Tropics of Santa Cruz

 The 2018 garden touring season has been robust starting in March and continuing well into June. The first weekend of the month was a garden conservancy open day in Santa Cruz . There were only three gardens open and this post shares my favorite. The GC directory did not name the owner, but he was a vivid presence rushing about answering questions and even digging up offsets and taking cuttings to give to his visitors. A serious plant collector with some really great plants. I have to believe he is a known presence in Santa Cruz horticultural circles-if there is such a thing .




 This is what I saw as I approached the house from my parking spot a few door down. It looked promising .


 I immediately noticed the mound-y grass between the flagstones and at the base of the palm. I'm pretty certain this is Zoysia, which grows agonizingly slow, so must have been here quite a long spell.




 Once I turned in my ticket I headed down the path behind the check-in table and this was what I saw. A winner !



Sights seen along this path-





Fatsia palmata

 Leaves like Ancotium and flowers like Dephinium-both are in Ranunculaceae

Look at this cool bamboo!

 Many of the plants in this garden were tagged. Did I write down the names ? Of course not. I was becoming a bit awestruck. Naturally, it was just about high noon, so I had the usual garden tour issues with high contrast and washed out colors. A lot of post-processing produced limited improvements.
 The back garden was arranged around a very large pond, with the perimeter planted in saturated colors.







The red haired gentleman to the left is our host. 


  The back of the house had decks on both the 1st and 2nd storys that looked out over the garden. And what a garden !






 And then there was this greenhouse. I didn't get photos of half the stuff in here-but these should give you an idea. It was an impressive collection.








  This was just out back, tagged as Agave rezdowskiana.



 Exiting the green house area and heading back out .








 The Caryotas grow big out here-


 I'm going to keep my eyes open for Monterey Bay area garden tours that might provide an opportunity for a return visit to this garden. I would have liked to spend some time chatting with the owner , but he was in demand-basically there was a line. I hate lines.



Comments

  1. Wowsa! Odd that his name wasn’t used, kind of makes you wonder... hopefully you’ll be able to return someday and find out more, and take even more photos!

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    1. When I was there they they didn't mention his name , but I assumed it was in the book so I didn't make a note of it. He was very engaged with the visitors. He clearly enjoyed sharing his garden.

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  2. Wow! I think I saw a Plectranthus 'Troy's Gold' planted in one of those beds. One of my favorites for containers and so far impossible to find here this year. So many great private gardens, so little time. Where would us garden gawkers be without the Garden Conservancy?

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    1. I was shocked to see Troys Gold too-I never ever see it out here at all; my plant is a cutting from Deanne that I in turn take cuttings from each winter. It isn't hardy at my house but it would be in this garden. I've made good use of the Garden Conservancy this year !

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  3. OMG! What a fabulous garden filled with so many awesome plants! Hope you get to return soon and find out more about the gardener. That might be Trevesia palmata.

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    1. It was truly awesome Peter ! He had that plant labeled as Fatsia palmata, but I think the label was old and the plant has since been reclassified. I should have taken photos of all his labels (I did some of them) they were in this spidery pencil scrawl with origin info etc. I loved it -so old school !

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  4. This is pretty incredible! I now find I need a Fatsia palmata. I discovered it's also known as Trevesia palmata but that still didn't help in locating a source.

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    1. The stuff he had Kris -I didn't even scratch the surface. I wish I'd had a chance to talk to him. Who knows where he got some of the plants.

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  5. so glad you're tackling your backlog of garden visits.! What a treat it must have been to see this one.

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    1. I hope he opens again next year -even if it's some local garden tour I would make trip to see it again.

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  6. Great garden! Love the colors and the paths. Always wanted to spend some time in Santa Cruz. Only drove through once.

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    1. That whole area is great to visit Jason , I enjoy Monterey the most but from Santa Cruz all the way down to Santa Barbara is always a great road trip .

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  7. What a fabulous garden. Always fun to visit a plant collector. I need to learn more about the Fatsia palmata. Maybe I could grow it here.

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  8. A hard core plant lovers garden is always fascinating. Looks quite well cared for, too. Santa Cruz has a delicious climate for a lot of plants--almost never too hot.

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    1. It does Hoov, and why there are not more really good garden centers and an obvious hort community is kind of mystifying.

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