Looking Back at June Garden Conservancy Open Garden

  If you know what to look for there is no mistaking the Marin County garden of artist Sally Robertson. The Garden Conservancy Open Days program was back up and running again and after 2 years of  visiting only a small handful of public gardens I was more than ready to tour a private garden again . Ms Robertson is a water colorist dealing primarily in botanicals and her garden provides ample subject matter. Having visited her garden before in 2016 , it was easy to locate once I turned on her road -hard to miss the iconic cloud pruned Monterey Cypress that tower above her fence. 


Another Cypress is just a bit further down the path from the entry gate. The trees aren't the only subjects of  strong shaping; many of the evergreen shrubs in the garden are closely trimmed into globes or loose pyramid shapes. Others are allowed to grow naturally.


Because it's intentional and clearly managed by someone who knows what they are doing , the effect is actually quite pleasing. It shows what the artists eye can do with texture, pattern and color.


 

The rose pergola sporting the climber 'Sally Holmes' leads the way to the transition from the front garden to the back. The garden is roughly a deep L-shape , wrapping around 2 sides of the home.



This densely planted area mixes shrubs and succulents. 





There are numerous seating areas situated around the garden, some tucked into secluded corners and others placed to take advantage of views.



 The main feature in the back garden is a large Koi pond.



 The large deck off the artists studio overlooks the pond and pockets of annual and perennial color and several roses.


  This garden is in Bolinas , a very small Northern California beach town and just a block from Bolinas Bay . The weather is typically mild and cool year round - though the USDA climate map places it in zone 9 , along with my Napa Valley location , inland Socal and Phoenix. . It's more accurate designation is Sunset zone 17 which recognizes the reality of  the basically frost free, cool foggy summers and (hopefully) rainy winters of the north coast of California. 

Comments

  1. How do you even get Monterey cypresses to grow like that???

    This garden is so unlike my own. Maybe that's why I found it so fascinating. Some of your photos reminded me of an Annie's Annuals catalog .

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    1. Unlike mine too-that's one of the enjoyable features of garden tours. She had many very common shrubs but the way she arranged them really elevated the whole thing. I wish I'd asked her about the Cypress-if I get to visit again I will. I think she does open studios once in a while.

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  2. That's one impressive garden, Kathy. I've always thought my arborist's crew does a good job in pruning my trees but I can't claim they produce works of art like that!

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    1. I wouldn't be surprised if this was managed by a Japanese gardener at some point. That tradition seems in line with statement pieces like these.

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  3. Felt so good to get out and tour some private gardens again, right? This one has so much to see and think about!

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    1. No kidding Denise. There weren't many around here but I have hopes for next year.

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  4. Well there's a garden jaw dropping mind boggling eye popping awesomely gorgeous. Other than that...

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    1. and it never gets hot. Bonus points for that.

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  5. Fabulous! How wonderful it is to get out and tour gardens again. I have never understood the folks that hate artistic pruning like this!

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    1. I think gardens like this in some peoples mind might get lumped in with the the mow-blow dudes that just chop back anything into either a square or a ball, without regard to the identity of the plant. The aesthetic here is a whole different ball game.

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