Sunday, October 23, 2016

Delectable Succulent Containers at Sonoma Mission Gardens Nursery

 I was driving somewhat aimlessly around Sonoma County in search of a fall vineyard  photo opp, and it was pretty clear that the light was bad and I should have gone out an hour or two earlier. We are  expecting  some weather next week, so I have hopes for next weekend . Nevertheless , it can be fun to motor around wine country back roads early Sunday morning before the tourist traffic commences, making note of potential photo spots for another day. By 9am  was within a couple of miles of Sonoma Mission Gardens , a nursery I had not visited in a couple of years- besides I was at the end of a one week vacation and the awful truth was I had not visited a single garden center or bought a single plant . My god, how could  this be ? What was I thinking ? And I had left home without my plant list. Never  under any circumstances leave home without your plant list, for a garden center could be stumbled upon at any moment.

 It had been so long since I'd visited this particular nursery, I had forgotten about the hanging basket and container arrangements  that they create. As you can see, they are a little pricey, but they are all in nice containers and jammed with plants of generous size.   

You even get a few extra containers in the red wagon-these both had sold signs.

 Another wheelbarrow -this time with some character rocks.

 Sonoma Mission Gardens is in the Valley of the Moon , at 851 Craig  Ave on the outskirts of Sonoma. Even though it's the end of October they have nice selection of plants, annuals perennials grasses and  a large assortment of ferns and shade plants  in a well maintained nursery .

Friday, October 21, 2016

12 Photos From PHS Summit

  Last weekend I attended the 2016 Pacific Horticultural Society Summit in neighboring Sonoma County. I've been a PHS member for many years , decades in fact, but have never attended the annual Summit. What was I waiting for ? Granted this years event was close to home , required only 1 hour of car travel and no lodging. The speakers were first rate , and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. Every one of them were passionate and knowledgeable  about their topics - I wish I'd taken more notes ! Exploring the PHS website will lead you to content relevant to the theme of the summit 'Changing Times, Changing Gardens' . Climate , drought and the appropriate regional plant palette is something many west coast gardeners are struggling to adjust to while still giving ourselves permission to push the zone envelope and plant what we love .
 Sunday was garden tour day and carpooling with Gerhard of Succulents and More,  3 gardens were visited  before the 4pm close time. Each of the three could clearly merit it's own post but I will instead offer a dozen photos divided between them . I will say that my images do not begin to convey the beauty and uniqueness of these gardens.

 I've longed to see  Roger Raiches'  garden for years , and it's inclusion on this tour tipped the scales for me , how could I not attend ? It might be my only chance. Visit the Planet Horticulture website for a taste of the gardens designed by Roger and partner David McCrory.

 Lots of spikey action, Cordylines ,Yuccas, Palms...

They packed 'em in. Clearly I am not taking advantage of all the space in my small garden.It's always enjoyable to see 'wow' gardens in a footprint similar to that of my own.

The Reid garden was an opposite; a large  property on a hillside where  the drift option is easily deployed. The layers of textures and colors were beautifully orchestrated .

 This photo demonstrates the sort of arrangement that was everywhere n this garden.. I loved how the lavenders pointed in towards the trees and shrubs, all positioned to show off their best attributes.

 Most fabulous Cussonia in Sonoma County. In the back ground a blooming dawn redwood (Metasequoia) not something you see every day.

 A focal point !

 I only have 2 photos to share from the last garden we visited , the garden of Josh Williams, the nursery manager at the venerable Cal Flora Nursery in Fulton. I can say I have never seen so many varieties of Manzanita in one place. This garden bends beautifully with the open space beyond the fence.

 The front garden.

Okay, so I'm going over 12, but had to include this beautiful focal point in Joshs' back garden.