In the Rear View Mirror--Road Trip to the Coast

 In October I took a few days off and traveled out to Mendocino. This is a place I find to be very restorative and full of horticultural interest; the latter being a contributing factor to the former. Because it's been a particularly crappy year at the office, the anticipation of this trip kept my spirits from descending into an abyss of gloom. I think all of us who garden are seekers of tranquility, and being in a garden--especially one where you really can't work--is deeply satisfying. As is my usual procedure I drove directly from home to Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, an intensely scenic 3 hour drive. Since this trip took place at the tail end of the Tubbs fire, escaping the  smoke that was still hovering over our valleys was an extra bonus. The euphoria that always accompanies my drive to the coast was dampened somewhat by the burn areas I traveled though; many familiar and loved   scenes were gone, replaced with charred ground and blackened trees. Nevertheless, the moment when I turned off highway 101 to 128 which runs west through Anderson Valley to  the sea put my mind in that happy vacation place.

 I've blogged about this garden multiple times and have included links to those posts below.

 In the entry patio there was still plenty of color-this is a frost free climate and gardens can be enjoyed year round.



 The perennial borders wrap around a large lawn--out here on the coast where temps in the 70's are considered  a heat wave, lawns benefit from fog and rain. I doubt they have to irrigate much.


Conifers thrive here too, and this bed combines mosses, Sedums , Santolina and dwarf conifers. You can do things in this climate that would be unthinkable where I live.



 If you don't mind being cold most of the year it's a great place to garden



The Astelias are particularly fine in this garden. This one might be 'Silver Shadow'


 Another interesting combination pair moss with this Euphorbia myrsinites.


 Love the Banksias. I failed to get the name of this one--but those leaves !





 The fabulous Crotalaria agatifolia.



Knifophia multiflora




There was some modest fall color, very nice combined with still blooming shrubs. This area features Anigozanthos, Leucodendrons and Grevilleas


The Heather Garden was not at it's peak but is still one of my favorite spots in this garden with it's undulating mounds of Erica and Calluna along the path the connects the perennial border with the woodland garden.


Hydrangeas grow well here but there aren't a lot of them in the garden. I loved this burnished fall vignette.


The Gunneras also live happily in this mild maritime climate .


MCBG is known for it's Dahlia garden . In October some of the plants are waning but there were still a few flowers looking good even though the plants looked pretty weary. 




 This was the view from the little cottage I stayed in --I suggested to the proprietor that the Pampas Grass needed to be cut down to afford a better view for the guests. Pampas is an escaped invasive in coastal Mendocino County , but my hostess claimed that this cultivar was sterile. Her gardens were quite well done and she knew something about her plants -still I was skeptical about the Pampas.




 And a view of our beautiful coast



A few previous posts on this great garden.

https://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2015/10/mendo-botanical.html#comment-form


https://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2016/09/summer-at-mendocino-coast-botanical.html

https://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2011/10/going-coastal.html


Comments

  1. It sounds like this was a wonderfully restorative trip. You got some nice shots. I especially like the tapestry of ground covers in your third picture. I think it's mainly just sedums and thyme, but it's nicely done.

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    1. That tapestry is indeed well done and it's been there for years so it's really well established. If only I could replicate something like that !

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  2. More gorgeous photos! I have to get up there for a visit! And I find myself in love with Crotalaria agatiflora, a plant I don't think I've ever seen before. I hate to think of work sending you into abyss of gloom and I hope things have improved in that regard since your trip. To distract myself from the ever-deepening ugliness of the geopolitical environment, I invested in more dahlia tubers this week. If nothing else, gardening provides a distraction. Take care!

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    1. I'm afraid I'm stuck with my job for a few more years but at least I have the available PTO to take frequent trips like this one. I had to laugh about your Dahlia distraction--I made an appt for myself to log on to Floret on Tuesday at 7 am when the tubers went on sale and I was about 5 to 10 minutes late and already half of my list was sold out ! I at least got 3 tubers of the one I wanted the most so I am content.

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  3. So many times in 2017 I wanted to drop everything and head for that coast! I'm glad you have it relatively close when the "awfice" becomes too much. I was told the variegated pampas is noninvasive but don't know firsthand. And I love that you made garden suggestions to the hostess -- yes, more ocean view!

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    1. I'm already planning my next journey out --I found another cottage with an unobstructed view . It's not cheap, but what the hell, if I'm going out there I want to look at the ocean !

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  4. Oh that photo of the Crotalaria agatiflora is just amazing. And I'd convinced myself the orange and red spires in your second photo were glass, until I came to the Knifophia multiflora image. Wow! Maybe just a little pruning of the pampas, weren't you tempted?

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    1. That Crotalaria is borderline hardy for me, but it gets absolutely huge so even if I could find one I wouldn't have a spot for it (and lets face it, no spot is never a dealbreaker) plus I think it would hate my summers. That Knifophia is a beacon in that garden in fall. I was tempted for sure, but there is a bench just beyond the clump that I could walk to and sit right at the edge of the cliff--so I made do with that ! Plus I only had a small pair of hand pruners with me , lol.

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  5. Frost free and heat waves of 70 degrees is my ideal climate. lol. Someday I hope to visit this garden in person. In the mean time, I can enjoy your wonderful posts and photos.

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    1. I do hope you get the opportunity to visit this garden someday Evan. And of course a visit to Digging Dog is definitely a must when in this area.

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  6. Paradise for plants, and for the eyes.

    Sorry to hear the work has been a chore. Best wishes for a better '18.

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    1. I will use much more of my PTO time in 2018, this will be the antidote for awfice crapola !

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  7. I feel calmer just looking at the visual feast you've shared.

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