Tag Archives: Ruth Bancroft Garden

things to do in the Bay Area after a garden show

or any other preposition that fits your schedule — before the show, between visits to the show.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until the next garden show in 2013 for a visit.

Building REsources, discussed before here and here, with its ever-changing selections of kaleidoscopic, polished glass mulch and salvage of infinite variety.


Photobucket

Big Daddy’s new store in San Francisco, a visit to the Los Angeles store discussed here.

Photobucket

Flora Grubb Gardens, discusssed here.
The last time I visited was around Valentine’s Day 2012, and the store was a mesmerizing tableau vivant of happy, busy people making themselves and their loved ones things like this. Glass, tillandsias, moss, lichens. (Magic.)

Photobucket

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, discussed here. Aloe castanea in bloom in February 2012.


Photobucket

Cornerstone Sonoma. Over the Golden Gate Bridge and north into Sonoma County you’ll find this outdoor collection of shops, salvage, statuary, with gardens designed by Topher Delaney, Roger Raiche, Suzanne Biaggi.

Photobucket

Photobucket


Annie’s Annuals & Perennials. So many of the plants I grow are from Annie Hayes, written about here, for example. For this recent, brief visit to the Bay Area, I had time for only one side trip. It had to be to Annie’s nursery.

Homoglad hybrids (Gladiolus tristis X Homoglossum watsonium)
Photobucket

Annie’s geum selection…sigh. Some of the species are surviving, if not exactly flourishing, in my Los Angeles garden.
Geums are not dry garden candidates.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Senecio glastifolius, written about here.

Photobucket


Some of my favorite plants from Annie’s are the Mediterranean subshrubs like sideritis, whose ghostly white, subtle beauty is hard to capture in a photograph but is devastatingly gorgeous in a garden.

Photobucket

Euphorbia characias and Eupatorium sordidum.

Photobucket


Also, The Dry Garden in Berkeley, discussed here.

The San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Restoration Hardware’s flagship store is a huge space upon which the RH fantasy is writ large. Nice little formal outdoor courtyard too.

Consider also a 25-mile side trip to the legendary Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, discussed here.

And in this horticultural mecca, that’s just for starters.

Agave ‘Cornelius’

When I got home last night, Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element was streaming from Netflix. (Sidebar: TV is amazingly complicated these days.)

Photobucket

First thing this morning, I was of course snapping photos of the Agave ‘Cornelius.’
Or “Corneeleyoos,” as Mila Jovovich croons the name throughout the movie, swaddled in ribbons of cloth designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Photobucket

I once got into a heated discussion with a video rental clerk (another blip in the continuum of extinct employment categories) over the merits of the movie, now a fond memory every time I read heated “discussions,” really one-off opinions, in the online Netflix movie reviews. The clerk thought it the best thing since Citizen Kane, and I thought it was gorgeous fun, and so we parted ways with our original opinions intact.

This agave is, no debate, flat-out gorgeous. And that’s despite its other moniker of the Quasimoto Agave. Reputed to be a cultivar of Agave americana, now in tissue propagation and more generally available. Mine was bought by a friend at a sale from the Ruth Bancroft Garden. There’s some slight damage from my garden snails to lower leaves, as can be seen lower right, but it’s pushing out pristine new leaves.

Photobucket

The little poppy, P. setigerum, has sown itself in the crevices around the porch, just showing buds, nestling up against the agave’s pot.
The back porch has been one of the sunniest spots all winter, and little Corneeleyoos has done wonderfully here.

Photobucket

Ruth Bancroft Garden

If you have an Internet connection and a love of plants, you probably also have many unmet friends with those same two attributes.
Finally meeting up with them is thrilling. When they arrange to take you to marvelous gardens you’ve never visited before, life doesn’t get any better.

Just such a friend arranged for a group of gardeners to visit the Ruth Bancroft Garden, located in Walnut Creek, California, one I’ve long wanted to explore. The garden didn’t disappoint.

Photobucket

I’m guessing Agave lophantha.

Photobucket

This guy in the center looks a lot like my Mr. Ripple, which is an A. salmiana hybrid.

Photobucket

Thrilling enough, no? But what I didn’t expect to find was garden scenes like this.

Continue reading Ruth Bancroft Garden