Showing posts from January, 2016

Garden Visit Between Rains

 I should have done some much-needed cleanup and rose pruning today , but it's been gloomy and rainy and it seems like I've been nowhere but the grocery store and the office for ages. It was time for a winter visit to Berkeley Botanical Garden -maybe some Aloes would be in bloom ?    Unfortunately I was a couple weeks early for most of the Aloes. There was a plethora of safety cones and barricades where paths were washed out , and care had to be taken not to step in mud.  Nevertheless, it was a reasonably pleasant day for January and there was plenty to see.   Unnamed Aloe with one of the many fabulous Cycads in Berkeleys' collection. And speaking of Cycads, sometime last year I decided I was going to collect them -modest sized specimens of course since the prices are palpitation inducing. This is likely justified- I have had a Dioon for at least ten years and it has exactly 4 fronds.  I'd have to win the lottery to get anything resembling these cone pr

The Chefs Gardens

  Food---cooking it, eating it, and pairing it with wine consumes a lot of band width here  in the Napa Valley.  In the last several years the trend toward fresh and local food has led to a wellspring of gardens that are located near or on the property of some of our best dining establishments-including the venerable French Laundry.   The French Laundry Culinary Garden is directly across the road from the restaurant -3 acres laid out grid style , it is a no nonsense working organic farm pristeenly maintained.  Nice digs for the egg factory.. a peek inside the greenhouse ..  I was surprised to see so much lawn--and very green at that. This photo was taken in August when most residential lawns were at their water-deprived worst.  A mile or two north is the garden of Mustards Grill , a garden with a much more informal feel . Flowers for the tables and a seasonal farmstand  In the city of Napa, the gardens a the former Copia Center fo