Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Filoli

The itinerary for any multi-day event attended by dozens of people is bound to include an item or two that isn’t really your personal cup of tea. For me our stop at Filoli during the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling was the "low spot." Formal, historic, country estate, blah blah blah. Of course how bad could it really be right? I was on vacation, in California…I was wandering a huge garden and looking at plants. Never mind it was just shy of 120 F (I exaggerate, but only slightly)…

Okay so was it really that bad? No. But my lingering memory of the place will be this…

If you so much as placed a handbag upon their precious lawn you were IMMEDIATELY asked to remove it. God forbid you backed up while taking a photo and your foot momentarily landed upon their valued turf. Uniformed staff appeared out of nowhere and asked you to step back on the pathway. It’s lawn for god sakes; get over your bad selves! Here’s what I did enjoy...

The house was gorgeous, not that I went inside, if you’re curious my friend Peter did and has a great blog post with photos and factoids. Instead I wandered on to the on-sight nursery and gift shop…

And then ventured out into the garden.

It was too hot to mind the map, instead I wandered and shade was a priority.

I have a sweet spot for Camperdown Elms…

Oh if we had the space!

I noticed that serious looking slash through the bark and luckily happened upon a tour on which I could eavesdrop. Turns out a disgruntled employee who had been let go did this, hoping to kill the tree. Can you imagine? What evil lurks inside some! (the tree is okay, the cut wasn't deep enough to have damaged it)

I took advantage of a restroom adjacent to the elms and was enamored with the view from the seeded glass doors.

You have no idea (NONE!) what self control it took to not jump into that cool pool of blue (did I mention it was hot?). Of course the swift repercussions of such a wrong would have probably included a trip to jail, no questions asked, no phone call.

Instead I journeyed on and enjoyed a view of the garden beyond the manicured lawn…

And more manicured lawn.

I’m tree stupid remember? But I know a good one when I see it…

This guy! He was dive-bombing me, making me a little concerned for my safety. Finally he wore himself out and had to rest. Can you see him?

Here’s a better shot.

After I recovered from the attack I discovered this! Remember, there is ALWAYS an agave, if you look hard enough.

Sometimes aloes too…

But let’s enjoy the agave a bit more, Agave parry var. huachucensis…

This whole corner of the garden was my favorite…

Turns out someone else enjoyed it too!

That’s David. Formerly the Desert Dweller, now Mr. Dry Heat.

More shots of “my” corner…

So this concludes my visit to Filoli, it's time to pack it up and get back on the air conditioned bus!

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

27 comments:

  1. Oh, that was such a hot day! What an awful thing for someone to do, hoping to kill that tree. Such great peely bark on that tree, an Arbutus, maybe?

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    1. Yep the popular vote is an Arbutus!

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  2. Love that madrone! And your sense of humor here -- I would have been a total grump in that heat.

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    1. I've had a couple of months to cool down, I was a bit of a grump there for sure!

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  3. Funny, when I saw the title of this post, I wondered if you'd show a picture of that agave because if you look hard enough, there's always an agave. Why would one do that to a tree? Sad!

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  4. It WAS very hot that day. Formal estate gardens aren't my favorite style either, but I do have a thing for garden walls and secret-looking doors, and those are always plentiful.

    I liked that camperdown elm too but didn't notice the assassination attempt. So sad. Someone tried killing a majestic, well-known tree in Austin many years ago -- by poison. The tree was severely injured and half of it died, but part of still lives. Crazy people!

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    1. Indeed, what sort of crazy mind wants to take out their personal issues on a tree? Stupid!

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  5. You captured this so well! Actually, one of the docents reported that it was 100 degrees. I didn't even have the energy to get photographs, but yours are great. Oh, I almost did dive into that pool myself.

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    1. We could have all banded together and done a group pool dive! Of course then we would have gone to jail and missed the rest of the great Fling line-up...

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  6. Hey Northwest girl, you didn't recognize a Madrone tree? I can feel the heat from your pictures. I do not miss those temps from Calif. The weather is perfect here! I've been to Fioli a few times in my life; the house has always been more interesting.

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    1. Madrone or Arbutus? There is disagreement.

      I think the temps were similar here that weekend. It was the super hot end of June...and speaking of super hot, 95 today!

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  7. I'm with you 100%. Filoli isn't my cup of tea either. I've never felt a burning desire to visit even though Filoli is just a couple of hours from here. I enjoyed some of the photos in your post, especially the agave and the Arbutus x 'Marina' with the peeling bark (I don't think it's a madrone; too hot at Filoli), but other than that, I saw nothing that makes me want to go. (Not your fault, LOL.)

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    1. Do you think it's a history thing? People who are into formal gardens like this like them for their history? Dunno...

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    1. Isn't it just amazing? I wonder how long it's been in that container and if they take it out and root prune/refresh the soil ever so often?

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  9. sandy lawrenceSeptember 10, 2013

    Poor tree.
    I do wish instead that the disgruntled employee had protested by running naked across the lawn wearing heavy steel-toed boots with thick soles.

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    1. And then jumping in the pool? HA! You made me giggle when I read your comment. Thank you!

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  10. It was one HOT day. I'm impressed you got such good photos with all the heat but you were on your mission to find the Filoli Agave - score! I somehow completely missed "your" section of the garden. But I did see an errant Flinger get told off after stepping into the pool to cool her toes. Poor thing, she was probably half crazed with the heat. Did I say it was hot?

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  11. You managed to capture some lovely scenes, though this is not a place I would go out of my way to visit.

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  12. Nice, nice captures, and so glad to hear your favorite corner was the same as mine...even with me enamored with it. I missed that madrone...argh! Glad I'm of a higher heat hardiness zone than some, as I liked the whole place, except the shaped olive trees (%@*&). And now the vandalized tree, which I'm glad I missed until now.

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    1. The vandalized tree was in a very shady spot. I think that's why I noticed it because I spent so much time hanging out there!

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  13. Maybe Filoli has had problems with more than just a single disgruntled employee but all the unnecessary rules do impact a visitor's enjoyment of the space, especially when you're hot and tired. Apparently, even the hummingbird was cranky when you got too close to his Arbutus 'Marina.'

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    1. Ah yes that must have been it, he was just dazed from the heat and protecting his beautiful tree!

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  14. I don't see why you didn't jump in. There doesn't seem to be a sign not to unlike the lawn.
    With that kind of heat, it is sometimes better to wrap up strangely enough. I hope you all had sunblock on.
    Isn't the tree a Eucalyptus? See? I'm not so tree smart either. :-D

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