Showing posts from 2016

Fall Photos From The Ruth Bancroft Garden

 Back in September , I attended a photography workshop conducted by John Ricca at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. I had attended another class of Johns back in 2013 and that led to a 3 day Yosemite National Park workshop with John and Keith Walklet that completely changed the way I approached taking photos.Though I have been taking photos now for several years, I'm by no stretch an expert and no matter the difficulty level of a class I always learn something useful. This particular class was described as for beginners,but the opportunity to get into the garden at 8am was compelling and I expected this would be casual, with those needing more help getting valuable one on one assistance while more experienced photographers could work on their own and obtain Johns' advice and counsel when needed.Our friend Gerhard of Succulents and More was in attendance as well, and he shared some of his photos from that morning here . On January 28th, another 8am workshop will be held, and I have sign

In The Rear View Mirror-Spring Visit to Marcia Donahues Garden.

 I like to look back on gardens visited as the year-end draws near. I'm already done with winter even though it just started today, after a particularly nice fall. We've had an encouraging amount of rain thus far here in wine country (between 9 and 10 inches  depending on your location in the valley) and the frost arrived this week with temperatures dipping into the high 20's. I recognize that my version of cold is pretty tame compared to friends that live on the east coast and midwest, but as I rush around moving plants into the garage and covering those that are marginal,  I am aware that I can drive less than an hour and be in a place like Berkeley that has an enviable, perfect frost-free, heat -free climate.  Artist Marcia Donahues' garden in Berkeley was on Garden Conservancy Open Days in April , and I visited with my friend Gerhard of the excellent Succulents and More . It had be a few years since I visited Marcias' garden and have  blogged about it here .

A Sunday Morning at Cornerstone

 Cornerstone Sonoma is located on  busy highway 121, a well traveled back road that brings visitors into the wine country and connects Sonoma and Napa County . Cornerstone is a  unique venue, featuring upscale shops with an emphasis on outdoor living, restaurants, wine tasting, art installations, display gardens and event spaces. This year the iconic west coast publication Sunset Magazine moved its' outdoor test kitchen and display gardens to Cornerstone from their campus in Menlo park, a 7 acre site they have occupied since 1951. Though Sunsets' magazine  content has dwindled over the last several years, I still subscribe as I have since the 70's. I could do a whole post on Sunset and its decades long  influence on west coast gardeners .  Several of the gardens at Cornerstone were removed to make way for both the Sunset test gardens, the large outdoor kitchen space and the event area which has enlarged significantly since the last time I was there. Some of the remaining