8/23/2007

Our mid-week, late-summer visit to Mendocino

Or as Guy insisted on calling it, Cabot Cove.

This was the view from our room at the Mendocino Hotel looking south.

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Our room number gave us hope for murder, or at least mystery...

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As did the bar,

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den,

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and dining room.

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And there was this:

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Attempted murder. Shucks! Not good enough, I'm afraid. Alas, we made no sightings of Jessica Fletcher.

As it is, even in late August, Mendocino still has lots of garden interest--perched right over the Pacific Ocean about three hours north of San Francisco.

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In general, garden maintenance is pretty relaxed.

Lavender, heather, rosemary, santolina, fuchsia, echium, mallow, pelargonium, crocosmia, dahlia, roses, salvia (especially S. leucantha) and lots and lots and lots of Amaryllis belladonna. Mendocino could be the west coast garden supplier of this fragrant, carefree summer bulb.

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These roadside clumps are very common.

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And someone brought in tons of Echium piniana.

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Off the beaten track (all three blocks of it), Mendocino looks like this.

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But it is a functioning town.

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Tho' I think it functions mostly for tourists and hippies passing through.

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The organic produce collective occupies a former church.

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And there are many options for local theater.

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Art galleries and tschochkes are the rule.

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Someday I would like to have, or perhaps make, my own driftwood garden art.

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More garden shots.

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Later, I'll have a post up with lots of pictures from our visit to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens which features a remarkable collection of heathers, among other things.

8 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

That town is bursting with blooms. And it is probably 75 degrees and sunny year-round, darn them!

Is that tall, blue plant near the end a delphinium? It reminded me of my bottle tree.

Annie in Austin said...

In the photos Mendocina doesn't even look real, Chuck - more like a movie set decorated by an expensive florist.
Wouldn't Jessica have to sell a lot of books to afford this place?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

LostRoses said...

You do know how to tell a story with your camera, don't you, Chuck? And who knew Mendocino was actually Cabot Cove? Not me, till now anyway.

Some very interesting gardens. Now I know what to do with that pair of antlers in the basement. I can't think why I haven't put them in the garden before now.

Deviant Deziner said...

What a wonderful walk down memory lane !
I lived and gardened up in this neck of the woods for about 6 years - even had my hand in the Mendocino Hotel Gardens when Doris Woods did the big remodeled planting back in the early 1980's.

Can't wait to see the Mendo Bot garden.
That used to be my main source of wholesale plants when it was run by Gary Ratway, and they had a wholesale nursery and growing grounds geared for the local professional gardeners.

Now a days Gary runs a very successful mail order retail nursery called Digging Dog.
It is located up on the Albion Ridge.

Looks like you two had a great time !

chuck b. said...

Four of us, actually. Guy's 'rents are here. They'd never been. One of them told me they got a picture of Jessica's house, will will forward it along. I'll add it back in here.

Pam, It's very cold here in the winter. Frost seems unlikely (maybe Michelle can tell us), but you must remember the Pacific Ocean north of Santa Barbara (Point Conception) is a cold, cold ocean.

Annie, Mendocino and Fort Bragg are not as expensive as Bay Area real estate. A best-seller, some residuals, maybe a movie option or two, and Jessica is set.

They had some great plants for sale in the Bot Garden nusrey. I bought an unusual Sisyrinchium I've never seen before, Mahonia aquifolium 'Compacta' which is very hard to find in my experience, and a passionflower who's cultivar name escapes me right now, but it's a girl's name.

Deviant Deziner said...

I had to come back again and look through the photos.
I am inspired to go up the coast this weekend now !

Yes, it does get quite cold in the winter.
I remember many wet cold winter days that went on for weeks yet gardening chores still needed to be done in order to keep my gardening clients happy.
( I primarily worked / had accounts in Bed and Breakfast gardens and not too many residential gardens)
Very rarely does it frost down on the coastal gardens but move just a mile or so up the ridge and one could wake up with the ocassional frost across their meadow.

I lived in a small cabin right on the ocean for most of the time I worked up there. The property is now a part of a Bed and Breakfast Inn called St. Orres Inn, which I also worked for as their gardener for about 6 years .

mmw said...

Wow, I haven't seen green leaves on Acanthus in months.

Also, you are a talented photographer, with a magical ability to make Amaryllis look less dingy than in real life.

lisa said...

I'm digging Mendocino! I can't believe all those "naked ladies" blooming everywhere....I bet the scent was delightful!