Friday, January 24, 2014

Visiting the Ruth Bancroft Garden during the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling...


This was my second visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden. The first visit was in March of 2012, it had been a cold spring and thus many of the winter covers were still in place. This visit, in June, was the opposite of cold. Even though it was our first stop of the morning it had to have been in the 90’s.

I was distracted by the heat, and also as I toured I enjoyed a conversation with Gerhard of Succulents and More (yes he’s renamed his blog), who drove down from Davis to meet the Fling participants at the garden. I had no idea I took over a hundred photographs that day. The garden is just that inspiring (to me, I did hear of others who were not as enchanted, but we each have our own ideas of paradise don’t we?).

I shared the history of the garden in my 2012 post, so this time it’s just all about the sexy plant photos! Although I should mention there was an exhibition fundraiser of artworks happening in the garden during our visit. Since I’m not a fan of such things I managed to (mostly) avoid the art in favor of the plants. If you’d like to see the artwork my friends Gerhard and Peter both did a fabulous job of capturing it all.

Several of the large Agave franzosinii just inside the entrance were putting up their tall bloom spikes.

I bet they've left quite the hole since the bloom means death to the mother plant.

In fact there were a lot of tall blooms shooting toward the sky that day.

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola, a favorite.

Here's the best of the art, in my opinion. From Marcia Donahue...

Aloe striata, maybe...

I believe I let out a squeal when I first laid eyes on this Leucadendron ‘Ebony’...

Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’

Agave attenuata, by the dozens!

The always sexy Agave 'Blue Glow'...

I already shared this photo in a post last summer, but I wanted to share it again. This is Gerhard and me posing for Pam Penick who graciously agreed to take our photo. As the Portland Fling planning committee works on putting together the 2014 Fling (July 11, 12, 13) it's memories like this visit that make all the work worthwhile. The magical place that is the Ruth Bancroft Garden made even better because I got to see it with my garden blogger friends!

So to end our visit (as I recall I was one of the last to get on the bus) there was shopping!

As you might remember (from this post), I was allowed to buy a tiny one of those Leucadendron ‘Ebony’...

And I also grabbed a Grevillea 'Superb'...

As well as this Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' (all photos taken last July).

I am happy to report they are all still alive! Here they are now, hunkered down in the SP-greenhouse for the winter.

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

26 comments:

  1. Great post! I've been to the Ruth Bancroft Garden many times, but there were still a few photos in your post that made me go, "where is that?" That's the fun of visiting a place together with other plant-obsessed people--everybody sees something different.

    As for the weather, it was just a regular summer day. I heard a lot of complaints about the heat from other Flingers. They apparently forgot that it's a DRY HEAT!!! LOL.

    BTW, that Aloe striata looks like a striata x maculata cross. Quite common down here.

    My Leucadendron 'Ebony' made it through the winter just fine and I'll plant it out soon.

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    1. I didn't think the heat at the RBG was oppressive, not after having been at Filoli the day before. Glad to hear your 'Ebony' is doing well, wish I could plant mine out!

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  2. Thank you for the warm friday morning happiness!!! That is absolute paradise. I looove the chamaerops humilis cerifera in the background of your picture of the art. That picture is fantastic for showing the difference between regular chamaerops and the cerifera! AMAZING!

    And the Leucadendron ‘Ebony.' I squealed before I read your comment about doing the same. I want that! I want them everywhere!

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    1. You need to visit the RBG someday Louis, you'd love every minute of it. Wish I could say I planned that photo to highlight the chamaerops, but I did not. I am fairly palm ignorant.

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  3. I hope all 3 of your purchases continue to do well for you. My 'Ebony' hasn't put on much new growth yet but I'm pleased to say it seems happy enough where it sits. And G. 'Superb' is also adapting well. However, I suppose our drought may be a major test of survival for both.

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    1. Indeed I'm sure it will be. I'm really surprised at how much 'Superb' has grown, and in a container no less!

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  4. It's kind of ironic that you love the plants that love the heat, but you don't love the heat yourself. And I'm the same way -- ha!

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    1. Did I say I don't love the heat? I do actually, much better than the cold.

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  5. We never get tired of seeing photos of this garden, and we so hope to visit it one day soon!

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    1. I hope you do. It's probably too soon to ask but will you try to include California in your trip this summer? Or wait for another time?

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  6. Hmmm, I can see why you find the garden inspiring, it's right up your street.

    All of the plants look so happy and healthy and so many great big flower spikes, wow! I am particularly impressed by the grass trees.

    I don't like January, I find it a very depressing month. The joy and love from Christmas is fading, but the darkness of winter continues and it persists for such a long time up here where I live at 55 degrees north :( However, looking at those photos has brought a smile to my face and reminded me that spring and summer will be here soon!

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    1. I would usually agree with you about January, but this year has been different. December was so chaotic that I was ready for the calm of January. And of course our lack of rain and a bit of sun (mostly fog!) has been nice too. However nothing will equal the coming days of spring and summer! (glad you enjoyed the photos)

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  7. Ahhhh so many stunning plants. Plant porn really is a thing.

    Love those palms behind the artwork that you said was your favourite.

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    1. It is! There's a plant porn Facebook group, although IMHO they aren't really all that.

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  8. I am absolutely agog over some of the agaves, especially that first one. And those pale pale blue ones--it's like they're glowing!

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    1. I know right? So beautiful. I wish you could have come on this Fling Heather, you would have loved it.

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  9. Really love visiting your page!

    So many interesting plants :-)

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  10. I've seen lots of posts about this garden (thanks Gerhard!) and Agaves in general, but somehow never got a sense of how HUGE some of those bloom spikes really were. Those things are *towering*!

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    1. Like trees! As I understand it that's the main reason my in-laws had all of theirs removed. When the plant dies and the bloom spike falls it can wipe out just about anything in it's path.

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  11. Thanks - your amazing pics almost take me off the hook, so no need to post most of my Ruth Bancroft pics! The heat at that garden was still OK, it fit the plants (and me) quite well:-)

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    1. Uhmmm, I don't know. I still think you should do a few Fling posts. I'd love to see your "take" on it all, with commentary!

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  12. Let's see...this garden is near Walnut Creek, right? R has a cousin there. We may have to pay them a visit, and I will try my best to make nice for a proper period of time before begging off and heading out to see the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

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  13. Can you imagine that place as your own private garden? Yes you can.

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    1. Odd but I have no trouble at all imagining it. Paradise!!!

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