Showing posts from June, 2012

June at the Bancroft

 I have waited since mid-May for the annual June Gloom to set in-the better to take photos at the Ruth Bancroft Garden . I finally gave up, as the overcast mornings have been nowhere to be found, and my garden tour calendar is filling up rapidly.With a hearty WTH, I set off this last Saturday morning to Walnut Creek in spectacularly glaring sunshine , arriving at opening time to find the parking lot full. A myriad of folks with substantially fancier camera equipment than I have were setting up their tripods  and the painterly set had easels and paints situated  in strategic positions throughout the garden.Remind me to go on a weekday next time. I do love this garden, and spent two hours there with few decent photos to show for it, but time well spent none the less. And Marsha Donahue was represented..

Vive la Mendo !

 It's unexpected to turn down a narrow lane that winds through the  redwoods into a clearing to find a French villa complete with blue wooden shutters and climbing roses. You never know what you might see on a garden tour. This Garden Conservancy open day site was  near Philo..a place that one passes through on the way to the more glamorous Northern California coast . This is the Anderson Valley , in my opinion one of the most beautiful valleys in our state. Camping in the state park here was an annual event when the children were children , and hotels were too expensive. When I parked at GC garden and got out of my car the fragrance of this particular redwood forest, probably less than 2 miles from the campground, put me there. It was a sublime moment, worth the drive even if the garden was a dud.   Not a dud. Cross a lawn and enter through a wooden gate in a stucco wall..the Potager !  A classic  design mingles ornamentals and edibles..Who says veggies a

Hot Stuff in Marin

 The weather  was  about as bad as it could get today for Garden Conservancy Open Day in Marin County. Our annual 'June Gloom' has been nowhere to be found  and the sun was bearing down this morning with desert-like intensity. Here in Napa we reached the big 1-0-0 (plus) and Marin, in spite of it's proximity to the bay, was unpleasant. I was semi-undaunted;out of 4 gardens open I picked out 2. Foolishly the Worth Garden was not one of them. Remorse.   A hillside garden in Kentfield was my first stop, a garden that is a showcase for Berkeley artist Marsha Donahue. (I visited Marshas' garden here.) Though the conditions  for photography were dreadful, I took many.

Bloomy June

Carol at May Dreams is our hostess for this monthly global tour of flowers. Here in my garden seems like just about everything is pushing out blooms.  I am performing a daily swoon over my Allium sphaerocephalon (drumstick Allium) and as they are located in the front garden the neighbors may wonder  what the hell I  am looking at so intently 2 or 3 times a day. This is the first Allium I have ever succeeded in getting to bloom. Maybe the novelty will have worn off by next spring..though my triumph will lead me to buy twice as many this year. 200 is good, but 400 is just right. This Rudbeckia is a volunteer,the crown of the plant hugging the concrete path at an awkward angle. It will have to be moved this fall, but for now we play it as it lays. Irish Eyes I would guess-and in flower earlier than the norm for this genus here. The daylilies torment me, and will be the subject of a future blog post as I struggle to justify their presence. Moonlit Madness and Bela Lugosi are

Pre Garden Tour pit-stop

Point Arena juts out into the pacific, just north of the town that is it's namesake, and to the south of Manchester State Beach. The features of the coastline here are particularly beautiful, and I am resolved to return in the fall when I will have the time to take it in and photograph it at my leisure.This past Saturday I was on my way to the first garden of the day on the Garden Conservancies Mendocino County Open Days, and turned off the highway here briefly .  The Point Arena Lighthouse was originally built in 1870, and was damaged beyond the ability to repair in the 1906 earthquake. This 'new' structure replaced it in 1908. Wildflowers have to be pretty tough to withstand the inhospitable climate here..they showed off for me nicely on this sunny morning. Standing guard on the Pacific.

Mysterious Veronica

 This Veronica spicata cultivar was acquired from a local garden center back in the late 80's. This seems like a long time children were actual children-not adults, and we lived in the house next door . We had different cats ,different cars, and no computer.The importance of keeping plant tags was not ingrained as it is now. When we moved one house over , I dug up some stuff and brought it along, this Veronica was one of the move-ees.It has been moved around my garden here at least 4 times that I can recall . I've never seen this plant since in any garden center, or in any garden. No luck on the internet and no luck in any of the garden books I own. Is it even Veronica spicata ? Who knows. Maybe you do? Silver foliage, blooms spring to late spring, no rebloom. Height in bloom about 12" to 18". Modestly spreading .