Coastal Getaway and a Visit to Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden-Part One


When I received notification that one of my preferred inns on the coast was opening I jumped on it right away. This lodging consists of several stand-alone cottages with no indoor common area, and check in and out were contact free. Funny to think that 6 months ago the concept of contact-free anything was  was unfamiliar. I felt comfortable with the protocols in place and booked a three night stay. The Innkeeper called me two days in advance to ask what my needs would be i.e coffee (hell yes) extra blankets, hair dryer etc. Cottages are left fallow for a day after each guest departure. Guests are provided with a mask, hand sanitizer and disinfecting spray cleaner if you wish to double clean what has already been addressed by the housekeeping staff. Happily the crappy Mr Coffee brewer was replaced with a French Press which was a coffee experience I hadn't had in many years. I might rethink my brewing equipment at home.
 Along with the lodging, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden was open for all as of June 15th-just a few days before my journey. The usual mask and social distancing rules were in place. The public had to buy advance tickets but members (which I am) could just walk in. Days open are reduced to Sunday through Thursday but fortunately I was there on Sunday . I hope to go back in August unless California has to close up shop again.
 Because of the lack of revenue and volunteers since they closed in late February I was worried that there might be maintenance issues-but those fears were not justified . The garden looked great and progress was being made on some of the newly developed areas. I took tons of photos so I'll break this into two posts. Today we'll stroll through the perennial borders that surround the central lawn.

 A well planted parking lot. 



  Layering and color/texture contrasts are notable in this garden. Not something that is necessarily easy to achieve. The study of borders like these can be a lesson in sophisticated garden design. You can learn much in this garden that is achievable on a small scale.


 This bed is a lively jumble of volunteers punctuated by evergreen accents. Some years it is a forest of Angelica (which you can see in the middle of the image) but this year it looks like the Filipendula made a stand and won the day. You can see the swath in the photo above. The Geranium 'Ann Folkard' weaves through a patch of Anthriscus 'Ravenswing'  and is on a mission to clamber up  the Angelica.



 Another perspective -the white cloud on the right is the abundance of Anthriscus. Every year this  planting is a little different.



 The Cotinus -and I think there are at least 3 here- looked incredibly saturated on this overcast morning



 More Filipendulas in the distance



 Lobelia tupa just coming on.



Could this be some sort of Silene ?


 Melianthus 'Antonows Blue' will be large and imposing by fall,competing with the nearby grasses to be the anchor plant in this bed.



Excellent path edgings


One of the re-done areas. They edited out some grasses that were overly enthusiastic-but dramatic.


More great edgings.




A lone white Gladiola is a random exclamation point among the Yarrows




 A good place to sit-and you can view the Filipendulas in the unlikely instance that you missed them elsewhere.


Penstemons



Conifers, Cypress, Japanese Maple, Beech. So many things can grow in this frost-free maritime climate. 75 is a heat wave.



 This Nigella made me realize that my decades old re-seeders may need an infusion of new color. My blues have gotten a bit insipid, pinks have disappeared but the whites remain dependable.


And then pair it with Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset'.



Getting the orange on. I now have my very own Stybing Sunset. But I don't have this gaudy Poppy.


Showing the others in the neighborhood.


The conifers are part of the bones of this garden. A new conifer collection is in the works.



The foamy white thing..why didn't I look at the tag ? Parahebe linifolia ?



A purple Nepeta or Agastache stripe through the Bidens.





Comments

  1. Exactly what my weary soul needed right now. So much green! So much color! I want to go now, too!

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    1. You can imagine how great it felt to get out into the coastal boondocks. Mendo County is petty strict about COVID protocols in spite of the low population density. I'm glad I went out, never got more than about twenty feet near any other humans . But it certainly feels like another lockdown might be on the way.

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  2. I fall in love with this garden all over again every time I see it, Kathy. I'm glad you got another chance to visit and I look forward to part 2 of your coverage. I'll get there one day!

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    1. Start planning your 2020 roadtrip ! Hope to work on part two this weekend.

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  3. The garden looks fantastic. I always envy the different variety of conifers Pacific maritime climates are able to grow. Will have to look for Stybing Sunset cuphea. Imagine it matched with Vermillionaire. Oooh!

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    1. 50 miles as the crow flies sure changes the conifer suitability. I guess it's good that I'm too far inland for many of them-I don't need to collect yet another push-the-envelope plant group !

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  4. How wonderful to get away for a few nights, I am definitely jealous. I love how thoroughly they cover the ground. All plants should touch!

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    1. I've been quite inspired by the ground covering there Loree. I've been actively working on this in my garden. And getting away ! I actually had to buy gas twice in the space of a week.

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  5. What fresh, happy-looking plants! So glad you got a visit in. Another guess on the silene lookalike would be Dianthus carthusianorum.

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    1. Denise I was looking at Dianthus too when I was trying to ID this . I've become very taken with Dianthus lately--I think Denver may have been the entry drug. I used to grow so many of them , and I'm not sure why I stopped. Got some D. 'Key Lime Pie' from Annies this spring.

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  6. What a fresh and fantastic getaway! The garden looks wonderful; coastal conditions there are ideal for those plants. I need to look this place up for a future visit to my friend who is in Mendecino. I’ll look forward to part II!

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    1. I have about a million passes to the garden Jane, if you go I'd be happy to mail you some--or better yet , meet you at the entrance !

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  7. I was there once maybe 15 years ago now and it was not this impressive. It's--very impressive. Though we went in October, does the beauty vanish that soon in the season? Wow those Nigella. and vivid Cotinus.

    That never-warmer-than-75 sounds like heaven.

    With the mess we are in I hope the other Biden is as successful as the Bidens in that garden. A weak attempt at humor, but we seem to be flirting with disaster right now.

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    1. This garden has had significant improvements in the last 5 years or so. Some of my favorite visits have been in fall. I really could happily live in 65 year round, but there might be a tomato issue.

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  8. This is a truly amazing garden. If you ever find out what the ‘Silene’ is please let us know. I’ve had a go at trying to find it too, no luck so far.

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    1. Denise thinks it might be a Dianthus. I am going back in August so I will be sure to look for the tag .

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  9. What a nice treat to get away - it all sounds perfect! Plenty of inspiration in the garden too - just stunning. Can't get enough of the Nigellas - that blue is just swoon worthy! I think Denise might be right on her ID. Sure looks like it.

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