Friday, July 26, 2013

Garden clogs

I've been distracted with other concerns, outside of my garden, but just looked at a series of photos from a wonderful East Bay/Berkeley artist's garden. More to come to be sure.

But I matched this garden.  How fun.

My garden clogs and SoulMate socks!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 14, 2013


It was a hot and bright afternoon on the day we visited Filoli Gardens during the Garden Bloggers Fling. I'd never visited Filoli, a historic garden some thirty minutes south of San Francisco, before.

The light blew out any normal photo-taking efforts, but it was fun to visit the gardens.  I loved the heritage orchards, in particular.

Dramatic focal points,

historic trees,

and an impressively informal knot garden were highlights.

knot garden "waves" at Filoli

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Wave Garden (East Bay, CA)

Towards Pt. Richmond, a neighborhood of houses with bay views, but also close to the nearby refineries, harbored a spectacular garden. 
entrance gate
 The Wave Garden was developed as a private garden, but is open as public space to visitors -- the best sort of shared space.

Strongly envisioned hardscape is softened by drifts of vegetation, with dramatic contrasts in textures and colors.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Succulents and containers

It makes sense that succulents, agave, and cacti are popular in SF/East Bay gardens (and throughout Mediterranean climate zones, too!)  They sail through the dry summer months looking great, and most overwinter, too, in the mild temperatures along the coast.  (In contrast, my sedum bed in the mountains of NC is looking downright wan after months of unusually cool and wet weather).

The star of dry-land gardens was Ruth Bancroft Garden, with its amazing assortment of species agaves, yuccas, etc. More about that garden later.

But here are a couple of charming container plantings (most including succulents), selected in a first photo pass.  It's always fun to note combinations that are unusual (and impractical) for an Eastern gardener.

entrance kiosk at SF Botanical Garden

container in Oakland artist's garden (Ann Nichol)

pocket planting demonstration at Sunset Magazine gardens
Filoli nursery assortment of succulents
Bicycle plantings

Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 5, 2013

A SF sculpture garden

Succulents were a primary theme of Bay Area gardens
An entry planting
A second urban garden was right under the I-280 freeway, tucked below a steep rocky cliff in a still industrial area. It reminded me of a very dicey field site that I had in Hunter's Point (nearby) from decades ago!

But magic had been worked here, from the transformation of the house to the garden as space for the artist/owner's rotating sculpture gallery.

The light was extremely bright -- not good for photographs, but here's a look.
A view back towards the house

A hillside view

View from the house

Labels: ,

A secret SF garden (Organic Mechanic)

Our first fling garden had a compelling entry --wow is what I thought.  Pulling up in front of a concrete-surrounded apartment building, walking down a long apartment hallway,

and then pow!

Amazing.  The gardeners here (Organic Mechanic) have been working on this area (transformed from back of the apartment concrete to green space) for 15+ years.

It was a testament to the power of green space!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rain, rain, and more rain

Here in Western North Carolina, it just keeps raining. 

We're already above the average for the year (and we're only halfway through!) It's raining heavily now (again) and we're well over 3 inches today already.

rain from deck

Here's a view out the back from the deck into the ravine forest from earlier today.  Monsoon time!

P.S. Garden Bloggers Fling photos are downloaded -- now it's time to sort them out!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Returning to a veritable tropical forest

After a long week away, visiting gardens during the Garden Bloggers Fling, and being on vacation in San Francisco, my overwhelming thought coming home to the mountains, was WOW!  It's been raining a lot.

My vegetable beds are verdant -- geez, I harvested (and we ate) chard and leeks just before leaving, and I had more stout leeks to harvest for this evening's dinner.  We would have had chard but it was raining too hard to harvest...

Lots of wonderful garden pictures from the Fling to come -- I didn't have time to download them while traveling -- the pace was busy (if not grueling) and in the evenings, my gardening companion and I were out enjoying the City.  Lovely.

We spent our last day in Marin County, visiting Pt. Reyes National Seashore (where I had study sites MANY years ago) and driving the coastal highway.

An unexpected pleasure was visiting the Seed Bank in Petaluma.
Seed Bank in Petaluma
It's a great place that's part of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They were forward-thinking enough to save both the seed providing and the structure! Kudos for that.

I didn't have my camera along, but check out some of these images.  Fabulous.  I have more seeds now.  What's not to like about that?

Labels: , ,