A Brief Visit to Cornerstone

 Mornings have been a mixture of light marine overcast and smoke. This casts a golden glow on the landscape and muffles that harsh summer sunlight. I decided to drive down to Cornerstone in Sonoma county this morning to see if I could take advantage of the ethereal light and get some nice images of the gardens. Naturally the day dawned without a hint of fog or smoke. I have been looking forward to seeing nice clear blue sky but on my terms. My terms were disregarded by Mother Nature. Who does she think she is ? I went anyway and I'm glad I did. It wasn't great for photos but the gardens were in great form, at the height of glory before the late summer doldrums set in.

 Cornerstone has for the last few years been the site of the Sunset Magazine test gardens after they sold their legacy property in Menlo park and moved the offices to Oakland. I have set aside my disappointment with the current iteration of the magazine and still subscribe even though the content is not always relevant to my income demographic or my gardening expertise level. Income too low, gardening expertise too high.  However, the gardens at Cornerstone are first rate and pertinent to our west coast climate .
 


 The best new addition to the menu of gardens here is Kate Freys' pollinator garden. Kate is a Northern California icon who often generously opens her private garden in Hopland for the Garden Conservancy.You can read about Kate and her garden here. She is a passionate advocate for gardens that support native insects and are appropriate for our summer dry climate. I was completely besotted with her installation at Cornerstone.












 I strolled through the other gardens too, but it was so damn sunny and bordering on hot that I didn't stay long. Here are a few from the Sunset demonstration gardens. Note the heavy use of Verbena bonariensis and Muhly grass.




Comments

  1. Beautiful shots even without the smoke. Mother nature can be so uncooperative sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was nice to get a respite from the smoke in any case. I'm sure Ma Nature and I will have a reconciliation at some point !

      Delete
  2. Even though the light wasn't what you'd hoped for, I'm glad you went. I've been wondering what the gardens look like this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I went too , the last time I was there the pollinator garden was being prepared for but not installed. It's really a gem. It also looked like there has been a modest amount of renovation on the Raiche-McCrory garden there. I plan to confirm by looking at the older photos I have taken.

      Delete
  3. I'm glad you went ahead with your visit, Kathy. While the photos may not meet your very high standards, I think they're utterly beautiful. Your post also has me wondering what I need to do to make Verbena bonariensis look anywhere near that good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think their V. bonariensis display is a matter of scale Kris. Very large drifts planted densely.

      Delete
    2. I need to revisit soon to see Kate's pollinator garden and see what else has changed since Sunset moved in. Thanks for these gorgeous photos!

      Delete
  4. Beautiful gardens and I love the greenhouse building. Despite the strong sunlight your photos captured the gardens well. I think the problem with sun making photography difficult is when there are very strong shadows. Part of the garden in shade and part sun. Or have they just chosen plants that just look good even in strong light. I still take Sunset too which of course has little bearing on Texas but I have used so many ideas from their magazine in the past that it is worth keeping an eye on it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Edgings at Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden

Visiting the Luminous Chickadee Gardens