Garden Conservancy Open Day -Marin County

 If I ruled the world, Marin County Open Gardens would commence at 7:am and end at 11.  There was no heatwave for a change (that event happened the following week)  but the only year I have been able to capture decent images was when the gardens were on the coast-Bolinas and Stinson Beach specifically. That tour was posted about here and  here. The sun is not soft in our Mediterranean climate, 
 I visited four gardens on this June Garden Conservancy tour, and batted 500- two were good one was ok, just not to my taste , and one was well, kinda bad.I won't include the latter two in this post .

 First ups is the garden of Roger-all owner IDs on this day were first name only . There were areas of deep shade and full sun and they were adjacent  so I didn't come back with many usable photos. I found this garden to be extremely pleasant to be in. The low profile of the house never intruded and there was a nice mixture of colorful areas and artful combinations of shrubs and small trees. The garden was large by my standards (1 acre) and flat which gave this owner/gardener plenty of opportunity to plant speciman trees and shrubs along with perennials, grasses and succulents.





  



 Uh-oh.Hope the gardener here doesn't live to regret this. 



 The most exuberant areas were close to the house  surrounding a large patio .






 The binder on that bench contained the plant list. Roger had a broad inventory of plants in his garden, but it never seemed hectic or overplanted . Described as an 'avid amateur' this gardener has a talent for designing pleasant livable spaces that aren't overwhelmed by over-the-top hardscaping .


 Next up is a garden that has the distinction of a front yard design by the firm Garden Fantasia (follow on Facebook for a dose of atmospheric garden photos) and the back by the legendary Planet Horticulture.


 The house is snuggled onto this steep terraced lot and in the front features a drool inducing combination of succulents, grasses and southern hemisphere collectables with nary a patch of visible soil.








 In the back, a path snaked up the terraced back slope with landing pads for a small vegetable plot, a seating area and a modest patch of roses. Unlike Rogers garden, the owners here were not gardeners, though they gamely met the visitors in the front and answered what questions they could. One guest asked 'How do you take care of all this ?' and the response was "I make a phone call. " And why not- let them enjoy the environment that was created for them and provide income to those who have the skills to maintain it.








Comments

  1. I am a gardener, but there are days in my garden when I would give anything to be able to just make a phone call and bring a professional I trusted over to give me a hand. I loved all the color you showed in the first garden, although the second didn't lack for color either.

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    1. There are certain tasks I will hire out-tree work, removal of stubborn shrubs and anything that has to do with hardscaping. My crumbling infrastructure Is dictating more hired jobs in the next couple of years.

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  2. The color schemes and plant selections are right up my alley in both cases. I planted Houttuynia 'Chameleon' in my former garden but, confined to a very narrow space between the neighbor's fence and the driveway (and conveniently watered by the overflow from the neighbor's sprinkler system), it did well without ever becoming a pest. Given its water needs I never even considered planting it here. Thanks for the references to Garden Fantasia and Planet Horticulture, neither of which I was familiar with. I'm not on Facebook but I discovered that GF also has a website with lots of pretty portfolio shots.

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    1. This Houttuynia was adjacent to a bark path and I could see a couple of sprouts coming up in it -maybe lack of water will keep it in bounds.

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  3. I loved these gardens and your commentary. On the Fling bus I was telling Michelle about my desire to make the rules in my neighborhood (Rule #1: all trash and recycling containers will be taken in the same day they’re emptied) and how Andrew informed me that when he lived in Japan there were actually neighborhood bosses, and nobody liked them. This was probably not the best story to tell someone who doesn’t know you well (“hello, I’m a bitch”), but c’est la vie! (your setting the times for open garden hours sent me down this particular memory lane). Also I find your garden #2 to look remarkable personal and plant crazy for a non-gardener’s garden. How refresh8ng!

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  4. Ah yes, neighborhood rules-#1 don't park in front of my house, I don't want cars in my garden. #2 make your garden maintenance firm use a rake and a broom instead of a leaf blower-he has ear protection but the rest of us don't. etc.

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  5. Nice gardens. Were they pretty far inland or coastal? Nothing looked bleached out or toasted.

    "I make a phone call." Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!

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    1. These gardens were in San Rafael, which has a bit of bay exposure but hills are between it and the coast. I didn't post the bleached out photos !

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