Spring at the Ruth Bancroft Garden
After I’d done all the damage I could at the Ruth Bancroft Garden’s spring plant sale last Saturday, I took a leisurely stroll through the garden. I’ve been here so many times, I’m always afraid of running out of things to photograph. Fortunately, the garden continues to evolve and I always find new things to take pictures of—or I take more photos of my favorite plants.
April is a great time to visit. There is so much in bloom, and the temperatures are still reasonably mild. Join me on as I meander through the garden. You might be inspired to transform your own garden into a miniature RBG!
A big thank you to Brian Kemble, curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, for helping me ID some of the plants in these photos.
One of the first groups of plants visitors see as they enter the garden proper from the parking lot near the office
This is a good spot to see agaves in bloom
Agave parryi var. truncata
BOTTOM: Yucca carnerosana TOP: Yucca rigida
LEFT: Yucca carnerosana RIGHT: Yucca rigida
The comical-looking aloe in the middle is the tilt-head aloe (Aloe speciosa). To the left: Agave tequilana. To the right: Aloe excelsa × cameronii
Backlit aloe flowers glowing like jewels (according to Brian Kemble, “this […] is an old hybrid whose parentage we do not know, though it clearly has a maculate Aloe in its parentage”)
I took this photo because of the blooming Leucospermum ‘Succession’ in the lower right
What a great combination: Purple aeoniums behind an ice-blue whale’s tongue agave (Agave ovatifolia)
Queensland bottle tree (Brachychiton rupestris)
One my favorite agaves at the RBG, a hybrid between Agave havardiana and Agava gigantensis. I’ve never seen it offered for sale anywhere.
Variegated Agave parryi
Agave colorata × bovicornuta
Agave cerulata spp. subcerulata
I love to visit this little guy to see how fast he’s growing (not very). It’s a small boojum tree (Fouquieria columnaris) from Baja California.
Fouquieria diguetii, a close relative of the ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), which the RBG also grows (I just need to find out where). I’d been wondering for a long time if it’s possible to grow ocotillo in our area (Walnut Creek has pretty much the same climate as Davis). The secret is lots of heat and good drainage.
Prickly pear and California poppy tapestry
Whoever chose this table-and-chair set picked the perfect color
LEFT: Agave franzosinii RIGHT: Aloidendron ‘Hercules’
Juvenile Agave ovatifolia
Bloomed-out Agave schidigera ‘Durango Delight’
LEFT: Aloe capitata v. quartziticola × cryptopoda RIGHT: Aloe striata
LEFT: Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Butterfinger’ TOP RIGHT: Agave ‘Mr Ripple’
BOTTOM RIGHT: Agave parrasana
Agave salmiana var. ferox ‘Butterfinger’. I bought a small plant earlier this year. Yikes, it will get big if unleashed!
TOP: Agave ‘Mr Ripple’ BOTTOM: Agave parrasana
FRONT: golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) BACK: purple broom (Polygala virgata)
Backlit Cleistocactus hyalacanthus
FRONT: Agave striata BACK: Agave parryi
LEFT: Manfreda guttata ‘Jaguar’ RIGHT: Echeveria agavoides
Manfreda guttata ‘Jaguar’
Agave parryi var. truncata and Euphorbia inermis var huttonae
Euphorbia inermis var huttonae
TOP: Agave gypsophila BOTTOM: Aloe capitata var, quartziticola
LEFT: Agave guiengola RIGHT: Agave guadalajarana
LEFT: Agave guadalajarana RIGHT: Agave nickelsiae
Dyckias in bloom
Agave mitis getting ready to flower
Assorted succulents reminding me of an under-the-sea garden
The agaves at the top are a hybrid similar to ‘Blue Glow’ but dating back to the 1980s (no known cultivar name)
Finally, I’d like to direct you to this video created to solicit support for the new Visitor and Education Center Project at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. It gives a great overview of the history of Walnut Creek, the Bancroft property, and the RBG. Plus, you get to see quite a few of the plants I featured in this post. Don’t miss this video!