11/05/2007

The Blake Garden in November

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The Blake Garden is only open during regular business hours, so I can only come when I'm not at work.

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Happily, I'm off for awhile.

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Whenever I have time off work, I ask myself, Can I visit to the Blake Garden?

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The answer is always the same.

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Yes!

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I can't believe the tree dahlias are already blooming in November.

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This event is still two months away in my garden.

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And I have the double white, which is rarer. I wish I had this more common one instead.

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This herb garden looks very exciting. I want this.

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Cyclamen massed in the ground is really sweet. Usually you see it in pots, don't you? They don't grow under redwoods in nature, but that's okay here.

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I have a terrible time just sitting down in a garden and enjoying a moment. I have to keep moving! It's always afterwards that I wish I'd sat for a minute.

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You've seen the Echium wildprettii in my garden, this is another Echium, Echium piniana. E. wildprettii sends up an inflorescent spire from a basal rosette; E. piniana grows 4-12' high on a trunk, and then sends up an inflorescent spire.

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Eriogonum arborescens in late summer dormancy... I'm like this plant's patron saint.

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I love it.

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And this is E. giganteum, next to the green manzanita.

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Another place to sit and rest that I didn't take advantage of.

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I think the Maytens tree is an interesting mixture of comfort and menace; comforting green leaves rustling in the breezes, swaying on casually weeping stems, menacingly contorted dark wood threatening to poke and grab.

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The grasses capture the light and the wind.

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Pardon my Piet Oudolf moment.

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I like a trellis with many layers like this.

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Probably triples the construction cost.

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I just think it looks better than a single layer.

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If I'd sat down here, I would have stayed until the sun went down contemplating the life of this tree.

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Unless it serves as a barrier, I think people plant this Puya at their peril.

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It has this flower once in awhile. But if it was my garden, I'd rip it all out.

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The manzanita trunk draws the eye from 100 feet away.

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On the other side, looking back to where I just was.

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This is a classic combination of the California chaparral.

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That gray Salvia is dead above ground, and bone dry. The oily resins in manzanita wood burn hot. In California, plant this combination at the back of your property, or better yet, just appreciate it in parks and public gardens. This would certainly be an unwise foundation planting in many situations.

Sure is pretty tho'.

I was just here a few months ago.

6 comments:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Why is the Puya so perilous to plant?

(Yeah, that was fun to type. *grin*)

Pam/Digging said...

The mahogany bark of the manzanita against the gray salvia is a gorgeous combination. Also the roses. And the tree dahlia! Amazing--like pink stars winking at you in a blue sky.

Sorry to hear about your job, Chuck. But I'm glad you have found the silver lining in having time for garden visits like this one. I enjoyed tagging along.

lisa said...

I really enjoy your Blake visits, though not as much as you do, I'm sure. So the mums are blooming in Cali too? I don't know why, but I'm surprised. I like the herb garden also...I hope you'll post a picture again when it's filled in. I really LOVE that cyclamen and the pond area in the redwoods...so inviting! Is the manzanita bark as red as it looks in the picture?

mmw said...

Puyas form ~2 to 6 foot (depending on the species) rosettes of spiny leaves. In itself perhaps not such a big deal, but they offset like motherfuckers, forming solid masses of pain. I'm slowly realing that I'm going to have to get rid of mine... I just have no idea how.

chuck b. said...

Manzanita bark really is that color, and that's exactly the problem with those puyas. Throw in some cobwebs, a cover of fallen leaves or needles, and whatever other debris blows in on the wind, and you've got a horrorshow that never ends.

Gardener of La Mancha said...

Ya, I've got two Puya alpestris in pots from a yard sale (for free because no one wanted them). They are super sharp, but the idea of turquoise flowers in spring is hard to resist. The pots are choked with offsets and I'll probably never venture to divide and repot.