Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, part 2

In part 1 of this 3-part series on the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (MCBG) I showed you the entrance plantings and the nursery. In this post we’ll take a look at the Perennial Garden in the large meadow just down the steps from the entry plaza. (In the next photo, the entrance and gift shop are straight ahead; the nursery is on the left.)

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From the MCBG web site:

Designed by Gary Ratway in 1980, the group of irregular island beds in our Perennial Garden provides a pleasing display of an unusually large number of perennials, as well as woody specimens. The beds are mounded to ensure drainage because of the high water table here. From old favorites to rare species, the Perennial Garden is bursting with blooms spring through autumn and is alive with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Visitors find inspiration for their home gardens in the plant combinations here. Plants are displayed in dramatic sweeps, with striking color combinations and variations in form and texture, in addition to exciting landscaping features such as boulders, sculptures, and pond. Many of the unusual plants are available for purchase in Nursery on the Plaza.

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I’m a sucker for tapestries—plantings so dense that they become a tableau of contrasting or complementary colors. Vignettes like that abound in the Perennial Garden, as you will see.
 
Walking through this peaceful garden at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I felt as relaxed as I hadn’t in a long time.

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Variegated Hylotelephium telephium (formerly known as Sedum telephium)

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Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’. This member of the carrot family reminded me of Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), a distant relative.

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Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’

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The Perennial Garden also contains several striking dwarf conifers, like this European weeping purple beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Pendula’)…

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…or this Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani ‘Sargentii’)

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These dwarf conifers make me somewhat uncomfortable—they look like they’re haunted, or in pain.

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Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’)…

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…and sea thrift (Armeria maritima ‘Rubrifolia’)

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Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana ‘Wate’s Golden’)

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“Let Bee” steel sculpture by Keena Good, yours for only $17,000

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Western redcedar (Thuja plicata ‘Whipcord’)

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Limestone conebush (Leucadendron meridianum)

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Dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’)

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Dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’)

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What a great place to sit and enjoy the tranquility of this garden

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My favorite restio again, Elegia capensis, surrounded by colorful perennials like purple-leaved Lobelia × speciosa

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Elegia capensis

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Elegia capensis

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Elegia capensis, Lobelia × speciosa, Verbena bonariensis and many others

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Lobelia × speciosa and Sacred Flower of the Incas (Cantua buxifolia)

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LEFT: Purple smokebush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Purpureus’)
RIGHT: Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)

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Stipa gigantea

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Stipa gigantea

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NOID dahlia

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Festival grass (Cordyline ‘Jurred’)

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Festival grass (Cordyline ‘Jurred’)

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Sacred Flower of the Incas (Cantua buxifolia)

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Abutilon megapotamicum

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Abutilon megapotamicum and Rudbeckia triloba

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Grace’ smokebush (Cotinus ‘Grace’) in a sea of Rudbeckia triloba

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LEFT: Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ RIGHT: Rudbeckia triloba

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Approaching the Rose Garden (which I skipped because I didn’t have enough time)

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Lobelia sp. and black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens')

In part 3, we’ll visit the Heath and Heather Garden and the Succulent/Mediterranean Garden.

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7 comments:

  1. That Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’ really caught my eye. Was the bright red/pink a bloom? I wonder if mine will bloom? BTW those plants are tough. I got a crazy idea and moved mine in early August right before a extra hot spell. It wilted, I watered (lots) and all is well now. I lesser plant would have just turned crispy.

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    1. Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’: No, the flowers apparently are insignificant and white. The redding tinge was on the leaves. I don't know what causes it. Maybe it's the plant's fall color?

      In any case, it's a striking plant. Unfortunately, since it needs constant moisture, it wouldn't do well in my garden :-(.

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  2. The colours look amazing, the way they have woven them together to result in a beautiful tapestry. The Eupatorium Elegant Feather I'll have to keep an eye on. The photo with the bench is my favourite of the lot btw :)

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    1. The photo with the bench is one of my favorites, too. Such a peaceful spot surrounded by so much beauty.

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  3. I also love those tapestries. I must learn how to make one. I´m learning about many new plants in these posts! thanks!! :)

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    1. Me too, Lisa! Many of these plants wouldn't do well in our summer heat (above 100°F on some days). On the Mendocino Coast, 80°F would be considered a hot day.

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    2. Oh, then I´m afraid they wouldn't do well in my summer in Spain either..

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