A league of its own: Casper's and Daryl's garden in Oakland (part 1)
All of us occasionally hear talk of very special gardens almost too good to be true.
“Have you been to so-and-so's garden? It's really something!”
“You haven't seen so-and-so's garden? You must go!”
“I can't believe you haven't visited so-and-so's garden. It's unreal!”
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit one of these gardens thanks to my friend Mat McGrath. He introduced me to Casper Curto who created the garden with his partner Daryl Ducharme. As it turns out, Casper and Daryl live just a few miles from my friends Justin and Max, and they all know each other (we went over to Justin's and Max's garden afterwards). Proof that it's a small world and that there's quite a network of gardeners and plant enthusiasts in the Bay Area.
|Justin, Max, and Casper in front of Casper and Daryl's Oakland house|
|My eyes immediately when to this elephant planter. Casper got it at Gardensia in Berkeley, a store that sells stone, metal and wood items from Indonesia and Southeast Asia.|
|When I saw the plants in this strip, I knew I was really going to like Casper's garden!|
|Bromeliads and succulents, what's not to like!|
|Long tresses of Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) hanging from a Japanese maple|
|Neoregelias in the same tree|
|The stairs are behind the lattice divider|
|×Sincoregelia 'Galactic Warrior'. ×Sincoregelia are hybrids between the genera Sincoraea and Neoregelia. They were known as ×Neophytum (Neoregelia + Orthophytum) until 2016 when 11 Orthophytum species were transferred to the newly resurrected genus Sincoraea (named after the Serra do Sincorá, a mountain ridge in northeastern Brazil where these 11 species occur).|
|In an “ordinary” garden, the fence would be just fence. No so here!|
|One of several staghorn ferns (Platycerium sp.)|
|Granite statues bought at Gardensia|
|Look back at the deck and the house|
|Casper propagates many of these succulents for local plant sales|
|Dioscorea elephantipes next to the fence|
|Aloes in one of the sunniest spots in the flat portion of the back garden|
|Looking back at the potted bromeliads on the fence|
|I'm a sucker for “lost” art in gardens|
|Phormiums and cordylines, too|
|Looking into the neighbor's garden from part way up the slope|
|My favorite statue in this part of the garden|
|Almost at the top, looking down|
If this had been the extent of Casper's and Daryl's garden, it would have been a very satisfying visit. As it turned out, it was just the appetizer. The main course was still to come. The property is ¾ acre, and the crown jewel of the garden is the area at the top of the hill. Check it out in part 2!
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