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Garden Conservancy Open Days in Marin

This past weekend I went to the Garden Conservancy Open Days in Marin, a nice little tour with three gardens quite close to each other in Kentfield. Two of the gardens are collaborations of some sort between Tim O’Shea of Greenworks and Davis Dalbok of Living Green, whose work I’d seen in Garden Design magazine. The first one was the most photogenic with an impressive entryway and dramatic plantings with olive trees, Japanese maples, lavender, lots of succulents, and a very cool hedge of Arbutus Marina planted close together in a double row.

Several agaves are planted in the lawns. I wouldn’t want to have to edge around them or deal with pups coming up in the lawn, but the effect was striking.

The view from beyond the water feature.

The back has a great view of Mt. Tam. I would eat all of my meals there. A few more photos are below.

Plantings by the pool included two tree aloes, Aloe barberae, which I haven’t seen very often in the Bay Area. I feel like some tours have a lot of the same plants, so it was nice to see some unfamiliar plants in this garden and in the last one.

The second garden is on a steep difficult site with beautiful oak trees. The big design moves are the cor-ten moon gate and cor-ten walls with a reverse batter.

Smokebush in all its glory.

The third garden is the home garden of the owner of Geraniacea.com, a nursery devoted to geraniums. I’d met her at the flower and garden show, but had never looked at her website, which turns out to be a good resource. The garden has a large backyard space full of more geraniums than I think I’ve ever seen at one time. The rest of the property is planted with a lot of classic garden plants — roses, clematis, dogwoods — plus a lot of variegated plants and other interesting shade plants. It’s the kind of garden that rewards exploration, with foliage-lined paths traversing the slopes, and I put the camera away to just wander around enjoying the plants.

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2 Responses to “Garden Conservancy Open Days in Marin”

  1. June 15th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Dee says:

    I came across your site by chance and I am so pleased that I did. It is my kind of blog. I love your visits to other gardens….so interesting. I can’t get enough of it! I will be back to devour all of your articles.

    I am in Melbourne, Australia and we share a similar climate to California, so no doubt, I will get lots of ideas. Keep up the good work.

  2. June 21st, 2013 at 10:37 am

    ryan says:

    Welcome, Dee. I love hearing about Australian plants. We have a gardener friend from New South Wales who sometimes comes and works with us, tells us about her new favorite Australian plants, some which we can grow, some which are a little tender. She’s been a big influence.