Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Matt Gil Sculpture Garden…

I’ve finally started to go through my photos from the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling. Since I’ve waited so long (and already posted a couple of random things) I feel no need go forward in a chronological fashion, instead I’ll talk about the Fling in my own haphazard way. As I stared at the folder names (one for each place we visited) on my computer screen this one jumped out at me. So this is where I’ll start.

As you've no doubt read (if you're keeping up with other bloggers who attended the event) this garden is located under a freeway and built into a very steep hillside. Not ideal conditions for gardening! There was a traffic jam at the doorway (above) as everyone stopped to photograph that gorgeous planting so I walked up the street a bit to check out the neighborhood.

Ouch, poor things. Why plant them here if you're going to have to treat them like that?

Ah the strength and perseverance of the agave...

Okay so back at the garden and a couple of close-ups before entering...

We walked through the owners lovely home (Matt Gil and Lesa Porche) to arrive on the deck which overlooked their small but dramatic garden. First we'll have a look around the deck...

And then look over the edge, down to the ground level where you can see why this is called "The Matt Gil Sculpture Garden" - the owner is a sculptor and shows his work here in the garden.

I actually shot the image below as we were leaving, but since it fit in nicely here it is. Dan Carlson of Wigglestem Gardens chatting with Vicki (Playing Outside). Dan is the mastermind behind this garden...the man who made planting on this steep cliff possible. I eavesdropped on many conversations he had with fellow "Flingers" and not only is he charming and gracious but he also was able to answer all the plant questions thrown at him.

There's the steep cliff side...

Those agaves aren't just naturally growing here, but it looks perfectly possible doesn't it? As it turns out ropes for rappelling down the cliff were involved in the planting. All in a days work?

Let's head down to get a closer look.

Be still my heart...

Succulent perfection!



And it goes on and on...

As you might have guessed I'm a little infatuated with the protea (you'll see them again before we're done)...

And the Agave 'blue glow'...

The sculpture doesn't even detract from the plants! (that is a huge compliment coming from me, since I'm not a big "art in the garden" fan)...perfectly placed!




Everytime I see Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paw) in the ground it's magical.

So this lovely space is both their home and the owners workshop. The door to his work space was kindly left open for those who wanted to enter. I meant to but just kept being pulled back by the plants.






I have to admit I have no memory of photographing this. I'm very intrigued and wish I could tell you more!


A close up of the cliff side. Ya that looks gardenable right?



Here's a shot of the group, or rather half of the group. We split into two separate buses for the morning gardens, small spaces require it.

And look up! That's a sign on the freeway I mentioned. And yes that is a giant bone sculpture.

Cordyline trees aren't anything special in these parts. Of course to me, they will always be.

Oh look! Here we are again...

One for the road...

Here's the back side of that fabulous front door planting. Who doesn't love a little shadow play?



And a peek into the work space...oh, who's that? My friend Peter (the Outlaw). He seems captivated by something up high.

I am thrilled at the riches of photos I have yet to look at from the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling. These posts will be slow to show up but I hope you'll savor them as much as I do!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

38 comments:

  1. I love that you waited till now to start posting more about the Fling. It's like eating a really long, many-course meal that lasts for months. I love that close-up shadow picture. Such a fascinating garden, you really have to be dedicated to helping plants grow to rappel down a cliff.

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    1. It wasn't a conscious decision, I've just not had the time! But it does work out well, my memories are starting to fade and this is a great way to relive the fun.

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  2. Looking at the photos of the cliff-side plantings puts my complaints about planting on my slope in perspective...

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  3. That's a cool garden, very well designed.

    I like Matt's sculptures a lot, particularly the one in shot 124.

    The cliff looks so natural - shot 134 catches my eye for some reason.

    How much do Matt's sculptures go for? The one in shot 124 could fit in my back garden quite easily I reckon :)

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    1. That one is my fav too, but I don't see it on his website (http://mattgil.com). I also don't see prices which usually means if you have to ask you can't afford it.

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  4. Well savoured, a sculpture garden with very tasteful planting. Rappelling to plant on the cliff, talk about determination with a great result to show for it!

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    1. Indeed, just digging a hole can't compare!

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  5. Wonderful to see sculpture incorporated into the garden. Thank you for posting.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by June!

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  6. Wow! You got some great shots of this cool garden! I agree with Alison, waiting to post makes it last so much longer. I'm holding off on the last day because I want to relive the warmth of the Ruth Bancroft garden when it's not so warm here. Thanks for taking us back!

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    1. I'm sweating just thinking about the RBG!

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  7. The thick layering of plants making a rich tapestry is much appreciated. Many of the plants can't be grown in San Antonio, but there are some substitutes; poorer substitures maybe, but I love the ideas from this garden.

    I'm enjoying these later postings of the fling gardens every bit as much as those that were posted earlier by others. Thank you!

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    1. Not being able to grow a lot (most!) of these plants up here in Portland has me thinking of substitutes too, however nothing can come close to that protea.

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  8. Oh, Boy! Another perspective. I've looked through Alison's eyes, Outlaw's eyes, Pam's eyes and now yours to see yet another view of every little and big thing. What a treat! Please don't leave out any photos as not good enough....

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    1. Glad to read you say that NellJean, as I've had a couple of people tell me recently that I need post fewer pictures.

      I did take about 130 pics in that garden so it's probably good I weeded out a few...

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  9. This is just the best tour post. Really nice touches, like the freeway sign, say it all and capture the "genus loci." Thanks for doing such a thorough job of it, Loree. My memories (like the number of photos I took!) were already getting a bit thin ;)

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    1. Hard to believe that was 2 months ago! Geeze that means the Portland Fling is gonna be here before we know it (terrifying thought). Of course the winter months are twice as long as the summer ones.

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  10. Just when I thought nothing new could come out of a Fling post, along you come to prove me wrong. I can't believe no one else photographed that front door planting. It is sublime from both the front and back...and the shot you can't remember taking: WOW!

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    1. There is a downside to waiting so long to go through your photos, you forget things!

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  11. It's so funny now, looking back...it seems like so long ago! I've been trying to do one post a week of Fling stuff, but so far, I think I've only gotten through Day 1!

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    1. There's a long boring winter ahead for going through these sunny hot garden photos!

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  12. I've seen a few other posts about this garden, and never got the sense of the cliff and overhead highway as I did with your photos -- nice job! I'm trying to decide if i'd want a cliff garden... these shots say "yes!", but there are probably some negatives... like IT'S A CLIFF!

    Beautiful post though. Take your time. :)

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    1. Taking vertical gardening to an entirely different level!

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  13. I love the agave pup trying to escape. The blue glow is a stunning plant as well.

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    1. It was perfection that 'blue glow'...

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  14. I am so impressed you organise your photos into folders, I just find them from when I upload them on the PC which is rather random. I struggled with this garden as it was so different to my experience of gardens here in the UK but I did like the slope

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    1. Helen someday you need to visit the desert SW, maybe the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona...

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  15. Wowser, what is that succulent that looks like fronds of Sea Anemones? I want a dish of those please! Gerry down in Southern ORegon

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    1. I think you're asking about an aeonium Gerry but I don't know which one...

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  16. Yeah, that up-close shot of the "gardenable" cliff -- you're right, that's crazy that they were able to plant that! A remarkable garden, where you'd never expect it.

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    1. I wonder how many of their neighbors know what's lurking back there?

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  17. I love that you are starting now to showcase the Fling on your blog. I sincerely meant to follow better, what other's had posted, but darn if summer just didn't get away from me. So, I'm going to really enjoy your posts! Cheers!

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    1. Yay, glad to bring the Fling to you on a workable timeline Jenni!

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  18. fifi la fontaineAugust 27, 2013

    Whoa, that place is amazing. Gosh, I wish we lived in THAT zone!

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  19. Oh my God!! this place is so beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures with us!

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  20. cathy austinAugust 29, 2013

    Awesome!!!

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