One of the chapters in my upcoming book Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love profiles a number of gardens, and gardeners, that illustrate the concepts I write about. One of those gardens is McMenamins Kennedy School.
Last July, on a high-overcast day with sun breaks I strolled over to take photos.
I've taken photos of this garden in every imaginable scenario, yet here I was trying to take photos that would communicate the magic to people who've never seen them, or been to the garden. It was difficult to wrap my head around the idea.
Close-ups convey the health and beauty of the plants
Backing up and getting wide shots helps to set the scene.
The hardest thing of all though wasn't taking these photos, but narrowing them down to the handful that would be included in the book. Blog posts have spoiled me. I can include as many photos as I want. Print is not the same.
Agave 'Baccarat' I believe.
I think this one is an Agave parryi var. parryi.
Every time I take a photo of these window weights, I remember the first time I included an image of them in a blog post, calling their placement "art." Someone commented on that post saying: "As a professional artist, I must warn you not to give up your day job. These really are not attractive and I don't believe will bring any enhancement to the desert environment--none of them. Ouch, they are painful to look at. Visual Pollution."....hahaha. Not my work, I already gave up my day job, and ten years later, well, these are still looking pretty good...
Love this arctostaphylos, identity unknown.
A few more shots of the xeric garden...
And then we walk on...
Milkweed in the hellstrip.
The shady north side of the building.
The Dryopteris sieboldii of my dreams.
Japanese painted ferns—Athyrium niponicum—look good with chartreuse...
The front of the "school" which for those of you who don't know, is now a restaurant, hotel, movie theater and event space.
I got lucky and was able to capture fruit on one of their loquats, Eriobotrya japonica.
Monkey puzzle tree, Araucaria araucana.
The Tetrapanax papyrifer have the room to roam here.
I suppose this is where I should have started this post, but better late than never.
A courtyard for hotel guests.
And a final shot. McMenamins Kennedy School is such a gift to the neighborhood, and I am pretty lucky to love just a few blocks away.
Weather Diary, Mar 8: Hi 51, Low 35/ Precip 0
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