A New Years Eve Visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden

 No rain and no traffic on New Years Eve morning prompted me to set off for Walnut Creek to pay a visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden . I realized that I had not been since spring , and since I usually make it a point to go at least 3 or 4 times a year  I was way overdue . Winter is a beautiful season in the garden with it's more subdued light, mild temperatures and blooming Aloes .


  All washed clean by the rains. They do a first rate job here of mounding the beds with a sharp gravelly soil mix that for the most part protects these wet-averse plants from rot.



  Something I have never encountered in my many winter trips to RBG was paths that were closed due to muddy, mossy surfaces. One of my favorite paths too-dammit ! It's on my agenda to go back this month, but I will monitor the rain and plan accordingly.


 Agave ovatifolia is always ready for a close-up




 I was very distressed to see that this was all that remained of one of my favorite Eucalyptus in the garden. I failed to ask what the circumstance was, but will do so the next time.



  This was photo I took a few years ago , the tree in question is seen in the background on the right.



 A view of the frost protection over the shade structure .


 Inside this Agave is a focal point.



 As is this vignette.



 A few from around the garden.







I was tempted at the nursery..very  close to buying this, however my current A. capitata quartziticola looks exactly like hell right now-don't know if it's rain or cold or combinations thereof. We have had a few high 20's incidents this winter and a healthy amount of rain.



And who isn't happy that the porta-pottys are retired at last in favor of fancy new indoor plumbing ?


 The improvements made here in the last couple of years are noticeable and impressive. Renovation of most of the garden beds, expansion of the plant sales area, more parking and the shiny new visitors center upgrade the visitor experience. A brief period of poor management a few years back thankfully did not upend Ruths legacy-her vision is still very much what this garden is about.

Comments

  1. You timed your visit well it seems with both traffic and the light. It being Aloe bloom season, I did the rounds of my local botanic garden to check out their new-ish Aloe area, which wasn't nearly as impressive as your survey (and the light was terrible). I love that Agave gypsophila.

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    1. The A. gypsophila is one of my favorite Agaves in the garden. I hope it doesn't bloom any time soon ! I am going back later this month , there were plenty of Aloe buds that weren't open yet.

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  2. Oh Kathy... your photos are dreamy! I feel like I could climb right into them all. My first and only visit to the Getty Center was tarnished by paths closed due to rain (rain that fell the day before). Californians seem a little uptight about such things (sorry, I couldn't resist). I feel like I read something about that eucalyptus on the RBG blog. But of course I can't remember exactly what the issue was.

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    1. I have to say I've never seen paths closed off at this garden before so I was a bit surprised -we Norcal peeps are used to mud ! Glad you liked the photos.

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    2. Getty garden has DG paths which turn to quicksand when wet.

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  3. great photos! I was here in September and it looks so different, its nice to see its seasonality :)

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    1. I enjoy the garden most in winter and spring, but every season there has its' attributes.

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  4. I am still laughing over the path closed due to mud and moss. If they did that here no one would ever go anywhere. I enjoyed your photos though.

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    1. It was kind of a head-scratcher for me I have to say Alison ! And two of my favorite paths..WTH ?

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  5. No words are needed to enjoy the feast of plants you show here. Aloes in bloom are one of the highlights of a mild winter garden. Thanks for the visit.

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    1. I appreciate those Aloes so much -even though I am only about 40 miles from the RBG is is a real challenge to grow some varieties of Aloe here. A few degrees colder and a few more inches of rain sure make a difference.

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  6. Oh my! these pics are so gorgeous. I can't imagine being able to grow these beauties in the ground outside. Wonderful, TFS

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    1. Thanks Deanne ! I'm glad I can row at least some of this stuff , but I lose a plant or two every winter .

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  7. You captured the beauty of California's winter light.

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