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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Favorite Photos 2016

 Les at Tidewater Gardener has posted his annual meme challenging other garden bloggers to present their 10 favorite photos of the year. I was surprised to find I have 3779 images in my photo files for 2016;  I probably ought to do my annual winter image clean-up since many are sub-par or near duplicates and just eat up space on my external hard drive. It was actually fun to go through them all and try to pick out 10, it brought up great memories of gardens and landscapes visited, and reminded me that there were actually some positive aspects of 2016. These are not necessarily the best, but they are those that have meaning for me.

 This was taken in April at a wetlands trail in south Napa County. Napa is known for wine, vines and food, but we have a beautiful network of wetlands that feed into the San Pablo Bay and to some extent reach east to the Sacramento River Delta. I have really neglected the rich photography opportunities here and hope to capture more in 2017.

 I took a boatload of pics at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in 2016, and could have easily filled up my top ten from those. This was taken (I think) at the spring plant sale and I just like the simple placement of the yellow flower on this Opuntia against the blue sky.

 This is our friend Doobie who left us this year. He was a sweet boy, and lived a fine life full of kitty treats and pleasant days in the garden.

 This is a Boophone I processed as a black in white , taken at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden in January. I have severe Boophone lust, thus this image was selected.

 Another from the Ruth Bancroft Garden; I like the juxtaposition of the dead palm fronds and the vibrancy of the blooming Aloe.

 This was taken at the entry to Round Pond winery in Rutherford. I was shocked to find that every one of these beautiful Agaves had been removed when I drove on this back road last month.

And speaking of Agaves, I took this at a photo workshop at the Bancroft.

  Mendocino Botanical garden in July. How I love this garden and I try to visit at least once a year. I took almost 300 photos this day and it was hard to pick one. This may not be the best, but to me it really displays the atmosphere of the garden.

 This is the Great Beach at Pt Reyes National Seashore.

 And finally, I give thanks to this lady who walked through these grasses at the Pacific Horticulture Summit  visit to the Reid garden in Sebastopol Ca. I turned around and there she was in her purple cape against the golden grasses.