Showing posts from October, 2015

Mendo Botanical

  In the course of an all too brief road trip I spent a day at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden which is bordered on the west by coastal bluffs overlooking  the Pacific . The spectacular beauty of the coastline in Mendocino County itself is a feature of this garden, as the trails that meander through the forests and meadows of the garden terminate at the sea.  The garden is is USDA zone 9b, the same zone as mine; an indicator of the limited usefulness of the USDA zones here on the micro-climate laden west coast. Sunset (the go-to zone guide for gardeners in the west) classifies this area as zone 17 , mild wet and frostless winters with summer fog and lack of heat.  Growing a tomato in Mendocino is an exercise in futility, Fuchsias can sit out in the sun all day long, and frost is rare. The perennial gardens here are planted with tough customers that can withstand winds, pounding rain, fog and salt air.  They grow some dandy Kniphofias out here on the coast.  

October at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

The members only fall plant sale has undergone some procedural changes that leads to a much more leisurely experience than past events. I expect this was the intent, as the plant sales have become increasing popular and with that comes the inevitable traffic, parking and long lines at checkout. It seems to me after attending both the spring and fall sales this year that they have improved things significantly. Unfortunately for this particular sale there was no longer an early opening time for members , thus my opportunity to take some nice morning light photos was gone. Naturally it was a bright sunny day with nary a cloud or wisp of fog in view.  There are several bed renovations ongoing here, one of the nicest is  an area near what used to be the main entrance , where Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' is planted among the Agaves.   I have started a small collection of Gasterias, but thus far I lack good id skills, and only one of the plants I own currently c

BloomDay October 2015

 Though much of the garden is exhausted from the rampant growth of summer and persistent drought there is still plenty of bloom action. Our nighttime temperatures are nowhere near winter levels and days are still climbing into the 80's.  Roses continue to grow and bloom..  Madame Isaac Periere  Brass Band All Salvias are flowering in various stages, for this month it seems Waverly has the most action going. The Tracheliums were flopping badly in August , so I cut them all quite low , not expecting much other than a bit of fresh foliage; all are reblooming now . This grama grass -Bouteluea 'Blonde Ambition' -was planted quite late from a mail order nursery liner, and I didn't expect blooms this year at all ..only a few , but damn they're cute. Chocolate Cosmos has performed well this year , a new edition to replace a tired and woody Santolina. My biggest surprise though, is the rebloom on this unnamed Sanguisorba from Far Reac