In the garden of my guru
I buzzed down to Menlo Park after work for a quick, end-of-the-week visit with my garden guru. I took this picture at a red light at the corner of Sand Hill Road and Santa Cruz Avenue, in Menlo Park. My grandparents house is a few miles down on the right, and my aunt's house is a mile over on the left. It happens that my guru lives a few blocks away from my aunt.
This area used to be more horse-y when I was a kid. My family is very horse-y. My aunt was crowned Country Riding Queen of San Mateo County sometime in the mid-70s. A lot of my early childhood memories come from being at horse shows with my grandmother watching my aunt do her thing. My other aunt is still really into horses--Tennessee Walkers, as it happens. She and my uncle show horses and fly out to Tennessee on horse business all the time.
This is me a couple years ago cleaning up after a ride, and Guy getting a special hello. He'd never really been around horses before.
Maybe one day, like when we retire, we'll have horses too.
Anyhow, back to the present... horses are always photogenic.
This is what Menlo Park looks like.
On to the garden...
After exchanging hugs and hellos, the first thing I notice is this:
I gave Emma some of my Eriogonum grande seeds, the ones that turned out to be not E. grande at all, but some weedy-looking thing. Some weedy-looking thing that I eventually gave up on and ripped out. Emma took a mellower approach. Turns out they were Clarkia seeds. Now I don't have eriogonum or clarkia in my garden. Sigh.
California poppy and dianthus. (I do this same color combination with poppy and scarlet flax. I'll show it to you on GBBD.)
Take a step back.
She's making a micro-meadow in the front yard with native bunch grasses and yarrow.
This path connects the front yard to the backyard.
Can you see there's a trail around the back of the camellia? There are the normal garden paths, and then there are "secret" access trails; she calls them deer trails.
That fuzzy thing on the prostrate redwood is the horrible caterpillar that's invaded Palo Alto this spring. (You might enjoy this video clip on the caterpillar from Palo Alto High School if teenagers don't gross you out too much.) The problem's not as bad in Menlo Park.
Sambucus mexicana, blue elderberry. I have this too, but much smaller. If mine grows even half as nice as hers, it's going to look great nestled in the bamboo.
Different pictures of various paths...
Lots of roses.
This is wisteria; she's trying some Japanese pruning method that will eventually turn it into a tree.
Huge oaks drop leaves all over the garden. Oak leaf mold makes excellent compost. She roots her cuttings in it, and there are cuttings everywhere.
And countless pots.
Said oaks. (Also redwood, Acer palmatum, pittosporum)
A Colorado spruce from Christmas several years ago.
I could lay my head down on a pillow of thyme and take a nap.
I'm sent home with cuttings: Epiolobium, Ribes speciosum, and a pineapple sage for the pea patch.
at 10:02 PM