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.
When I posted for Bloomday in March I'm pretty sure I had no expectation that in July, 5 months later in high summer, our lives would still be upended by COVID-19. The garden doesn't care about what we humans are experiencing and it benefits from a gardener that is working from home. This in fact has been my silver lining. Files and piles that used to be in my office at work are spread out on my dining room table along with my computer equipment. Instead of fluorescent light fixtures above my head I have natural light from windows on two sides. When I look out those windows I see my garden. When I take a break I take it in the garden. I can pull a ton of weeds in five minutes. This month features the Lilies. I have already ordered more for fall planting. The benefit with lilies is that you can dig a hole about the size of a potholder and install 3 bulbs and get big drama . Silk Road Carte Blanche Black Beauty Silver Scheherazade
With no rain in the forecast and many Northern California counties on the verge of lockdown, I took a drive to Walnut Creek for a long overdue fall/winter stroll through the Ruth Bancroft Garden. As it turned out the new restrictions that were imposed the following Monday did not lead to closure of the garden. It was a pleasant sunny and cool morning , with some interesting goings on at the garden. The ladder in the background is staged for staff who would be installing the frost cover over the newley renovated shade structure in the center of the garden. Renovated might not be completely accurate -the old structure which had seen better days was completely torn down and rebuilt . RBG has also followed the lead of many other botanical gardens in the US with a holiday light spectacle to keep the revenue flowing in winter. I give events like this a pass but at least it gets people into the garden -maybe some who have never visited and might be prompted to return. The large ligh
August is an iffy month in my garden. There has been no rain for months, summer color is starting to wane and it can be hot. We have had an extra dose of triple digit days this year and I am not a fan. My trip to the coast at the beginning of the month was a most welcome journey into cool weather. At Mendocino Coast Botanical gardens the borders are not in the least weary- the pacific is just down the path , and it never gets hot-not weatherwise. The heat radiating from the exhuberant high summer perennial beds was of the most agreeable sort. Lest you think I went a bit mad with the saturation and vibrance sliders in Lightroom, other than toning down some highlights and a bit of cropping, these images are barely edited. The combination in this bed of Helenium, Teucrium 'Purple Tails', Verbena bonariensis, and Rudbeckia with a backdrop of Cotinus 'Grace' was anything but subtle. This Persicaria lives in the bed on the backside of the Cotinus