Today began with me dribbling coffee on my computer keyboard and then believing for most of the morning that I would have to buy a new computer. Then it was all about lost tickets, confusing directions, and one painfully protracted episode of slapstick "comedy" where I very nearly dropped my camera on the sidewalk but managed not to by almost catching it several times, each time managing to throw it into the air again like some klutzy juggler with Parkinson's Disease. Watching this, Guy said, "Okay, you need to re-center yourself." I think I managed to do so.
But let's not discuss any of that.
Today, we took in some open gardens.
First, some prefatory notes. These are small, urban gardens in San Francisco. Some of them are smaller than my garden, and my garden is about 500 sq. ft. I found this tour very empowering. If these people can cram in so much garden interest into their space, so can I, even if I would pick different plants for the most part.
Garden #1. "The sheltered microclimate of this garden helps to showcase plants that are rare, tropical, or sub-tropical...transporting the visitor to a cloud forest."
Garden #2 is not so much a garden, as an outdoor room that succeeds at feeling very private despite having a very non-private environment in terms of neighboring houses and views. "Tucked away behind an imposing row of Edwardian homes, this garden features multiple levels and small garden rooms all set into a hillside with outstanding stonework and tasteful plantings. The serene Asian-influenced under-story garden is connected by a spiral staircase to an upper terrace of lush Mediterranean-climate plantings."
At the end of a long, dark corridor, you emerge through a trap-door.
Seriously, a trap-door.
The spiral staircase leads up to a patio and hot tub.
The stonework looks like drystack (no mortar), but the rocks are fixed. Me likee.
Garden #3. "A typical Haight Ashbury Edwardian is home to this historic garden featuring huge, magnificent century-old rhododendrons...alongside an original greenhouse, still in use, that dates back from the construction of the home."
(Note: Most if not all the plants in the greenhouse could be grown outdoors in San Francisco. They look nice in here tho'. I wonder if they leave them in here all the time, or massed them like this for the tour.)
Monstera deliciosa. (This plant makes a brief appearance behind Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal.)
Garden #4. "Adjoining Tank Hill, this garden transitions from native windswept outcroppings to lush and textural perennial beds."
She said this restio is ten years old and she's never done anything to it.
(She has three big, full compost bins in the very back.)
Garden #5. "This garden centers around mosaics and tile work designed by Jeffery Bale. A clawfoot bathtub luxuriates amid woodland plantings. South African natives occupy sunny nooks. Mirrors and a disco ball accent this outdoor entertaining space."
Happy Mother's Day (if you're someone's mom)!