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The Bay Friendly Garden Tour

One of the gardens that we help maintain is on the Bay Friendly Garden Tour tomorrow. I’m a big fan of the tour and the whole concept of ‘Bay Friendly’. It’s such a clear way to focus on the ecological implications of gardening, and the tour has the feel of real gardens made by actual gardeners. This garden was originally installed by a designer (Roger Raiche, who’s known around the Bay Area from working at the UC Botanical Garden and for introducing a lot of well-known native plant varieties, Vitis californica ‘Roger’s Red,’ California Wild Grape, being the first one that comes to mind but there are many many more) and we’ve been helping with the maintenance for several years, but it’s very much the owner’s own personal garden. Over the years, she has moved and added and subtracted a lot of the plants, and she’s the one who keeps it in a showcase state.

This section of the garden was designed by her along with a Buddhist monk who helped in the garden before our tenure. Virtually every plant in this area is a transplant from some other part of the garden, almost no new plants were bought for the space. Quite a few classic garden plants — roses, rhododendrons, azaleas, a peony — ended up in this area, I think after struggling or being overcrowded somewhere else. The fence was built with bamboo that the monk harvested from my garden. They instilled the space with a nice peaceful ambience, and it’s my favorite place to sit in the garden. Every garden should have a Buddhist monk work in it for a time.

I’ve posted photos from this garden a couple of times before, here and here. There is a post about the garden on the Bay Friendly blog and the garden got several paragraphs in a write-up of the tour at SF Gate. And Floradora has a number of nice photos from this garden and several others on the tour.

Some more photos are below.

This is the only peony I’ve ever gardened around. Rather showy, eh.

Rose season in the Bay Area seems to be at its peak right now. This garden has about a dozen varieties, scattered throughout the plantings.

The main slope also has many of the classic garden plants, but only as accents within a predominance of succulents, natives, and drought tolerant mediterranean plants. The garden has so many Australian natives and ceanothus varieties, I think the flower bloom actually peaks in late winter rather than spring.

There are a lot of flowers, but the focus is just as much on the foliage as well, flowers framing the foliage as much as the foliage frames the flowers. Lots of chartreuse, lots of texture.

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2 Responses to “The Bay Friendly Garden Tour”

  1. May 15th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Gayle Madwin says:

    That’s an amazing view in the first picture and an amazing tree in the third picture. I’m glad the people who live here work hard to maintain the beauty of the place. And now I want a bamboo fence like that one! I guess I’ll have to find my own Buddhist monk.

  2. May 16th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    ryan says:

    It’s a shame there aren’t more gardening Buddhist monks in California, isn’t it? She worked with us part time for a while and brought a great energy to this garden and to others. We were sad when she moved back to her abbey up north.

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