Thursday, September 8, 2016

Visiting the Ruth Bancroft Garden in August


If you follow me on other social media platforms you may have heard I made a quick trip to California last week to attend the media preview party for The Bold Dry Garden; a new book from Timber Press about The Ruth Bancroft Garden.

The book isn't out for another few weeks but those of us at the party received an advance copy, I've been pouring over mine and a review is on the way early next week. In the mean time I took so many photos that day I had enough for two posts...so here's the "just eye-candy" one. I couldn't let these go to waste!

Many thanks are due to Gerhard, of Succulents and More as he made the trip possible, by picking me up at the Sacramento airport late at night and letting me crash at his place...then driving us down to Walnut Creek the next day. It was a whirlwind trip of fabulous fun!

There are epic Agaves everywhere you look in this garden...


But also this. Sad, but reassuring to know even Botanical Gardens (with their professional staff) suffer infestations.

Enough chatter, how about if you just ogle the beauty? (I'll chime in when I have something "important" to say)...

This one had me thinking "he went that < way"

Pine tree litter! (again, the professionals suffer too)

Agave ovatifolia

Agave colorata, I believe?

Agave 'Blue Glow'

The bloom...

The base...

This maybe Agave flexispina...

Did I mention this was going to be a long post?

Well it is. Long, but short on plant names...as I was in a sort of happy zone where I was just floating around the garden absorbing the beauty.

This was actually my 3rd time visiting The Ruth Bancrft Garden.

The first time I visited I was so overwhelmed I posted in two parts (one here, two here) and my second visit took place during the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling (here).

Puya blooms that have moved over to the dried side, but are still stunning.

Yes, I know...it does.

What's up with this one?

I should have asked. That bright green is fabulous on the tips.

Agave victoriae-reginae x macroacantha, or as I know it A.'Royal Spine'.

Gerhard posted much better images of this crazy fungus back in August. I never dreamt I'd be seeing in person! (this trip kind of came out of the blue)

The nursery/sales area has really expanded since my last visit. I am thrilled to see that many of the same plants Ruth planted, way back in the late 60's and early 70's, are being sold here, as well as others specifically bred by those who work at the garden and other dry-loving plants. Why not!? Especially if it supports the garden.

There's also an expanded selection of fun plantings in the sales area. This was the head of some metal creature...

And this wheel-barrow has so much personality why shouldn't it live on as a container?

What a sexy combination!

I believe this is Protea cynaroides 'Mini King'...

And this Agave (a parryi of some sort) became mine!

For only...

And it was already bare-root for hauling home! (which means it was recently dug out of the garden...and thus I will treasure it all the more).

Well heck, I don.t mind if I do...

Hope he put on some sunscreen, he's kind of pale to be showing off that much skin.

Obviously his heart belongs to Ruth.

And I want that magic fertilizer!

This one also came home with me, Tradescantia spathacea 'Sitara's Gold'. Something about it seemed vaguely Bromeliad-ish, although I need to keep it in the sun for best color.

Please come back next week for my take on The Bold Dry Garden, just maybe my favorite book of the year!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. Wow, so many great plants. One day I'll get to visit, maybe next year, although I think my OH has other ideas about how we should spend our time in the USA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely you'll each have the opportunity to do a couple of things you find personally rewarding?

      Delete
  2. Some day I'd love to go back to this garden, that day during the Fling it was so unendurably hot! Even if just to shop. Love the mannequin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya it was a little warm that day wasn't it? I think made even worse because so many thought they'd be enjoying a cool weekend in foggy San Francisco...

      Delete
  3. What an incredible day it was! Even more fun because you were able to make it. I'll never forget meeting Ruth--well, seeing her, in any case. I bet she had no idea when she started her garden 50 years ago that she'd be around to see it at age 108.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a truly magical day, I am so inspired by Ruth. I look forward to hearing what you think of the book.

      Delete
    2. I couldn't bring it to Victoria but I'll be home tomorrow.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the fond memories of visiting this magical garden during the fling! Quite a score on that agave! All the plants are drool worthy and it's nice to see so many for sale. I wish I knew that you wanted a Tradescantia spathacea 'Sitara's Gold' as I've an extra to give away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I wouldn't say no to another...

      Delete
  5. Fun to see this garden through new eyes -- I usually just see Gerhard's posts on this. :)

    BTW, Gerhard loves driving people around, doesn't he? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...driving people around AND crazy, LOL.

      Delete
    2. Sounds like you've also benefited from Gerhard's hospitality Alan? And Gerhard...that's just what your family says...

      Delete
  6. The sign over the nursery/sale area said it all in my view - succulent Shangri-La indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow. So many amazing Agaves. Love your $5 bargain. Thanks for sharing photos of this national treasure!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is on my list of places I want to visit. Looks like Danger Garden heaven!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I forget you weren't part of the SF Fling Laurin, yes! You need to visit.

      Delete
  9. Beautiful! Just don't trip, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well there are a few plants you'd want to avoid falling into...

      Delete
  10. I've had that same infestation on some agaves too, which is totally new for me, so it's reassuring to see a top-flight garden wrestle with the same issues too. And I love meeting up with Gerhard at gardens too -- he really gets around!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He does get around! What an obsession will do, right?

      Delete
  11. I never tire of taking photos here. I love your August take on things, it shows me that my August Garden Prejudice may be unfounded. I always lay low in my least favorite month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The garden was obviously very dry, but still had that feel of lushness about it.

      Delete
  12. Considering how beautiful it is in photos, it must be overwhelming in person!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It kind of is! (but in a very good way)

      Delete
  13. Such a fun place to visit, and I've no excuse for not visiting more frequently since it's only 20 miles away, and I know Brian Kemble, and Walker quite well. I still remember Ruth's 100 b day party celebrations 8 years ago now. I've got plenty of RBG plants of my own, they're hard to resist taking home. I'm surprised that blooming Brahea armata palm didn't feature more prominently in your post; my favorite this time of year, as are the blooming Erythrina x bidwillii and the Dyckia collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kind of thought I might finally meet you at the book release party, alas it was not to be. Oh and the blooming Erythrina x bidwillii is coming up in my next post...

      Delete
  14. Looks like a Dangerous Place.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Brings back memories of the SF Fling. What an amazing garden that is. Some day I would like to visit in March or April.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love the RBG... Gerhard met us there and we toured with him in June of 2015. A very exciting place and hopefully we'll get to see it next March when we travel through.
    I've had the same mealy infestations on some outside agaves this year too!! What's going on? Inside plants I comprehend, but outside??

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!