Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hardscapes and Bizarre-scapes

Summer has settled down a little and it is time to get back to sharing my experiences while in San Francisco.  As I weeded through my 1,000 + photos, I tried to figure out how to go about posting this fabulous trip.  I felt as though I was in another land, another world almost. Some gardens were bold and bright with vivid colors, some were blues and grays foliage and dry conditions.  Some had small vistas, others were views as far as one could see.  Many of the gardens had sculpture and other hardscapes in their design.   So, the San Francisco Fling will be broken into three posts-- this one- sculptures and unusual plant material, the next one will be views and vistas, then finally all the bold colors. These are a little photo heavy, sorry if it takes a while to load.   So let us explore SF---

The bus I was on first stopped at Matt Gill's garden.  Matt Gill's Sculpture Garden.  First garden, first experience in the unusual...both plants and great sculptures caught my eye.

This garden was planted on the hillside under an overpass of the freeway.  Limited only in the space...this gardener was really thinking outside the box.  Some of the plant material was what I have as a houseplant....only 100 times the size!

I have the one below in a small pot......this one towered over my head.


This pretty little blue seed pod was planted in a lot of the gardens.  Dianella caerulea, don't you love it?  There is a variety named 'Becca' - perfect for my family garden. 

The next garden we went to was the Organic Mechanic's garden.  A courtyard in the center of tall apartment buildings....with some great planters and hardscapes.  Isn't this tire a great planter?

Many of the bloggers in my group were taking a lot of pictures of this pathway.  It is all repurposed brickwork, manhole covers, tiles and various other great finds. 


When we got to Annie's Annuals nursery I was tickled to so many pieces of garden art.  Large and small pieces, something for every garden!  Moooooo baby!

Sculptures and unusual plant material awaited us at the Wave Garden.  It was at this point I knew, I was not in my element.  I love the plants, I love the gardens, I love the hardscapes, but I had no idea what all I was looking at.   Isn't this stunning?  Here we have one of the many Mysterious California plants.  I will just embrace them for their beauty.

The bold color of succulents were at every turn.

Glorious sculptures accented spots in the garden.

The Conservatory of Flowers in the Botanical Garden had some incredible plant material.  I have seen some carnivorous plants, but never ones this large nor ones with fangs.

This fly has made a mistake hanging out here!   These carnivorous plants are in the tropical pitcher plant category-  Nepenthes.

The flooring in the Conservatory is not to be missed.   Love the whorled arrangement of the petioles.  Mysterious California plant.

Tree bark far different from what we see in the South.   This grand specimen was in the gardens at Filoli.  It is a Hinoki False Cypress Chamaecyparis obtusa, there was a tag so not a Mysterious California plant.  Hinoki False Cypress in my world is about four feet tall and bark/trunk is unseen unless you crawl into the foliage.

Even in Rebecca Sweet's lovely garden there was plant material unfamiliar and unusual.   Rebecca told me the name of this one......in one ear and out the other.  She thinks it could grow in my zone.  Hmmm..... sure is attractive.   Love the berry pink berries.  Anyone know this one?

Ok, this is a lemon tree...but it is planted in the garden!  Outside, not in a container, doesn't have to be dragged into the greenhouse or garage or house to overwinter.  How cool is that?

The most otherworldly place we visited was Ruth Bancroft Garden.  The sculptures were all over the garden, most for sale as a fund raiser.  Walk with me through the desert landscape in the 100+ degree heat as we see many many Mysterious California plants and some cool sculptures.

 To my untrained eye, the photo above has what looks like Tillandsia or Air Plants....but enormous.  Cactus and palms, aloes and other dry climate plants fill the landscape.
 Then there are the sculptures.... winged dinosaur-like creatures.

And bold colorful large shaped sculptures.

Agaves large enough to hide a small car.  These are quite mature plants.

One of the docents said some were over a hundred years old. 


My dad was a baseball fan, thought he would appreciate this one.

There were three different kinds of Eucalyptus trees in this area of the garden, this one is Ghost Gum Tree in front of a Chilean Wine Palm, Jubaea chilensis.
I enjoyed walking through this garden, appreciating the plantings with their form, size, shape, color and how the light played on each.

After the desert the garden at the Dudan home was peaceful and awesome at the same time.
I love this little setting with a water feature.

Later we arrived at the Nichols garden.  So many great plants, but so huge!!  I love the begonias...never have seen ones this big. 


Next was the garden of Keeyla Meadows.  Artwork was at every turn.  This garden was on a tiny lot but packed full of artwork and colorful plants.   


Love the arched entrance to the backyard.  You can see Keeyla at the entrance.  


I think one of my favorite sculptures in her garden was the Brugmansia flowers next to the living example.


Keeyla had sculptures in every nook -- love her use of color.

Our last stop for the Fling was Flora Grubb Gardens.  If I lived in SF I would be at Flora Grubb and Annie's Annuals at every opportunity.  Wall-hanging succulent planters were quite appealing.  Can't you see your favorite succulents plugged into these letters and hung on your outdoor wall?


Stay tuned for more of San Francisco through my eyes.

©Copyright 2013 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

38 comments:

  1. Wow, I would have been a loss for words on the names as well. This is so different from any gardens I am accustom to seeing... Enjoy seeing all the Art Work...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Skeeter, it was very different and lots of fun.

      Delete
  2. Oh Queen, I adore these photos and gardens, and I wrote down the info on the blue seed pods so I can find them and grow that plant. Super plants and sculptures and creativity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terra, thanks so much. Hope you can find that blue pod plant, Dianella is so cool.

      Delete
  3. I like the way you organized this post around sculptural and hardscape elements. I know what you mean about trying to wrap your head around all that we saw -- and all the pictures we took! -- to put together posts about the Fling. It's overwhelming, but in a good way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, thanks, there was so much to absorb -- then share, what a trip!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for identifying the plant with the blue seedpod. I'll be checking it out. I remember you pointing out to me that there were pitcher plants with fangs further on in the conservatory. I got photos of them too. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison, I loved that blue seedpod! Hope I can find it here in the South. Love those fangs...ewwww.

      Delete
  5. Had a dream last night with you (and your husband, whom I've never met!) meeting up in SC...I'm glad you posted today. I thought of that blue-berried Dianella when I posted about porcelain berry recently. Those intense blues are always fascinating to me. Do you know if we can grow it in the Carolinas? The pitcher plant with fangs was so incredible! I can't believe you actually caught a fly in your shot! Love the memories. Hope you're having a nice summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daricia, you had a dream about us? Fun! I think we can grow the Dianella in the Carolinas....just have to find it. Hope your summer has been good!

      Delete
  6. I love your perspectives! And I meant to write down the name of the blue one, but where it is, no clue! Great pictures you took of our adventures. So glad to have met you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LInda, thanks. One thing I enjoy about seeing all the fling pictures is seeing the same thing through someone else's eyes. Glad we met too!

      Delete
  7. OH Miss Janet this looks like so much fun.. I'm so jealous! Can't wait to see the rest.
    hugs, Cherry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherry, you should try to come on one of the Flings, it sure is great.

      Delete
  8. What an adventure! And a reminder we are sometimes to smug and cozy in our own corner of the world. It's always inspiring to see new and different gardens, and good fun too! Wish I could have gone:^( Any idea yet on dates for next year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marian, it was an adventure for sure! I think our environs are similar to European plant material...at least Germany and France. The West Coast is so very different. The dates are set for next year. July 11-13th

      Delete
  9. What a fantastic variety you saw! You must have been on sensory overload. The dry gardens remind me of my first trip to Arizona and seeing the gardens there--it was almost like being in another world. I'm still trying to figure out that first photo--it looks like a giant dog bone suspended in the sky. How did he keep it up there??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose, is was full of variety and yes, sensory overload. You can see in the next post how the dog bone is held up.

      Delete
  10. Isn't digital wonderful? Such a great variety of pictures. I enjoyed them all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn, yes, to be able to keep taking tons of photos is great....I remember a time where I was conservative with my film.

      Delete
  11. I agree...it's been a daunting task, sorting through all the photos taken during the fling! I didn't even see that Pitcher Plant with fangs!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scott, you mean I saw something that you didn't? ha! Well, now you see it too.

      Delete
  12. Love this post with a little of each of the places we visited, it was like reliving the fling in just a few minutes! Embarrassing confession: I've read your blog for over a year now and even had the privilege of meeting you at the fling and until just now, when I put my glasses on & read "about the queen," I thought that you were the Queen of Seafood & couldn't quite figure it out. God save the queen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter, I hope you enjoyed living through all the posts of the fling. It was great meeting you too...next year we will be old friends. Yes, not Seafood but Seaford. :-)

      Delete
  13. All those plants and sculptures are intriguing. (I especially like the sideways head sculpture with the buildings coming out). I wouldn't have recognized many of those plants either, other than a few agaves or succulents. I'm a little envious of all the things they can just put outside and not worry about. But I love the fall and winter seasons here, so can't complain. That's funny about Outlaw Gardener thinking you were the Queen of Seafood. Guess that might have worked when you lived on the coast of Maryland!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DJ, all the artwork was captivating, I really enjoyed it. I didn't recognize so many plants, it was a totally new adventure.

      Delete
  14. Just when I thought there was nothing new to be seen from the fling, here you come with your unique approach and fresh eye. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ricki, thanks so much, it was a unique Fling!

      Delete
  15. Janet I enjoyed this jaunt through the Fling through your eyes....so many wonderful highlights and I am still sorry I missed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna @GEV, Hope you can come next year. Portland!!

      Delete
  16. I really wish I'd been at the Fling. :o) It's interesting to see CA through the eyes of someone who's never been there. Central CA is so super dry that using xeric plants is the only way to have a garden for many people. I really love all the artwork. Very California! I'm adding more artwork to my garden this fall and these gardens only serve to validate my choice. But I think I'll avoid all plants with fangs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy, Yes, total novice on the lay of the land in CA! What?? No fangs in your garden?? oh come on.....

      Delete
  17. No wonder it has taken you a while to work out how to organise your thoughts and photos, what a varied set of gardens. I love the look of the Ruth Bancroft Garden.Some of those sculptures would have tempted me severely, but most of all I love the use of climate-appropriate planting, it looks so "right" somehow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, It was an amazing trip. Yes, climate appropriate planting is key. The sculptures were kind of pricey, but lots of fun.

      Delete
  18. I agree it often felt like we were strangers in a strange land! Also, I was envious of so much of the garden art, especially at Organic Mechanics. I wanted to quit my job so I could go stake out buildings about to be demolished in order to discover stuff that could be repurposed as garden art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason, Yes --strangers in a strange land indeed. Loved Organic Mechanic's garden.

      Delete
  19. So many interesting sights! I bet you had a glorious time Janet by the look of your pictures. One of my favourite things is the repurposed brickwork etc. pathway. I just love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, it was so fun, we are going to Toronto in 2015, maybe you can make that one!! The pathway was very interesting...so many cool items tucked into the mosaic of tile.

      Delete

If you use OpenID/Anonymous please sign your name so I know who you are...there is a lot of spam out there. Thanks for visiting today. The Queen would be pleased if you left a comment...... :-D thanks! I do respond to your comments, you can click on the email followup comments to have it in your inbox.

I am now moderating all comments. Too much spam is coming through. Sorry folks.