Sunday, November 13, 2016

Ruth Bancroft Garden in early November (1 of 2)

In a typical year, I make it to the Ruth Bancroft Garden (RBG) three or four times if I’m lucky. This year has been anything but typical. Just since July, I’ve been to the RBG six times already!

A couple of times I met up with friends from out of town, including Hoover Boo of Piece of Eden. And last Sunday I went with my friend Ursula from Davis. In fact, she was the one who suggested it since I’ve talked so much about the RBG over the years.

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Agave parrasana and Senna artemisioides

Ursula and I spent almost three hours wandering around the garden. Fellow succulent aficionado Stephen Lysaght, the RBG’s garden host, gave us a tour of the shade house where smaller, more sensitive succulents live. You’ll see some of them below.Thanks to a thin cloud layer, the light was nicely diffused, which made for softer photographs than I’m usually able to take at the RBG.

Let me share with you the wonderful sights I saw on Sunday. As many times as I’ve been to the RBG, I still find new plants to photograph—or new ways to photograph familiar ones. That makes me happy,

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Trees planted on the outside of the wall along Bancroft Road provide a beautiful wall of color at this time of year

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Agave victoria-reginae

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Agave nickelsiae (formerly known as Agave ferdinandi-regis)

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Possibly Aloe fosteri

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Agave guadalajarana

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Brunsvigia josephinae just leafing out. This is one of the most spectacular South African bulbs.

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Ferocactus pottsii fruit

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Flowering aloes and dried flower stalks of Puya berteroniana

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Bromelia serra ‘Variegata’

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The next set of photos was taken inside the shade house.

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Agave isthmensis ‘Ohi Raijin Shirofu’

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Agave pygmae

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Encephalartos horridus

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Agave guadalarajana and NOID Dyckia

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Hechtia lanata

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Dyckia hybrid, maybe ‘Brittle Star’

Now we’re back outside, continuing our zigzag through the garden. I don’t think I’ve ever crisscrossed the garden quite as many times as I did last Sunday!

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×Mangave ‘Espresso’, a creamy-edged version of ‘Macho Mocha

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Ursula, meet opuntia. Opuntia, meet Ursula!

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Agave cerulata ssp. subcerulata

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Aloidendron ‘Hercules’. Hard to imagine mine has the potential to reach this height!

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More fall color

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Agave parrasana with particularly attractive teeth and bud imprints

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Agave parrasana

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More fall color on the other side of agave land

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Agave applanata ‘Cream Spike’. Look how many babies there are!

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Agave ovatifolia

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Pleiospilos compactus

Click here for part 2 of this post.

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16 comments:

  1. About those trees ... we drove up the 5 to the 580 to the 101 to Rohnert Park to Davis and back home last weekend. These colorful trees were everywhere. I did not know them. They are not native. They are planted in the rest areas and along the city streets and even the causeway along San Pablo Bay, I-80 to Sacto. There is even one in my granddaughter's apartment courtyard. They are not acers. The leaf is compound with pointed tips. I've come to the conclusion that they are either Chinese pistache or Rhus lanceolata, the prairie flame tree, both in the Anacardiaceae or sumac family. The Rhus laceolata is said to grow and color well in desert areas. And I've seen the pistache in brilliant color in dry places like Hwy 99 in Bakersfield. Any divergent opinions are quite welcome. This a great mystery to me that I would like to solve.

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    1. Jane, there are a lot of Chinese pistache trees around here. In fact, we have one in our backyard. Ours is just now starting to turn color.

      I really wish now I'd walked over to those trees to see what they were.

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    2. P.S. The next time you find yourself in Davis, please come by!

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  2. That backdrop of fall color with blue agaves is spectacular. I don't think I've seen that before!

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    1. Neither had I! This is the first time I've caught the fall color peak at the RBG.

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  3. The Hechtia is dreamy and the Encephalartos even better.

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    1. I'm looking for a Hechtia lanata now :-).

      I have an Encephalartos horridus, but it's tiny. It'll take 30 years or longer to get to the size of the specimen at the RBG. I wonder if I'll be able to bring it with me to the old folks' home when the time comes?

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  4. I echo the other commentators - that fall color adds a whole new dimension to your as always beautiful photos. The post also reinforces the realization that there are SO many agaves with which I'm still unacquainted.

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    1. Kris, I know you mean about agaves! I try to keep up, but new species are still being discovered (as well as new cultivars selected and hybrids created). I find that very exciting.

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  5. Dang it's so pretty. I need to pay it a visit before it gets too cold. But then I can always look at your beautiful photos.

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    1. Cold? Will it *ever* get cold this year? Seriously, mid-70s in the middle of November? Not that I'm complaining--I hate the cold.

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  6. How great that you made it on an overcast day ! Sure makes the colors pop. The foliage on that Brunsvigia is exquisite ..

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    Replies
    1. I lucked out, seeing how it's sunny there almost 300 days of the year :-).

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  7. Wowsa...lovely photos Gerhard, I'm especially enamored with the Hechtia lanata.

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  8. Swoon. Thanks for the great images! They're a balm to my rain-weary PNW eyes.

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