps.

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  4. The succulents look so at home amongst the rocks. I hope it comes up on a tour again!

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    1. The landscaping among the rocks was so well done,I wish I had spent more time with the garden host to hear how he had thought out the design. Though from what I did hear , he is a plant collector and the placement was just completely intuitive.

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  5. I've been kicking myself for weeks for missing this. To be honest, though, the Garden Conservancy description didn't do this garden justice. Your photos do. They're spectacular. I hope this garden will be on tour again.

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    1. The guidebook says the last time it was on was in 2006. I have to think though that there may be other garden tours in the area that may feature this garden. And it was overcast ..yay !

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    2. I'm still thinking of doing the July 30 East Bay Open Day. Want to meet up again? I'll be happpy to drive this time.

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    3. I'm up for it Gerhard ! Hopefully it won't be hotter than hell.

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    1. Hopefully it's insured

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    2. I rebooted it. Came back and looked at your photos again. Yep, that garden is still awesome.

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  7. "this garden was not going to be a dud"...I missed the NOT the first read through and thought you'd lost your mind...

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Portions of my mind are in fact lost Loree, but not the gardening portion !

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  8. Oh my. That is just gorgeous beyond belief.

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    1. I had no idea what I was walking into-and how close I was to not going !

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