Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Posts Tagged ‘aloe’

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. (more…)

The Ruth Bancroft Garden — Summerized

Here are the rest of my Ruth Bancroft Garden photos, mostly from my second visit to the garden, after the cold frames were taken down. Most of the plants outside of the cold frames are fairly common in Bay Area dry gardens these days, but I didn’t know a lot of the cactus species that had been under the frames. It was definitely worth the second visit to see them out of their plastic winter wrappers.

This photo and the next three are plants that don’t need winter protection in the Walnut Creek, so they were outside of the cold frames my first visit.

Even without the frames, there’s still a funky desert aesthetic created by some of the homemade staking.

The garden has some cool big yuccas.

This tree aloe was in the cold frame on stilts. Someone told me that in a single year they once lost 5 or 6 tons of aloes from a frost, hauling away whole dumpster loads of them.

NY Times and SF Gate did articles with photos of Ruth Bancroft and the garden when she turned 100 last year.

— The San Jose Mercury News has an article about some new work going on at the garden, with photos of the garden throughout the years.

February Bloom Day

Arctostaphylos Louis Edmunds

Arctostaphylos Louis Edmunds

I’ve haven’t posted about the garden since we got back, but it has been doing well. Pretty damp, despite the sun this weekend. Almost every plant is happy about all the moisture, though not too many have started to bloom. Most are still in foliage mode; a number of them have a few stray flowers and others are budding up, but not too many are in full bloom. One of our manzanitas, Arctostaphylos ‘Louis Edmunds,’ is pretty much the one plant at peak bloom. It’s a good one, though, maybe my favorite manzanita.

Colombine New Growth

Columbine New Growth

Not a flower, but the new growth on the columbines has an almost floral look. The various shades of green in the garden look very lush after my month down in the desert.

Iris reticulata Clairette with Beach Strawberry

Iris reticulata Clairette with Beach Strawberry foliage

The first of the bulbs are going.

Trumpet Daffodil?

Our First Daffodil of the Year

Hellebore Buds

Hellebore Buds

The first of the hellebore buds opened this weekend.

Hellebore Hybrid

Hellebore Opened



The most dramatic plant right now is not actually ours. Our neighbor’s aloe, right on the property line, has been blooming since before we left for Baja. The rest of her yard is juniper and ivy, but I’m jealous of the aloe. This time of year, I always tell myself I should plant more aloes.

A list of our other blooming plants (all of them actually in our yard) is below the fold. My thanks to Carol at MayDreamsGardens for hosting bloom day. Click over to her site to see what other garden bloggers have blooming this month. (more…)