Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ruth Bancroft Garden July 2017 private garden tour, part 4

After drooling over the front yard of Julia's house in Walnut Creek, CA, it was time to check out the backyard. While not as succulent-centric—it's much shadier—it has the same level of sophistication.

The hardscaping around the pool may be not be for everyone, but it reflects the homeowner's easy-going elegance.



Under the trellis the lighting was very challenging, making it difficult to show you the amazing fan aloe (Kumara plicatilic) at the edge of the pool. I can't wait for mine to get to that size; they're not fast-growing in containers.


You can catch a better glimpse of the fan aloe in the next photo:


Equally drool-worthy was this Euphorbia ammak 'Variegata'. Quite sensitive to cold temperatures, it is naturally protected in this spot against the house.


More eye-catching vignettes:



Note the succulent-themed paintings!





I really like the combination below. The cactus-like plant is variegated Indian corn cob (Euphorbia mammillaris var. variegata); the pinkish one looks like a Graptopetalum hybrid.



Wrapping up this post, I want to show you a few photos of the garden next door, which was also part of the Ruth Bancroft Garden tour. I didn't get a chance to talk to the homeowner so I don't know the history but it looks to me like Julia's passion for succulents, and water-wise plants in general, has spread across property lines. I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the succulents were pass-alongs from her. The similarities are very obvious, creating a level of continuity between these adjacent properties that you almost never see.











Finally, a word of thanks to the wonderful people at the Ruth Bancroft Garden who organized this tour. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to see private gardens I would otherwise not get to see. Please make this tour a regular event—maybe even twice a year!


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13 comments:

  1. The backyard of the 4th home was largely a water feature -- beautiful, but very shady. Disturbing to me was a large Cereus peruvianus that was planted in the rear of the pond, in deep shade. It was languishing with droooping arms -- clearly in the wrong environment. It was unclear to me whether the landscape architect of the home next door had been involved in this landscape; it sounded like, in talking with the man of the house, that the wife was the driving factor in the creation of the garden.

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    1. Yes, I felt for that large cereus, too, but it probably was happier than we thought. They're fairly adaptable--to a point.

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  2. That was a great tour. I can't think of any tours here that focus on a specific kind of garden esthetic as this one did but it's a stroke of genius in my view.

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    1. I think that this year, more than even last year or two years ago, it's crucial to emphasis how important water-wise landscaping is. After the wet winter we had, people tend to ignore the fact that California is essentially in a semi-permanent state of drought.

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  3. The garden is really beautiful and elegantly planted but I'm love with the house!

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    1. Oh yes, this part of Walnut Creek has some very nice established neighborhoods.

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  4. I love all the blue accents! A lovely garden to tour!

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    1. I'm not a fan of the color blue inside the house, but I do love it outside.

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  5. The Kumara looks good.

    That Echinopsis(?) flower is a stunner. More than one of the americanas next door are going to need to come out next spring--too close to the walkways. Nice overall tour, its good to see the variety.

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    1. Someday I'm going to write a post about what I really think of Agave americana. The only reason it's so widely planted is because it's a weed that produces more offsets than anybody knows what to do with.

      Here's some advice: rip out those pups and THROW THEM IN THE COMPOST.

      Or burn them!

      Or better yet, take 1,000 of them to Burning Man and create a big spectacle!

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  6. I spoke for a while to Julias neighbor. He told me that he dug out the pond himself soon after moving into the house- I want to say it was the late 70's but I could have misheard that-and he introduced me to his dog. And he has a rain catchment system too.

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    1. Rain catchment is cool! It's those invisible things that often make a garden special.

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  7. The blue accents look fabulous. What a great garden to visit. There is a Waterwise tour here, but our waterwise gardens have a different look. So fun to see what works in different parts of the country.

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