Plants and Stone for California Gardens


Archive for September, 2013

The Biggest Rock

‘I want you to take a look at this rock. Pretty big, right?’

This video is making fun of TedTalks, but I suspect if you go through my blog archives you’ll find a few posts that could also be the target.

Garden Conservancy Open Days Garden #2

Here are the photos of the other garden I visited on the Open Days tour, an elaborate garden with formal and cottage garden elements and an extensive sculpture collection. I’ve never been to the famous English gardens like Sissinghurst, but this garden had something of that feel, with classic garden plants in well-tended perennial beds and garden ‘rooms’ with carefully composed color palettes.

The entry to the lower garden is through a hornbeam hedge. I don’t see many of those in the Bay Area. The gardeners shear it every month so the metal man can look out over his domain.

Pretty cool statue, made of building straps.

There were probably two dozen sculptures of varying sizes in the garden. I liked a lot of them, including, of course, the pig.

The lower section of the garden was designed by landscape architect Ron Lutsko about ten years ago. The plantings are now maintained by David and Jane, who also did a lot of the craftwork on the rest of the garden. Everything was pretty much impeccable.

The water feature was cast with a mold taken from a boulder in the hills. Water flowed out around the patio and down alongside the stairs, splashing over the lowest of the steps. I couldn’t decide if the water on the step was deliberate or if it happened and they just decided to embrace it.

I’ve heard hostas are easy to grow in other parts of the country, but around here they need some coddling. I’m always impressed when I see them looking good, which probably sounds strange to gardeners in other areas.

The upper section of the garden was a steep hillside with cottage garden and mediterranean favorites. Hakonechloa cascaded down the slope like water.

I liked the metalwork around the sprinklers and the hosebibs. Simple and effective.

Beside the front door was a beautiful espaliered gingko.

The door was done by an artist who also did something similar with the driveway gate. That was the final area of the garden, but then I went back to the hornbeam hedge and walked through a couple more times to make sure I’d seen everything. It was really a fun and impressive garden.

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