I played hookie--again. This was spontaneous hookie; I planned last week's hoookie several days in advance. (And, technically, neither was true hookie; I used my vacation time.)

Anyhow, last night, my soil science teacher invited some of us to accompany his introductory horticulture class on a field trip to Filoli. I'd never been. This place isn't my style at all (in fact, it's rather antithetical to my style), but whatever. When you live in the Bay Area and people find out you garden, it's always, "Have you been to Filoli? Oh my god, Filoli's so beautiful!" Filoli, Filoli, Filoli!

It is beautiful--if you like the relentless, aggressive structure of the formal garden. Me, not so much.

It was good to see a few things I've heard about many times over the years, especially the Camperdown elms.

Sooo, wanna see some pictures?


The front door.


Plantings around the entry courtyard.

Acer palmatum




Tulips and muscari in the...portico?



They sell (mostly unspectacular) plants in a courtyard behind the house. But this is lovely.


Now we'll just wander around if that's okay.

Easter tulip scene...




Hydrangea petiolaris. For whatever reason, this plant is rarely used in California. (But it's widely available on a seasonal basis and I have two in my garden.)










Tulips and erysimum (wallflower); I really like wallflower. The Bay Area has at least two or three native wallfowers; I have a terrible time getting them to grow in my garden.


This is very groovy. A celtic knot in plants.


Hard to take a picture of.


It should be planted under an overlook, of which there are many at Filoli, so it can be better appreciated.

They have little ones too.


I want all of us to try growing one of these, okay?

I saved the best for last.


Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii'. If you're a plant lover who's never seen one of these in bloom, it's worth going out of your way for.



Really, one of horticulture's greatest aesthetic achievements. Hard to enjoy it with all these people around.


The canopy weeps down to the ground.




Actually, it doesn't end here.

We have more tulips.





Now I have to find something good to end with.

Cedrus atlantica glauca.



Anonymous said...

What can I say. It was all lovely--definitely worth playing hooky for. That flower-tree is amazing.

Delphine said...

J'aime beaucoup le rosier Banksiae Lutea Chinensis qui est very nice. What is the bizarre tree with hanging lettuces ? can it grow in my climate, do you think so my american guru ?

lisa said...

Nice tour! I don't really like formal gardens too much, either, but that place is pretty nice-especially the tulips! And that Wisteria is to die for-I'm getting one this year that's a new cultivar, 'Blue Moon', and it's supposed to be cold hardy to zone 3. Love all those mature blooming trees, too....so glad you bring me warm weather, since I have none yet!

chuck b. said...

You mean sunny, warm-looking weather. It was actually rather brisk, and when the wind blew, unpleasantly cold. If that helps you feel better. :)

Or maybe worse, I don't know.

mmw said...

Yeah, what happens in a week when the wisteria and tulips are done?

Do like that Elm though. Resistant to DED?

chuck b. said...

I did a Google search on that when i got home last night; it's not resistant to DED at all. I guess we don't have that as a big problem on the west coast tho...

chuck b. said...

Oh, and after tulips come acres of roses.

Christopher C. NC said...

It is lovely but so not California.

I may be working in a place like that soon. I hope. From what I have seen of the NC Aboretum though they have much more diversity. Granted I have not been there in the spring for the bulb season.

chuck b. said...

Delphine--I'm sure the Camperdown elm would grow well in France. Probably anywhere in France.

Anonymous said...

My daughter in Austin sent me your link....I live in Tulsa, Ok. OH, OH, OH....how lovely are the gardens. I can't imagine living amoung all that glory! Thanks for sharing! june

chuck b. said...

Thank you, June. Whose mother are you?

So, my blog is mother-safe. Maybe I should give it a kinder name.

lisa said...

I wouldn't change your blog name, Chuck...it's AWESOME! (I'm a mother, too BTW.)

Carol Michel said...

Awesome. I love the tulips especially.

Phillip Oliver said...

Thanks for the mention Chuck! This is pretty spectacular. For some reason, I was getting this garden mixed up with another one - what is the one started by a silent screen actress and has all the bizarre cactus plantings? Do you know the one I'm talking about? I can't think of the actress either and it is driving me nuts.

chuck b. said...

I don't, sorry. Is that Lotusland? That's down around Santa Barbara and I've never been there and I'm not aware of any memorably bizarre cactus plantings there.

The well-known cactus garden (that I've blogged about) in my area is the Ruth Bancroft Garden, but she was an architect, not an silent film actress.

Phillip Oliver said...

Lotusland - that's it!

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Nice photographs , they brought back memories for me as I was a horticulturist there in 1986.

Looks like you had a pretty nice day at Filoli.

Thanks for the tour.


Anonymous said...

I just checked back after your comment at Garden Rant. Still beautiful.

And I notice that my mother is getting around in blog-land these days. I didn't know that she'd commented on your site. Had you already figured out who the Tulsa mom is?

chuck b. said...

Yes, I had a hunch it was your mom. :) At first, I was surprised and nervous. Yikes--someone's *mother* is reading my blog--I better watch my language and the other things I talk about sometimes! Of course, I know several of my visitors are mothers, but still. Too funny!

Anonymous said...

As another reader noted, I am a mother too, so watch out---there may be more mothers reading than you realize. ;-) Actually, my mom is no shrinking violet, has a pretty salty vocabulary, and is open-minded. No worries.

What I find a little disconcerting is when my mother comments on my own blog. When Worlds Collide, and all that. Does your mother read and/or comment on yours?

chuck b. said...

My mom died a few years ago, and only a handful of people (three, including Guy) know that I blog.

As much as I "serve it up" on whoreticulture, this is something I do fundamentally for me; I don't want it burdened with the expectations of others. Or, more likely, my perceptions of their expectations.

If folks dig it, that's awesome, but I don't discuss the blog in my "real" life.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your mom, Chuck. I guess you mean only a handful of "real" people know that you blog, because there's a whole lot of internet visitors who know, and appreciate, your blog.

Once you know that you have readers, it *is* hard to keep your perceptions of their perceptions out of your head. I struggle with that too.

Anyway, back to real life.

JoJo said...

Filoli gardens are a perfect example of what the Bourne family wanted to express: the formal English garden with California/Mediterranean climite orientation. It isn't meant to be compared with anyone's specific likes/dislikes. Preserving the gardens of yore should be admired for what they were/are not compared to the less formal notions of other times.