Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers BloomDay August 2017

 August is typically one of my least favorite months in the garden , featuring among other things the toll of months of no rain and chronic  flopping behavior. I must say that this August is really not too bad compared with past versions of this month. I wish I could state that clever planting schemes and meticulous maintenance by the gardener were at play here but I think it's just dumb luck.
 I don't have many photos share , having had a bit of a malfunction when taking them .Operator error I might add.

 I believe this to be Sedum 'Bertram Anderson' . I accidentally planted it with Artemesia 'Valerie Finnis (accidental because she was cut down to the ground at he time and I forgot she was there) and what a fine pairing they make.

I was sure this white Lantana was done-for after this winter-it took forever to come back and  it's still quite small.

 I only got photos of 2 of the Fuchsias but I have several blooming now, most of them added this year. I confess I love them in spite of the water needs and heat-protection coddleing they require here . They are the most significant plant of my childhood , and I can only imagine how many I would have if I lived closer to the coast.

Clematis 'Arabella' will bloom well into October. I experimented with a mid-season pruning last month to rid her of some unsightly brown leaves.  So far I don't see much in the way of revival . In spite of the crummy foliage the blooming continues..

C. Rooguchi, a BloomDay regular.

A front garden combo along the path, Rozanne and this nice little yellow flower for which I have recurring plant amnesia. I can never remember it's damn name .

Eryngiums are slowing down , but they have certainly pulled their weight around here this summer.

And this is Caryopteris 'Hint of Gold' hands down  the best cultivar of the genus that I have ever grown.  I'm hoping to acquire a couple more.

Be sure to stop by May Dreams Gardens to find links to many more August bloom-fests.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ruth Bancroft Garden Tour 2017

 I've taken advantage of numerous events that are designated for members of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, most being early entry to plant sales or photography workshops. Last weekend members were offered the opportunity to visit four succulent-centric gardens in the areas surrounding RBG. I was happy to see that in 2018 there will be a similar tour offered.

 The garden I am sharing today has been previously posted by Gerhard at Succulents and More , a fellow RBG member and blogger. His stamina was impressive considering that he had recently returned from a lengthy  trip to Europe and seemed none worse the wear. Gerhard posted about this garden and as is often the case he has shared much more detail than I . Be sure to visit his blog to learn more, and see wide views of this garden.
 This was the smallest garden of the day but packed with interest. It was located in a 70's era neighborhood of small houses and narrow streets , most of which had lawn and a few shrubs . This corner lot featured a splendid mixture of cactus, succulents and xeric plants.


I'm on a mission to acquire 2  Yucca 'Bright Star' to flank a pathway in my back garden. This has proven to be a challenge. I will not be defeated.

If you are in Northern California, please consider lending your support to the Ruth Bancroft Garden. Members receive  benefits that are well worth the price and we gardeners are the mainstay of public gardens in our region . It is gratifying to help gardens that we visit and enjoy. It is in our interest to make sure these gardens succeed and grow.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Flinging at the US Botanic Garden

  Our day 1 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling itinerary included the opportunity to spend a few hours along the National Mall in Washington DC.  Almost on the doorstep of the Capitol building is the   United States Botanic Garden, a place about which I knew absolutely nothing other that what I gleaned from very brief pre-fling research. I really couldn't recall seeing photo spreads in garden magazines, blog posts or hearing accounts from garden touring friends who may have visited prior to me, including those who live quite nearby.

 The US Botanic Garden has been at its current location since 1933, but there has been a public garden presence of some sort on the Mall since 1820. Not surprisingly Thomas Jefferson had a hand in it's establishment, along with a couple of other historical figures you may have heard of, Mr. G.Washington and Mr. J. Madison.
  Unfortunately, it was a particularly hot and sticky day for our visit and my documentation was not as thorough as I would have liked. The garden consists of a large architecturally imposing conservatory with 28,944 square feet under glass, the National Garden-a 3 acre outdoor space that was opened in 2006, and Bertholdi Park. Admission is completely free.

  Though I didn't take enough photos, the sidewalk bed outside the fence was lined with a  very nice dense shrub border.  Nothing cutting edge but pleasant and peppered nicely with color.
 The Daylilies  were a common thread in many of the gardens -unmolested by the damnable snails they were a colorful beacon.

Another view from the sidewalk outside the garden. Who knew there was a garden so nearby the seat of our federal government ? Perhaps their civility and functionality would improve if they spent time  strolling there daily. We gardeners get things done. 

 The National Garden regional area  features native plants of the mid-Atlantic. I would have liked to spend more time here but the conservatory was beckoning.

 This was often the borrowed view. It was not easy to forget where you were !

  The conservatory entry courtyard.

 Pretty sure this guy is saying 'damn it's hot-when can we go back to the hotel?'

 The conservatory was well-done and nicely maintained with varied rooms  that displayed plants from several global climate zones . There was definitely an educational component to the exhibits.

Bartholdi Park was just across Independence Avenue and featured it's 30 ft tall namesake fountain that has been in or around the US Botanic Garden since 1877. Read about it's history here.

 The view from Bartholdi Park.

 It's my hope to return to this garden one day for a more in-depth visit. Though not what I would classify a world-class public garden , it's worth seeing if you are in the area.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fling Prequel,the Bonus Round-Intas' Garden

  I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to visit some of our great public horticultural institutions  across the US, but it's a particular pleasure to be welcomed into a memorable  home garden created by a gifted gardener. During our brief 2 day sojourn into Pennsylvania prior to Garden Bloggers Fling, my friends and I were fortunate to visit the garden of artist Inta Kromboltz, who fashioned it and  nurtured it for over 30 years. The gardens of an artist always seem to have a little extra something, perhaps because their creative eye sees things the rest of us do not.
 Intas' garden is a textbook study in the use of foliage, texture and layering . Flowers were completely incidental, and justifiably so. The garden is rich in color, flowers or not.

 Brick homes are exotic to this left coast dweller. Earthquakes and brick homes don't mix well. I was immediately smitten.

Along the driveway a tapestry of shrubs , beautifully composed.

This indicates the scale.

Intas art.

I took many photos along this driveway area. I was so drawn to it , while recognizing that it is a  look that is utterly impossible for me to replicate in my climate. My enjoyment of visiting gardens in the east is enhanced by the unattainable nature of the gardens I see. 2 climate zones out of reach !

 A couple of Intas' very very cool birdhouses.

 This view was one I kept going back to -it takes vision to create this. I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong , but I believe these are Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes'. Unless the house was in the way , these magnificent trees were visible from many areas of the property.

 Abigail joined the tour.

Intas' studio. I have to say she had a pretty intriguing selection of rusty stuff in there !

 My island bed does not look like this.

  This was clearly  a northeast  version of our very own left coast Danger Gardens' Agave dish planters. . No collusion, two creative minds in radically different climates.

Enjoy a group of random images taken from various locations in the garden.

 When my friends and I were contemplating the possibility of seeing Intas' garden on this trip, we discovered that her house and garden were up for sale. Since we visited , the property has in fact been sold, and Inta will be off to a new adventure and a new garden in the Carolinas. I think we can all sympathize with the desire to be closer to family. And my friends and I were so pleased to see this wonderful garden before it passes into new hands.

 A couple days after my visit to Intas it was pretty cool to see her birdhouse in the gardens at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.