Sunday, January 29, 2017

Under the Covers at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

 Ruth Bancroft, like so many gardeners,  pushed the zonal envelope when it came to plant selection. After a freak freeze event in 1972 that destroyed the newly planted garden,  Ruth chalked it up to experience, acquired more plants  and devised and built covers to protect the most vulnerable. Last weekend I attended an 8am photo workshop at the garden, and Ruths' winter-shrouded shade structure provided a pleasant diffuse light for photography.

 Here we see the cover from outside..



 As the morning light shifted the scene outside the structure continued to change.


 Inside a soft glow bathed the plants.
  



 The trees outside the cover etched a pattern that furnished a background to the plant portraits.










 The smaller plants were pleasantly lit with no harsh shadows





 Many thanks to John Ricca , Richard Valenti and the management of the garden that make events like this happen. The next photo workshop is April 1st.

17 comments:

  1. Hi KS, these are spectacular photos from a spectacular garden! How wonderful that you could attend the photo workshop there.
    I never quite get the zone pushing thing on a big scale, though. I always feel that there are so many plants that thrive in a particular climate, that there is no need for it.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Hi Christina, when you are a major collector I think the the zone pushing thing comes with the territory ! I used to do some tropicals(Plumerias etc) but our nights are really too cool in summer to make them happy.

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  2. Great shots of cool plants! Must return to California and this fabulous garden someday.

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    1. Hopefully cooler temps on your next visit Peter !

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  3. Great photos! Were the smaller structures still covering things throughout the garden?

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    1. They were Loree, and I would have taken photos of them too if I knew what I was going to blog about at the time ! It was actually a frost morning both at my house and in Walnut Creek so none of the smaller covers were off.

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  4. You're making great use of your photography classes!

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    1. I always learn at least one new thing at these classes, but getting into the garden at 8 am is also a great benefit.

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  5. Very cool to use the covers as backdrop! Just got my copy of Bold & Dry and visiting the RBG vicariously thru the book -- and your posts!

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    1. I splurged for a autographed copy last fall. I wish I'd taken more photos of the shelters, but I am going to attend the Aloe weekend in Feb so more opportunity may present itself.

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  6. I'd love to visit the Bancroft Garden in April. We visited in July and the weather was brutally hot.

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    1. That must have been Fling right Jason? That awful heat wave ! The Bancroft is wonderful in spring , all plumped up from the rain and interesting blooms.

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  7. I love how you captured the beautiful light. At times it seems almost mysterious.

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    1. Thanks Gerhard, the shade structure was a popular destination for the attendees, along with all the blooming or almost blooming Aloes. I hope they continue to do these workshops with early entry beyond the next one in April.

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  8. Whoa, that shot of the aloe forming its bloom stalk: gold 'teeth' backlit by the palpable glow from the sheeting/cover, with tracery of the trees outside... Great work!

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