Showing posts from July, 2016

The Garden Gallery

 During my visit to the central coast of California in April, I spent a windy afternoon along the Embarcadero in Morro Bay. As is my custom when traveling , I had done an internet search for garden centers in the area; considering the great climate along this stretch of our coast I would have expected a bit more horticulture going on, but regrettably there were only a couple that seemed worth visiting.  The Garden Gallery on the corner of Embarcadero and Pacific in Morro Bay was as it's name suggests a tasteful and beautifully maintained collection of vignettes, artfully combining pottery, plants and restrained garden art that made for very pleasant browsing. One could not expect to landscape a garden there; the plant inventory was heavily skewed towards succulents (all in on that) and tropicalesque container subjects.   Small clay pots were used extensively to display cacti and succulents. This seems to be a clever merchandising tool in a store that by virtue of it's

Marin County Open Garden-Bolinas

 I'm not really sure  why I loved this garden. I'm not  usually a fan of  clipped and formed shrubs , I obsess about the topped Phormiums and the meatball Loropetalums seen in commercial landscapes around town. Why do people think that looks good ? A few years ago I posted on this topic here  and here . I will admit though , that I have often seen admirable uses of this device . It's helpful if the gardener actually knows what they are doing, and knows the name and habit of the plant they are working on.    Bolinas is a beach town on Tomales Bay, and the climate is ideal for almost everything except tomatoes and peppers. It never gets hot and it never gets cold. The garden here is the creation of watercolor artist Sally Robertson. From the Garden Conservancy guide: "As a painter, I often choose plants as inspiration for a watercolor, but I give much thought to their placement, for the garden itself is a highly orchestrated color palette ." Yes indeed.

Garden Bloggers BloomDay July 2016

 Seems like everything is blooming in July , so I picked just a few to share. I appreciate the fortitude of our hostess Carol of May Dreams Gardens who continues to give us a platform to share the beauty of flowers.  The Lilies have given me much pleasure this year and my list of new additions for 2017 continues to expand. This is 'Black Beauty' with the darker 'Aprilla' in the background-they have developed a symbiotic leaning relationship this summer.   Yes, yes Lobelia tupa ! +  I am feeling rather triumphant that Hydrangea 'Pee Gee' is not flopping this year, though it has more to do with a tree death in a neighbors yard than it does with my gardening skill.   Eryngium 'Jos Eijking', just starting to blue up.  Salvia 'Wendys Wish ', always reliable. Some years she winters over and some years not. The outstanding Clematis 'Arabella', blooms all summer.  Unnamed Eucomis. Who needs a name ?  

The Gasterias

 I decided last year - I think it was last year- to collect Gasterias. The decision was made in the most random manner when contemplating my back garden, possibly probably with a glass of wine. At the time, I had exactly one plant which was label-less and recovering from being left out in a below 20 degree night.Temperatures in the teens here are not unknown , but the duration is typically a brief one hour event at 4 or 5am in the dead of winter. Succulents that are especially tender get moved into the house or garage and the borderline cases are grouped up against a west wall with a primitive frost blanket structure for protection. Gasterias are small enough for the most part  to make the winter moves less demanding.   My procedure  would be to keep an eye out for  Gasterias I didn't currently own (which at this point was almost ANY Gasteria) and begin to acquire as many as the pocketbook and the available real estate would allow. My inventory has increased to 6. The challenge