Well, it’s been three posts so far, and we’re just now starting to look at Day 2 of the Garden Blogger’s Fling. That gives you some idea of just how packed with activities the weekend was. Saturday started with an early morning photo lesson with renowned garden photographer Saxon Holt at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s just the time when my finger slipped and put the camera into manual mode, rendering almost every photo entirely overexposed! That’s right, the cat is out of the bag: despite going to film school, yours truly is a somewhat horrible manual photographer.
King protea, Protea cynaroides.
Flower of Banksia speciosa, left, and Puya berteroniana, right.
A fuchsia found in the Mesoamerican cloud forest garden.
I must have taken at least ten pictures of the beautiful plant above. It was completely new to me, and no one in our group could ID it. It stopped me in my tracks: soft, silver-gray foliage like Stachys with gorgeous, deep red stems and these insane, neon chartreuse towers of blossoms that look like a combination of hops and euphorbia bracts. Just stunning. And, as luck would have it, I came home and started to peruse the Annie’s Annuals catalog, only to find this mysterious stranger staring back at me! Sideritis cypria is a drought-tolerant native of Cyprus, and soon to be the newest addition to the plant family.
As much as I might have groaned about getting up at 6:30 AM on a Saturday, the garden was gorgeous filled with dew and morning light. Our next stop was the Sunset Magazine headquarters in beautiful Menlo Park. We got to see their immaculate test gardens, hear talks from some sponsors and explore their campus grounds. Tip: the gardens are open to the public from 9 AM to 4 PM on weekdays, if you’d like to see them for yourself!
An example of a functional, beautiful outdoor space set up in the test garden.
I’ve been seeing Astelia ‘Silver Shadow’ popping up on all my growers’ availabilities this summer, and now I know why. This compact grass is similar in function to a New Zealand flax, but with the must lustrous, shining silver foliage.
Sunset is well known for their fantastic container arrangements, and their headquarters did not disappoint. I believe this is Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ with some dark colored Heuchera and Phormium ‘Jack Sprat.’ You can see why they call it ‘Afterglow’ – when the sun shines through it, the red margins of the leaves glow from within.
Digitalis ‘Illumination.’ I checked again, and the plant was labeled as “Digiplexus.” What’s that about?
Eryngium. Always a favorite.
I don’t much care for gladiolas, but I saw a bunch during this trip that I loved, like this ‘Priscilla.’
A great example of how edibles can be done in a small space with containers.
And, finally, some more amazing containers! Would you expect anything less?
We grabbed our boxed lunches, shuffled back on to the buses and headed off for Filoli Gardens. I was going to try to squeeze those photos in this post, too, but that seems like a little much. So the saga continues, just once more. Until next time!
Photos © Delen Kitchen