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Tilden

Fawn Lily, Erythronium

Along with Sunday’s landscape architecture tour this weekend, my favorite native plant event of the year — the native plant sale at Tilden — is happening on Saturday. At this point I rarely buy more than a plant or two, but I like seeing everyone lining up before the start of the sale and the mad rush to the rarest plants, and of course the garden itself is amazing this time of year.

Fawn Lilies, Erythronium sp

Fawn Lily, Erythronium

The one thing on my wish list is seed of an Erythronium species. I’ve been admiring them for a while, but have never grown one and haven’t seen them in gardens much. The Pacific Bulb Society webpage makes them sound like they grow similarly to the native Leopard Lilies — slow, easy, likes good soil, and worth the wait. I would love to have a big patch of these.

Fawn Lily, Erythronium

At past years we’ve worked as volunteers and had longer wish lists of plants, but this year Anita and I will just be spectators. After years of watching the frenzied native plant shopping at the sale, last year I noticed that the alders in the middle of the sale area were watching it, too.

Alders Have Eyes

Manzanitas

This warm weather and lack of rain has me a little unsettled. I remember some winters like this when I was growing up, but that was before my gardening days and I don’t remember how it affected the plants. I guess I’ll be finding out. In the meantime, I’ve stopped at Tilden several times this winter to check out how the manzanitas are responding to this lack of a winter. I thought I could look at past photos to see if the different varieties are acting any different this year, but I couldn’t figure out anything conclusive. I think I’ve seen bigger bloom clusters in other years and I think they started blooming a couple of weeks late this year, but I couldn’t say for sure. In any case, they’re looking good right now in the heart of manzanita season.

The one in the photo below, Arctostaphylos montana-regis, has one of the best tree trunks I’ve ever seen. This little cluster of trees is probably my favorite spot in my favorite garden.

The next thing to keep an eye on is when everything deciduous wakes up. A few things in the garden had buds, but nothing had broken into leaf yet.

The Tilden Plant Sale

Trillium ovatum

I don’t post about many garden events, but one of my favorites is coming up on Saturday, the native plant sale at Tilden. It’s their biggest event of the year with many great plants for sale, some of them quite hard to find. The rush to the Trilliums is the single most frenzied horticultural moment I know of. (Speaking of which, I don’t know if it has been my luck or some kind of bumper year for Trilliums, but I have seen more of them this spring than ever before. I’m curious if that has been anyone else’s experience as well.) The sale starts at 10AM, with people starting to line up about an hour beforehand.

Ready for Tomorrow

Tilden Aspens

Last December I admired the aspens at Tilden, here and here, after they’d dropped their leaves. I told myself I should stop and check out their fall color this year, and I did actually follow through, stopping in several times to walk the garden while the aspens were coloring. They were nice, not quite like I saw in the mountains on my way back from Bishop but I give them extra points for doing it near the coast. In general, this doesn’t seem to have been one of our best years for color. I think the early storms knocked off a lot of the leaves as soon as they changed.

September

September

The aspens were definitely nice, though, and are of course great after they drop their leaves. I’m a fan of local natives, but it’s also great to see mountain species down here in the Bay Area. I’m lucky that my commute takes me past Tilden so regularly.

November

This Week

The aspens have been bare for a while now. Willows and spicebush are two of the main species coloring and dropping leaves there. In my own garden, the spicebush still has most of its leaves and even a couple of flowers and buds. I’m only five miles away, but in a less frosty microclimate.

Wildcat Creek

Wildcat Creek

There’s one vine maple turned red. All the other fall color is yellow.

Vine Maple, Acer cirnatum

Vine Maple, Acer cirnatum

And along with fall color, November means that manzanita season is approaching. A few had token blooms, but this one was starting up its full bloom.

Start of Manzanita Season

Parry Manzanita Starting Up

Townmouse recently mentioned the 2010 Fall Color Project that Dave at the Home Garden is hosting. He’s collecting and posting links to blogs around the country that are showing off their fall color. Click through to the kickoff post or to his front page to start with the most recent collection.

The Trillium Stampede

Trillium giganteum

Trillium chloropetalum var. chloropetalum

The plant sale at the Tilden botanic garden is tomorrow. Anita is a docent at the garden, so we’ll be volunteering at the sale, getting our retail on. I’ll be the guy telling everyone to buy a Ribes. The highlight is the Trillium stampede at the beginning of the sale. People line up about an hour before the plant sale and then sprint to the Trilliums when the sale opens. I have seen people fall, but so far no plants or people have been injured.
I can’t say I blame folks for wanting a trillium; they’re beautiful and there aren’t many opportunities to buy one. I have photos of five, T. ovatum, the two chocolate and white versions of T. chloropetalum, T. angustipetalum which looks a lot like the dark T. chloropetalum, and little T. rivale in the Tilden garden. I’m not positive they are still blooming, but if they aren’t, there will be lots of other things to take their place. The more time I spend at Tilden, the more I appreciate it, and now is the time when it looks it’s best.

Trillium giganteum

Trillium chloropetalum var. chloropetalum

Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum

Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum

Trillium giganteum

Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum

Trillium rivale

Trillium rivale

Trillium rivale

Trillium rivale

Trillium angustipetalum

Trillium angustipetalum

Trillium ovatum

Trillium ovatum

More Photos of Tilden in December

Coastal Bluff Section

Coastal Bluff Section at Tilden

More photos of winter at the bot garden below.. (more…)

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