Return to Garden Conservancy Open Days
It's been a very long time since private gardens have been open for touring here in Northern California. In late June, the Garden Conservancy had Open Days in Marin County-gardens I had visited in 2016 and well worth a return visit. Tickets had to be purchased in advance and visitor numbers were limited -not a bad thing since GC Open Gardens can be crowded. I took the scenic route through Point Reyes National Seashore which added another dimension to the day.
I only visited two of the three gardens open that day , the first being the Stinson Beach garden of a retired professor of medicine. This mature garden was ahead of it's time when it was created in the early 1990's . Many of the plants seen here were not in common use in Northern California at that time and we can be thankful for garden pioneers who took the chance to acquire rare but climate appropriate plants and nurseries like Western Hills that provided them.
The garden is on a steep rocky parcel at the base of Mt Tamalpias with a view of Bolinas Bay. The integrity of the environment was obviously heeded throughout the creation of this landscape.
Up we go, with vignettes unfolding all along the hillside.
Paths wind up the hill complete with rope handrails and the reward is the view down to the residence and the bay.
Some of the plants were carefully labeled , but this small tree was not.
The landscape included plenty of basic landscape shrubs that you might see anywhere in Northern California, but the placement was clearly very intentional .
There were several Epiphyllums in bloom along the way, and I especially appreciated seeing this one planted in this old school redwood hanging basket that used to be commonly found at virtually any garden center in California. In this coastal frost-free environment these plants can live outdoors year round .
This intriguing plant was labeled Metrosideros kermadecensis, a Myrtle relative which hails from New Zealand.
A good sized Koi pond was situated just off on of the rear decks of the house where one could choose between observing the Koi or enjoying the ocean view-which unfortunately was barely visible through the fog below on this morning.
Stay tuned for a separate post on the Bolinas garden of artist Sally Robertson.