A Stroll Through the Ruth Bancroft Garden

 Because my recent road trip to southern California and the central coast was a weather bust I took advantage of the single non-rainy day on the whole excursion (ironically that was the day I drove home) and stopped by  the Ruth Bancroft Garden as the route to Napa from down yonder takes me though Walnut Creek. It was clear to me as I walked up to the entrance and saw the progress on the new visitor center  that it had been much too long since I'd been to the garden. After days of rain the plants looked plumped-up, fresh and hydrated.




 When the windows are in, it's a good sign.  The facility  is scheduled to open at last this  June



 The Aloe bloom season continues, a primary reason for scheduling my trip at the beginning of February. The weather thwarted my plans for the most part but the RBG provided a bit of redemption.





 Blooming Acacia in the west side . 


 


 One of my favorite Eucalyptus  trees in the garden sported some frost damage on the leaves held in less protected positions. The full impact can be better seen in the photo above.  Late January and February so far have been quite cold , something of a shock after the mild winter to this point. If it's not raining it's frosty .


  The gardeners here protect the marginal plants in the garden with frost covers , a device initiated by Ruth after a freak freeze in 1972 destroyed much of her collection.




 I must have 20 or 30 photos of this Yucca 'Bright Star'  I take at least one every time I visit the garden.


 This northeast quadrant of the garden is one I always enjoy, with it's imposing mature cacti and meandering paths.






 As I look this photo I saw a much more open aspect from this perspective and realized that the large clump of Puya berteroniana that anchored this bed for many years was gone. I speculate that the plant was moved to facilitate the renovation of this bed a process that has been ongoing in the garden for a few years. Berms are being built or rebuilt and plantings refreshed .


 No walk through this garden is complete without some Agave action !








 Not having a desire to get stuck in Bay Area rush hour traffic I only stayed for an hour or so. Getting back again this spring is high on the agenda.

Comments

  1. I loved seeing the deep red of the big, hearty Aloe flowers. I have only small ones and their flowers are all so delicate. It's also fascinating to see the start of the Agave flower stalk. I remember little about the RBG from the Fling other than it being very hot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was hot as hell wasn't it ? I always go early morning in summer, but on this trip it was quite cool, but pleasant.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful photos. The freshness of the garden comes through in the photos. It looks as though you had the whole place to yourself too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was about 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon, and there were only a few others there. I usually go on the weekends -it was nice to have the garden mostly to myself.

      Delete
    2. I need to make a trip up there this spring/summer. There's no negotiating with an established planting of puya -- I'm guessing that's why it came out if there was work to do in the area. So glad you had a day at RBG to salvage the road trip. I've missed so many things this winter due to rain too. But look out, spring!

      Delete
    3. You're right Denise, there's no way they could have done anything with that bed without removing that Puya. I'm interested to see what happens there.

      Delete
  3. When 'Bright Star' has all the dust washed off it really jumps. 'Bright Star' indeed. A joy to see this garden washed and re-hydrated from winter rain. We dry climate gardeners can see the difference instantly. It took several rains to wash my plants--pools of black sludge formed in the bottom leaves of the Agaves for a while.

    My favorite photo is the one with the twisty tree shadow on the path. Perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Bright Stars (thanks to the generosity of Bonney Lassie) are wearing their winter reds too-it gets colder here in Napa than it does in Walnut Creek. I love what the rain does to plants but we need a respite or I fear rot will be in my future.

      Delete
    2. Yes I was just watching the "atmospheric river" hammering NorCal on the NWS doppler and wondering how you were doing. Flooding there--I hope not.

      Delete
  4. It's always a good day to visit the RBG! Your photos are wonderful, especially the agave shots...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are always good for a compliment on an Agave photo Loree !

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An HPSO Study Weekend Visit-The Garden of Designer Darcy Daniels

Ruth Bancroft Garden Tour 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloomday November 2019