Entrance plantings at Ruth Bancroft Garden

When I visit the Ruth Bancroft Garden (RBG) in Walnut Creek, I typically focus on what’s inside the walls. Last Saturday, after the Lover’s Day Aloe Tour was over, I decided to photograph what’s outside the gate at 1552 Bancroft Road: the entrance garden. It’s not a big area, but it’s packed with succulent goodies. This is the first thing you see as you approach the garden, and it’s a nice preview of the treasures waiting for you inside. Granted, these plantings are not as mature as the ones in the actual garden, but they represent a nice cross section of xeric plants that thrive in our area.

Note about parking: When visiting the RBG during regular hours, park in the small lot next to the office at 1552 Bancroft Road. This is where the entrance garden you see in this post is located. For special events (including plant sales), you take the north entrance at 1500 Bancroft Road and park behind the garden.


Plantings along Bancroft Road


Plantings along Bancroft Road


Tree stonecrop (Sedum dendroideum)


The agave on the left is Agave schidigera; the aloe on the right is Aloe broomii


Aloe broomii

140208_RBG_Aloe-broomii- -Agave-shidigera_001

Agave schidigera and Aloe broomii


Agave montana


Agave montana


Agave montana


Agave nickelsiae

140208_RBG_Aloe-microstigma- -Opuntia-Santa-Rita_002

Opuntia ‘Baby Rita’ and Aloe microstigma

140208_RBG_Aloe-microstigma_001  140208_RBG_Aloe-microstigma_002

Aloe microstigma

140208_RBG_Aloe-microstigma-yellow-form_001  140208_RBG_Aloe-microstigma-yellow-form_003

Aloe microstigma, yellow-flowering form


Agave gentryi


Agave gentryi

To see Google Street View images of the entrance garden, click here. It’s clear these images were taken several years ago; the plants are larger now and some have been replaced.


  1. They look great and pristine! And as a bonus no winter shelters so it looks like the photos were taken on a damp spring day rather than winter.

    1. I think all the plantings in this area are hardy so winter protection isn't needed.

  2. Those aloe blooms are so yummy! And not a weed in sight. Must have super great grounds keepers.

  3. I know it's not the focus of these photos, but ooooooh, I want an Opuntia that's taller than a fence!

    Also, what are the grey, wooly cactus spires on the right side of the last image? Wonderful!

    1. That's a very nice opuntia, I agree. Not sure which species it is.

      The wooly spires on the right is a Cleistocactus, but I can't tell you the exact species (maybe Cleistocactus straussii?).


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