Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Color in Sausalito, CA

Every so often it is nice to visit an old Wildwood installation and see how the plants look.  Recently, we stopped at a garden in Sausalito, CA.  The property sits at a fairly high elevation [for Marin] on a street called Cloud View.

Our curiosity was high before the visit because many of the plants went in at a very young age last summer.  And the bulbs were totally dormant so it was anyone's guess what they would look like [well, we had an inkling].

The view to the left shows a species Rhododendron [davidsonianum] in bloom and daffodils at their peak.  An interesting pairing.  The deep bronze Asian Lilies are about 18" tall now.  They should bloom after the sage [just beginning] and before the Matilija Poppies. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Gardening on Shasta


Gardening on Shasta is a challenging and rewarding experience.  Fog rolls in at a moments notice, temperatures swing five degrees in a matter of hours, and the soil has been compressed by thousand of boots and hoofs.
 
We're talking about Shasta Drive, Mill Valley, CA not Mt. Shasta.  The climate is actually very mild.  Perhaps, that is why the deer are so fat and slow.  With all the construction commotion at the project, they made frequent visits to check out plants.
 
Nevertheless, the studio preserved many of the plants on the property by moving them and screening them from construction traffic.  This, combined with reconfiguring decomposed granite and flagstone pathways, provided the appearance of a very mature garden!


 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Peony Bouquet

As March comes to a close, here at Wildwood we're watching the Peonies unfold their giant petals.

The show begins with the tree Peonies.  First the leaves appeared on our four foot tall plants, then the buds.  It's hard to miss the egg sized buds walking by especially after a rain when they tug over an entire branch.  If they are not picked, the buds open quickly.  Usually an entire tree transforms itself from green to glorious overnight.  The deep magenta is one of our favorites.

Coming soon, the bush Peonies!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Day At Huntington

After delivering the plants to Pasadena, the next stop was the Huntington Botanic Garden.

For such an established institution, there's quite a bit of action at the Huntington.  A major redevelopment of their entrance and education center and a brand new Chinese garden park are two of the more noticeable changes.

Of course, a visit to the Japanese Garden and Maples was a must.  One of the most impressive parts of the Japanese section were the miniature trees.  The juniper in the photo to the left is one example.  This woody 'windswept' creation has both movement and strength.  Very similar to the ancient Cedar on top of Mt Watkins in Yosemite where I was the week before.

Coincidently, the Huntington had an exhibit on Mr. Watkins, the photographer, whose pictures of Yosemite were instrumental in leading government officials to make Yosemite a National Park.  Mr. Watkins' photos looked very similar to the current landscape at Yosemite - a testament to the work of the National Park Service and everybody who treats Yosemite with the respect it deserves.

Keep on exploring and gardening!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wildwood in Pasadena, CA

This weekend, Wildwood made a special delivery to Pasadena.  The destination was a garden that is undergoing a major renovation.  One of the project's goals is adding fall color and dogwood blooms for the east coast natives that own the property.

We delivered a variety of Maples, all selected for outstanding fall color, as well as a variety of dogwoods to create a long bloom season.

They will be placed around the property, seen here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring in Yosemite

A timeout from Wildwood can be rejuvenating and refreshing.  And time spent in Yosemite is guaranteed to inject excitement and energy into any outdoorsmen soul.

Everyone at Yosemite this past weekend enjoyed awesome spring time conditions.  The springs, brooks, rivers and waterfalls are amazing as the snow melts quickly.  Wildflowers at lower elevations are starting to bud.  Dogwoods should follow shortly!

The cliffs, boulders, and mountains are what one might call the 'essence of the earth'.  The massive stones reframe one's perspective of the wild.  The Snow Queen trail sits opposite Half Dome and affords one constant views of the formation climbing up the other side of the valley.  Half Dome changes from monolithic to 'touchable' as the elevation climbs.

In the photo to the left, an ancient windswept Cedar frames the iconic mountain!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rays of Lilac Starbursts

Usually, gushing adjectives are reserved for short lived wildflower displays and intense fall color.

There are flowering plants that can singlehandedly inspire oohs and aahs from even the most veteran gardeners.  One of these is the Daphne genkwa, or Lilac Daphne. 

Maybe it's the fact everything else is bare and dreary when it blooms.  Maybe it's the subtle tint of lilac that makes it outstanding.  Maybe it's both.  Whatever the case, Wildwood's Lilac Daphnes are exploding with color now.

If that's not enough of a wow factor, the plant is an important medicinal herb in Eastern cultures.  Both the roots and flower buds have numerous healing qualities.

Another reason to stay healthy this winter - leave the buds on the Daphne!