Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ruth Bancroft Garden in February 2015

Sorry it took me the better part of a week to post more pictures from my visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden last Saturday but I had 200+ photos to go through. You’d think that after having been there so many times I’d run out of things to photograph, but the garden—like any garden—is ever changing and the dedicated staff is always redoing beds and adding more plants.

Let’s start outside the entrance. This is the first thing visitors see, yet once they’ve parked their car they’re so overwhelmed by the garden proper that most of them don’t step back outside to take a closer look at these plantings.

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The yellow-flowering bush is Sedum dendroideum

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Sedum dendroideum

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Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Variegata’ (aka ‘Butterfinger’). Yikes, this is what the 1-gallon plant I just purchased at the RBG could turn into if planted in the ground. Unless a large space opens up somewhere in my garden, my ‘Butterfinger’ will remain in a pot.

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Aloe × ramossisima

Now let’s move inside the wall and wend our way through the garden. Here is a handy map for reference. My photos aren’t in any particular order, but chances are that’s how you experience the garden.

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Agave parrasana

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Agave victoria-reginae

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Agave salmiana. Note how wavy some of the leaves are.

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Aloe wickensii (often clumped together with Aloe cryptopoda, which has all-red flowers)

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Aloe wickensii. Aren’t the flowers stunning?

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Yucca ‘Tiny Star’ and Cephalophyllum ‘Red Spike’

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Leucospermum ‘Scarlet Ribbon’, the same pincushion hybrid I bought

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Agave heaven

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Study in silver and green

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I believe the blooming shrub is Senna artemisioides

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Agave havardiana × Agave gigantensis

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Variegated Agave parryi

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Aloe ferox?

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Hechtia texensis. I’ve been looking for one for years. Why are they so rare? They’re from Texas, for crying out loud!

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Agave colorata × Agave parrasana hybrid. The plant behind it is Xanthorrhoea nana, one of the Australian grass trees. This dwarf species will form a short trunk (to 2 ft.) over time.

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Unlabeled Opuntia

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Furcraea macdougallii

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Aloe ‘Hellskloof Bells’, a hybrid between Aloe distans and Aloe pearsonii, created by Brian Kemble in 1991. Check out the stunning flowers here.

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Newly planted area

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This Leucadendron is still small and not that impressive yet, but it will be over time. I’m so happy to see more and more southern hemisphere shrubs at the RBG.

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Every time I visit the RBG, I have visions of sitting at one of these tables, but so far I never have

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Agave ovatifolia, Pedilanthus macrocarpus, and Aechmea species

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Aechmea species

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Agave ovatifolia

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Aloe distans creeping along the ground, as it’s wont to do

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Agave franzosinii

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Beaucarnea recurvata

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Aloe ellenbeckii

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Echeverias tucked between the rocks

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Flowering aloes…

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…and more flowering aloes

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The purple flowering plant in the foreground is Eromophila hygrophana from Western Australia

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One of several metal arches, a relatively recent addition

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Unlabeled aloe species

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Aloe castanea

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Aloe ‘Who Knows What It Is’

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Lampranthus spectabilis

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Aloe glauca

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Another metal arch

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Aloidendron ‘Hercules’

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola with its very distinctive flowers

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

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I find ice plants very difficult to identify. This, and the plant below, could be so many things. I won’t even attempt an ID.

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Variegated yucca, possibly ‘Bright Star’

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Parodia magnifica

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Yep, this is a photographer’s paradise

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Central bed with winter covering

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Central bed

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola (left), Agave gypsophila (right)

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Unknown flowering aloe

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Agave attenuata ‘Variegata’ with winter damage—even the protective plastic over the central bed was able to prevent this. Agave attenuata is so tender, I wonder why any of us even bother!

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Leucadendron ‘Ebony’. This is the largest specimen of this hybrid I’ve ever seen. I was particularly thrilled to see two inflorescences.

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Leucadendron ‘Ebony’ inflorescence. Fantastic coloration!

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Yucca faxoniana

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Aloe arborescens, with the nursery visible in the background

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Another inviting spot to sit, surrounded by Aloe arborescens

14 comments:

  1. In another 30 days I will be there myself. Can't wait! Beautiful photos Gerhard; thanks for sharing them with us!

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    1. Perfect timing! At least you now have a good idea of what wonderful things are waiting for you :-).

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  2. Love the photos! And the flowers on that capitata are scrumptious!

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    1. I hope my capitatas will bloom soon. I have four, but one doesn't get much sun and probably will never flower.

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  3. I love your remark about taking 200 photos even though you visit and and take photos frequently..this garden is so photogenic I just take more and more every time. Too bad thery don't open at 7am !

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    1. I'm thinking that when I retire (or if...) I'll volunteer there.

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  4. Wonderful. I'm so glad you photographed Leucadendron ‘Ebony'i was wondering how it had grown.

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    1. Troy McGregor, the nursery manager, told me that their 'Ebony' was one of the first released in the U.S. That's why it's bigger than what we have.

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  5. Beautiful photos -- too many favorites to name. Between this post and the one on the RBG's newly expanded nursery, I'm tempted to ditch work tomorrow and drive north. Darn day job. (Kidding -- love you, day job! Money for plants!)

    The unknown flowering aloe (above the damaged attenuata) looks like Aloe africana: Link

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    1. Funny, I thought of Aloe africana, too. Although I should add that Aloe africana is what I always think of first when I see this kind of tall single-stemmed aloe :-).

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  6. One never tires of seeing photos of this garden Gerhard!

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  7. Thanks again for taking me to another adventure of the development of RB Garden. The Garden Gate is beautiful. I need to get there soon. I must make room for an A. Gypsophila. As always great shots.

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    1. Laura, as beautiful as A. gypsophila is, it's not very hardy. Remember, we're supposed to remind each other NOT to plant any more wimpy agaves!

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