Let's start with the day before yesterday since I never got caught up with Friday's horticulture whirlwind visit to the East Bay.
After the Blake Garden, we stopped for coffee at this place. I had a peanut butter cookie too.
We were the only people in the shady section.
My companion said this market across the street was special for some reason, but I don't remember why.
I don't know this part of the Bay Area very well, but I will say that driving around North Berkeley is like driving through several issues of Fine Gardening magazine. The plants and landscaping are incredible. Unfortunately, I was driving, and we were on a schedule, so no pictures.
Also, I just wonder where all the money comes from. I mean every house in this densely populated area must be at least a million bucks. Same thing in so many Bay Area neighborhoods. There is so much wealth here, it's unfathomable to me.
Anyhow, Berkeley Hort is around the corner from this coffeeshop. It's a popular nursery everyone talks about, but I've never been here before.
They have a big demonstration garden.
I don't like Acer dissectum cv. atropurpureum (Laceleaf Japanese Maple), mostly because it's grafted, but also because it looks like the Cousin It of plants. And I totally acknowledge that it's pretty. Sometimes being pretty just isn't enough.
Note about Japanese maples: those with the most finely dissected leaves need the most protection from sun, because it's the leaf edges that burn and when the leaf is super-dissected, the leaf is all edges.
Dogwood in a half-barrel: Fab-u-lous!
Lavatera 'Red Rum'. Too funny. (Where is that kid now anyway?)
I totally bought an iris.
Okay. Now we go to the botanical garden in Tilden Park. All natives.
The obligatory garden sign negativity:
So much, in fact, two signs are needed to contain it all.
But here you see a reason why society needs rules. Some person thought his missing dog was so important to the world, he needed to paste a missing poster on a public sign. (Do you think he'd come back and take the sign down if he found the dog, or would he would be more likely to just leave it there?)
Okay, back to the garden. You read this blog. You know I defer to nooone in my love for California native plants. I am in to native plants. Love them. But I was not all in to this garden. And I'm not sure why.
Maybe because it was terraced by a meth addict?
Or was it this entirely inappropriate and quite extensive non-native, water-unwise lawn? Talk about missed opportunities...
It could just be the time of year. Besides Ceanothus and iris, natives aren't particularly rocking my world right now. But I'm not going to expose myself to charges of hypocrisy by complaining about garden sign negativity on one hand, and then spouting negativity on my blog. I'll just show you some pictures. (You're in a real pickle if you want to complain about negativity. "Geez, you're being really negative about my negativity!"
Here's a huge spread of the Salvia sonomoensis that won my heart on Friday.
They're ready for a big spring sale.
This is something I've never seen before. Fremontodendron californicum 'Margo'. She has the recumbent habit of Ken Taylor; I wonder if they know each other.
Air-layering a buckeye.
Ceanothus. If you need to rejuvenate an old Ceanothus, you can try cutting it almost to the ground. Might not work, but it's a reasonable thing to try if the alternative is getting rid of a treasured plant.
A lot of California looks like this. Weeding this garden must be tremendous work.
This is the Sierra Madre section; I enjoy it most of all.
Final shot of the fog rolling over the Berkeley hills.
I'm actually not sure if I took that picture at Tilden, or the UC Berkeley arboretum. So I'll use it to make that transition.
Restios in the entry garden.
This is the plant I came here to see, Coreopsis gigantea.
I have one in my garden, but it hasn't flowered yet.
Yeah, I reject Laceleaf Japanese Maples for looking like Cousin It, but I have no problem with this.
This plant is a geek.
Castilleja? (One of my favorite plant names.)
Ribes speciosum. Gooseberry. Thorny. Pretty for shady areas.
More Salvia sonomoensis.
And this time, a picture up close so you can see what it looks like.
The hills around the garden are gorgeous.
In the vegetable garden...cardoon. Not just a fabulous name, but fabulous ornamental potential as well.
This is Calicotome villosa (Fabaceae) from Italy, and it's wonderfully fragrant. Very, very thorny.
Maybe try this at the back of the border instead of an acacia. (No problem, you can appreciate the fragrance from far away. It took us several minutes of wandering around to trace the fragrance back to this plant.)
UCB has an extensive collection of old roses. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good picutres.
A jacaranda (for Pam):
And more fog creeping over the Berkeley hills.
And we're done with UC Berkeley, and therefore done with Friday. If you want more, we came here last September.
Now, I want to add a couple more things to Saturday. This house is very near the Demonstration Garden. I can't decide if I think these borders are beautiful or hideous.
I can tell they're supposed to be beautiful. But are they? I just don't know.
From here, I went to Woodside to re-visit the native library there. Again, natives not so exciting in early April. Spring is sorta over, but summer's not here yet. That's next month. April is a hard month.
This blue and yellow isn't working for me.
This blue and yellow is.
Then I stopped at Robert's and got a sandwich which I ate in the car. Behind me this guy cantored his horse for awhile which I should have filmed instead of photographed--bad blogger, bad!--but I was too engrossed with my sandwich to be bothered...
That's a lie...I was more interested in checking out the biker dude. Hel-lo, daddy!
Which brings us to today.
Do you have one of these?
It was a surprisingly appropriate Christmas present from a family member. Today, my backyard's microclimate made it to 80 deg F.
Do you think what I did with these rocks is lame?
I've been buying small quantities of rocks for a long time. I need to do something with them.
Guy brought me a piece of this carpobrotus because he sees it at the beach and he thinks its nice. He's from Seattle and he doesn't know this is a terrible weed. If he like is tho', maybe I can use it on the roof. I made some cuttings.
The cherry tomatoes are the most florific plants in my garden right now.