Ruth Bancroft Garden in early November (2 of 2)
Moving right along, here is part two about my recent Sunday outing to the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. If you missed part 1, click here to start at the beginning.
Another favorite garden vista
More fall color
Ursula was the perfect model to provide scale, here next to a ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
One of several massive agaves in the garden. Labeled Agave rasconensis when planted (an old synonym for Agave americana), it looks more like Agave franzosinii.
So much to look at, but my eyes were firmly focused on the palo blanco tree (Mariosousa willardiana). I’ve been enamored with this acacia from Sonora, Mexico for years now, and in the spring we planted one in the front yard where the lawn had been.
Another view of Aloidendron ‘Hercules’. This tree aloe is a hybrid between Aloidendron barberae and Aloidendron dichotomum.
Manzanita ‘Ruth Bancroft’ (Arctostaphylos ‘Ruth Bancroft’), a hybrid of unknown parentage found in the garden years ago. I’ve always admired the richly colored bark contrasted by the gray-green leaves. I recently bought a cutting, to be planted in our garden.
Agave salmiana (left), permanent shade structure in the center of the garden (right)
Jelly palm (Butia capitata)
The work never ends
Newly overhauled bed, thanks to the tireless efforts of assistant curator Walker Young and horticulturist Ryan Penn. As you can see, they are continuing to expand the plant palette on display at the garden.
I was very excited to see that Sturt’s desert pea (Swainsona formosa) is back. As garden curator Brian Kemble said in the RBG’s Tumblr feed:
We had several plants of this species that flowered at the Ruth Bancroft Garden a couple of years ago, but they did not persist. The species is actually a short-lived perennial, but it often does not last more than one season in cultivation. Time will tell if this one will last into next year, but in any case it is putting on a great show now. In contrast to our earlier specimens, which had very dark “eyes” at the center of each flower (almost black), this one has red eyes. Both color forms have drawn lots of attention. The species has a large distribution across the southern part of Australia, and is the floral emblem of the state of South Australia.
I bought a packet of Swainsona formosa seeds at the RBG a couple of years ago, and while a few of them germinated, I wasn’t able to keep the seedlings alive.
More cool stuff:
Acacia pendula and Agave salmiana with wrinkled leaves (see here)
Probably the best fall color vignette in the garden
Ice plants in bloom. I have no idea which genus, let alone species.
Ferocactus and Fouquieria
Ephedra equisetina and Eriogonum giganteum
Ephedra equisetina (blue) and Ephedra nevadensis (green)
Agave shawii and Opuntia sp.
One of my favorite vignette in the garden
Still looking for my own Xanthorrhoea nana…
LEFT: Agave bovicornuta × colorata RIGHT: Agave potatorum × colorata
Pink pokers (Grevillea petrophiloides)
Could this be a dead wire netting bush (Corokia cotoneaster) inside this clump of Opuntia?
Early-blooming California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) nestled inside a Hesperoyucca whipplei
Glimpses of Yucca rigida
Lachenalia rubida, a bulb from the west coast of South Africa near Cape Town. It’s a close relative of the Lachenalia I planted in own garden this past spring.
Acacia cognata ‘Cousin Itt’