Sunday, July 17, 2016

UC Davis Arboretum on a Saturday morning in July

My favorite place to walk in Davis is the UC Davis Arboretum. This 100-acre public garden on the UC Davis campus is just a few miles from my house and it offers a quick and easy way to get away from it all. Plus, I seem to find something new to photograph almost every time I go (and have my camera along).

A couple of weeks ago I started at the eastern edge of the Arboretum where the Australian Collection is located. Yesterday I began at Putah Creek Lodge closer to the western edge. I walked through the Eric E. Conn Acacia Grove, the Southwest USA/Mexican Collection and then the South American Collection before checking out the progress of the plantings in and adjacent to the Putah Creek Lodge parking lot. You can follow along on this interactive map of the Arboretum.

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Few trees are as majestic as the California valley oak (Quercus lobatus). These specimens, while decades ago, are still young‘uns.

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Backlit grasses are a standout, especially when they’re in their summer prime.

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Acacia melanoxylon

In the Acacia Grove, many trees were perfectly backlit:

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Acacia cardiophylla

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Acacia pravissima

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Acacia dealbata

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Acacia dealbata

A few had still seed pods:

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Acacia podalyriifolia

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Acacia stenophylla

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Acacia boormanii. I asume the white things are seeds forming?

Putah Creek, the small waterway that goes right through the UC Davis Arboretum, is still covered with duckweed:

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Ruellia growing right down to the water

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California gray rush (Juncus patens)

More backlit beauties:

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LEFT: Bouteloua gracilis   RIGHT: purple-flowering Salvia greggii

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Valley oak sapling (Quercus lobata)

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Bladderpod (Isomeris arborea)

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Bladderpod (Isomeris arborea)

Some trees are still blooming:

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Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis)

More pictures from the Southwest USA/Mexico Collection:

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NOID yucca

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Agave americana ‘Lemon Lime’

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Naked coral tree (Erythrina coralloides)

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Naked coral tree (Erythrina coralloides)

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Desert spoon flower stalk (Dasylirion wheeleri)

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Desert spoon flower stalk (Dasylirion wheeleri)

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Gaura lindheimeri behind a NOID yucca

South American Collection:

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Another standout tree, this one a cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli):

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I first blogged about the Putah Creek Lodge parking lot plantings last November. I missed doing a spring update, but I was very happy with how nice it looks in the height of summer.

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According to this article on the UC Davis Arboretum website:

Created by GATEways Horticulturist Ryan Deering along with our campus landscape architects, Sustainable Horticulture Learning by Leading students, talented volunteers, and accomplished Grounds and Landscape Services staff, these landscapes demonstrate the craft of designing interesting landscapes from a relatively short list of ornamental plants combined in different ways to create dramatic displays. 

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Yellow gaillardias and purple daisies

I love the many different layers and textures and the use of a limited palette of complementary colors. And to top it all off, these kinds of plants handle our summer heat with aplomb and make do with little water.

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Red buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens)

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Masterfully layered tapestries

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Agave americana ‘Mediopicta alba’

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Gaura lindheimeri

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Seed heads from elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) are unexpected sculptural elements or, as horticulturist Ryan Deering calls them, “exclamation points”

6 comments:

  1. You're lucky to have this place in your area, what a gem of a garden!

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    1. I do know it. That's why I do what I can to support the Arboretum.

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  2. Nice post, nice garden. I am so fond of oaks and oats. My kind of country.

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  3. I'm very impressed by how well that parking lot landscape is doing. The photo of the red buckwheat has me asking (again) why I haven't planted any of that here.

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    1. I have one small red buckwheat and it's struggling. I think I need to give it more water to help it get established. I definitely want to get more!

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