Saturday, September 3, 2016

Summer at Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden

 The north coast of California can be a gloomy damp and cold place in summertime. It's hard to predict how the weather might be on any given road trip, and since fall is more reliable for seeing the sun I typically travel out that way in October . This year I needed to get the hell out of town and away from the office  for a few days in July and so I rolled the temperature  dice and headed to Mendocino.
 Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden has been a blog subject here and here, both customary fall trips. The differences between seasons are subtle; this coast is frost free but winters are wet and stormy. I appreciate the relativity of the term 'cold' but for this wimpy LA girl Mendo can be cold. I was fortunate with the weather on this trip, days broke 65, the sun came out and the only downside was the fog rolling in about 4pm thus eliminating sunset views from my oceanfront inn.

  Summer flowers grow tall and flopless in this open garden, Heleniums, Lobelia tupa and Verbena bonariensis. Oh to have space to grow this stuff .



 I was taken with this grouping  of Sedum 'Frosty Morn' and a noid Eucomis. Well done wouldn't you say ?



 The Angelica purpurea has been allowed to seed around freely. A grove punctuates this border.It has become a signature plant of this garden over the last few years, along with the above Eucomis which grows in generous drifts in more that one area of the garden.


On the backside, it pairs with Leycesteria ..planned ? Or maybe just allowed. 





Artemisia Guizhou. Mine will never look like this.



Mid-summer abundance. Agastache, Salvia,Verbascum.






This imposing planting of Melianthus 'Antonows Blue' is spectacular on a dewy morning, the juvenile growth glowing with red highlights . I lingered here with my camera for quite some time, finding when I got back home and uploaded my photos that I had taken 23 images of this plant.






 They do color well don't they ? The forgiving seaside climate provides extra moisture and fog filtered light that helps saturate the hues.




 The Dahlia garden is separated from the ocean by a dense belt of cypress that provides a windbreak. My Dahlias this year were an abject failure, a combination of planting too late and too much shade . I enjoyed a wander through a well grown collection.









 An extremely scenic 3 hour drive from my front door to this garden, usually accompanied by an overnight and a stop at Digging Dog on the way home. The perfect weekend getaway.


19 comments:

  1. I'd say you timed your visit perfectly, Kathy! I have to find that Melianthus - it's so much prettier than my M. major. As to the Artemisia, mine never looked like that either (and it's long gone). And the Eucomis just makes me sigh - if mine ever bloom, it'll be a miracle. I hope you enjoy a great holiday weekend.

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    1. I would think Eucomis would work for you Kris, I don't think it requires winter chill. They do need water though -maybe more so for me since all mine are in pots.

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  2. That Angelica forest makes quite a statement, and pairs especially well in that one clump with the golden Himalayan honeysuckle. I wish I liked Melianthus more, or maybe I wish it liked my garden more. It's a wimp here. That huge clump looks worthy of 23 photos. Love your final shot with the bench.

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    1. Melianthus can be awkward to fit in.I've grown it but it always looked a little out of place. Operator error I'm sure, it needs the right spot !

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  3. Now you've done it; your photos have me wanting to try eucomis again for the umpteenth time, and rusty foxglove. Truly, one of the best climates for growing an amazing range of plants where the colors don't fade or burn out. Even the Verbena bonar looks like a different plant up there than the one I grow! I wonder what's the white plant behind the eucomis. False quinine maybe? Anaphalis? So nice to have mendo as your getaway and playground!

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    1. I'm moving my Eucomis this fall , out of the containers and into the garden. We shall see how that goes. And oh damn that rusty foxglove. I waited 2 count 'em , two years for it to start to bloom and before the buds unfurled the thing just upped and died. I'm getting another one though-I will not be defeated.

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    2. Oh, and the white plant behind the Eucomis in Sedum 'Frosty Morn'.

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  4. The perfect getaway indeed! Beautiful photos, thank you for taking us along.

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  5. Gorgeous garden. "Tall and flopless" sounds like the heaven to me!

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    1. Me too Jason,once the sun angle starts to change in late July the flopping kicks in. Need to get better at discreet supports.

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  6. That is just incredible. You've given me ideas, but if only I was frost free I could do so much more. The Melianthus is gorgeous.

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    1. I am not frost free either, though I can drive 30 minutes south and freezing temps are rare. I guess it's a trade off with plants that like a winter chill.

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  7. I think a bit of Angelica research is in order !

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  8. Such gorgeousness! That Melianthus, those Dahlias, the Angelica...and then Digging Dog. You know how to vacation.

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