Monday, December 22, 2014

Climbing Mt. Diablo

Most people consider hiking a summer sport.  In California, that means heat, dust, and a brown landscape.

In the winter, the experience is much more enjoyable.  Temperatures hover in the 50's, the fields are green, and the waterfalls are in full effect.

The route up Mt. Diablo takes the better part of a day - if rest stops are a priority.  The surrounding hills were shrouded in mist - it felt like we were in the Andes looking over the jungle.  There was even a rainbow sighting!

The great part about reaching the Mt. Diablo summit is less adventurous folks can drive [or bike] to the top for the same views!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Season of Giving

A great stocking stuffer is a membership to a botanic garden.

Members enjoy a whole host of benefits, including discounts at local nurseries!  Wildwood donates plants to the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden and the SF Botanic Garden.  We also give 10% off purchases to members of those organizations.

For people who don't have a backyard, a botanic garden is a great place to wander and even get their hands dirty volunteering with staff at the garden.  There's often parties and events throughout the year for members of the garden.

Support public gardens and reap the benefits!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Updated Profile Photo

Earlier this week, I was in Healdsburg, CA pruning trees at several different residences.

The morning visit was a new location for me.  When I met the owner, one of the first things she said was, "you look even younger than you do in the [pruning] video".  People often tell me I look young or group me into a young demographic without asking my age.  Hearing I look younger in person than I do in a five year old video was a new one though!

It is fascinating how challenging it can be to get people to focus on a plant or their garden after they start commenting on how [young/old] I look.  It's not like I toss into phone conversations that I've been gardening for over 20 years.  Gardening from 13 - 33 can be just as educational as gardening from 43 - 63, right? 

It seems logical to me to talk about plants and gardens when I'm working.  I do prefer to write in the third person here, especially since google likes it when I link 'Wildwood' to the nursery's website.

I did cave in and update my photo on the sidebar.  Maybe I looked too old in the first one or maybe now I look younger - who knows.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weather To Buy Or Sell

Weekend Wall Street Journal readers might recognize this headline! Wildwood doesn't have insider tips on Maple futures. However, we do have a weather related suggestion. 

The drought's still on every gardener's mind but the recent rains are relieving stress. They're also bringing a lot of water. In the case of standing water, this can be bad. Unless you're growing water lilies and a Taxodium, most plants hate swamps. It rots their roots! 

Try to provide places for water to go. Preferably in your yard where it can soak down to your local aquifer! 


Monday, December 8, 2014

The Fir That Keeps On Giving

The egos of the Dwarf Korean Firs at Wildwood are beginning to get a little bloated.

With all the attention they're getting, it's going to their needles.  The latest PR blitz on them is Sunset Magazine's gift guide giveaway.  Folks had to enter on Sunset's FB page and an entry from all the way in Louisiana won.

So one lucky Fir will be getting on a plane to the Big Easy.  We won't be surprised if the paparazzi take photos of it causing a scene on Bourbon Street.

If you do decide to get one, try to shield it from the limelight!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Visit to Asian Art Museum

Coins hanging from branches
My visit to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco Sunday was full of discoveries.  Such as, money does grow on trees.

Secondly, the term 'Asian' dates back to the Greeks and Romans who decided they would call anything East of the Ural River [flows into Caspian Sea] Asian.  This geographical concept masks the religious, cultural, ethnic, and yes gardening, diversity within this area.

As populations moved out of Mesopotamia, and later trade routes developed, communities adapted and borrowed rituals and customs from other regions.  We are still adapting and borrowing from other cultures.

Creating a 'California Garden' can be as Japanese as an 'Indian Garden' is Persian.

Stare at the clouds and puzzle on that for awhile.  Oh, in one Hindu belief system elephants resemble clouds.  Therefore, they symbolize prosperity and fertility.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday Shopping

Spring and Fall will always be the big shopping seasons for gardeners.  Most plants prefer the holiday season for moving to new homes though.

This year Sunset's Holiday Gift Guide includes a dwarf Korean Fir.  The plant is a perfect fit for the holidays.  It's an evergreen, it has silver needles, and it's cute!

The fir is a great addition to any container garden.  It will provide a steady year round backdrop for any deciduous or annual plants that are nearby.  Remember to take the decorations off in January!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sunlight Shines Through Seiryu

The Blue Dragon Maple epitomizes strength and beauty.  When given the chance, the branches on this maple will bend and curve around eaves and towards the light like the sinuous contortions of a dragon.

Wildwood worked on a Seiryu Maple in Mill Valley California Monday that seemed like three maples in one.  Tucked in an alcove next to the kitchen, part of the tree curved upward above the roof, part of the tree leaned out over the garden, and several branches twisted around the eaves.

Anytime a tree has a distinct personality, pruning is a bit more of a challenge.  It is also very rewarding to see the tree in a new light!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fall in Motion II

Our first attempt at capturing fall color at Wildwood was a little shaky.

Thankfully, with a little help and rapid improvement, our second attempt was much more rewarding.  We picked a few sweet spots to set up camp with the tripod, set the focus, and made several slow passes with the camera.  Well, probably four hours of passes.

David Carlson at Kiva Media isolated the professional looking segments, added sound, and voila!  We'll be ready for the dogwoods in the spring!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Fall Still Photo

We realize we need to work on our cinematography skills before we graduate from photography.

The overcast skies afforded us a great opportunity to work on filming today.  In between takes, we occasionally switched to camera mode.  At left is one of the scenes we really like.

A dwarf Hanami Nishiki with a flaming Baldsmith and a golden Waterfall.  The background of a tall scarlet Okagami and an architecutural Ojishi provides a great counterpoint to the soft lace leafs.

This grouping definitely makes the cut!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall in Motion

We brought out our director chairs this weekend and queued the cameras for a fall scene.

You'll see the entrance to the nursery right under a huge valley oak and adjacent to the pavilion.

This is just a preview; budget an hour to see everything in person!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Sign

The first of November is a great time to start fresh.  Studio Wildwood is unveiling new signs at projects around the Bay Area.

We posted the first sign at 421 Pine in Sausalito.  It joins a line up of several signs; the Studio is part of a rather large project.  Once the home and cottage remodel winds down, we'll start to plant and transplant and plant some more! 

The second sign went  to 2980 Clay in San Francisco.  It sits by itself between two rushes and under a large plum tree.  The work consisted of reining in the plum and adjacent shrubs to fit the postage stamp size yard.

The signs look great - thanks to Daya Ceglia Design!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Big Cargo

All of a sudden, large red bark maples are all the rage.

This past weekend, several of the 36" Beni Kawa went to new homes.  The one in the picture took a ride in a pickup that typically hauls horses.  The new owners drove back out from Freestone with their truck so they could have new maple sooner.

Perhaps, the idea of a fully grown tree is reassuring.  Folks know how big the plant will get and they know it will make an instant impact in their garden.  These are actually dwarf [about 12' tall] maples.  However, the red winter color dwarfs everything else around them!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sunset - The Magazine, The Sky, The Color

It's that time of year when the sun starts to set a little sooner, the clouds make the evenings more dramatic, and Wildwood is in the magazine.

Red sunsets and gold fall colors make even the most pedestrian summer garden a showstopper.  The long slog through the dry spell is finally coming to end.  Fall color is a great energizer for those weekend gardening chores.

Ginkgos are the quintessential picture of fall color.  Their unmistakable leaf outline and radiant gold color transform gardens.  Wildwood has several different mini-Ginkgos to choose from this fall.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Refreshing Views

The last few weeks, it seems like we've been staring threw the lens of cameras more often than not.

All the new shots are starting to pay off with the addition of the online shop and updates on the plant pages.  With the mercury near 100 Sunday, it was refreshing to stay in the shade and peer out. 

The picture to the left is one of the views we enjoy the most.  It is also the background for the blog.  The natural setting is a constant reminder of the where Wildwood and CA gardens start.  We work to both compliment and reshape landscapes like the one in this view.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sha Sha Sha Shaina

Feeling in the mood for the cool melody of a dwarf red maple?

The old standard is A.p. Shaina.  This slow growing maple has slightly smaller leaves than a palmatum leaf.  With a compact twiggy growth habit, young trees have the look of a wily old maple.

Of course there are newer dwarfs to choose from; ones named after Ed or Twombley or Enron [just kidding on the last one].  These newer compact red dwarfs don't have the same charm of a mature Shaina.  Wildwood always has a rotation of Shaina's growing for visitors to browse.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Prancing Peacock

Most Japanese Maples are a quite spectacular in the garden.  They're graceful, soothing and well behaved.

A handful make a loud statement in the landscape.  One of the attention getters is the Fern Leaf Maple.  It's stage name is the Dancing Peacock Maple. It likes to prance around in the shade while all the other plants look wistfully at it.  This maple's large leaves have lobes that fan out like a Peacock's tail.  They stand up above the branches attracting lots of second looks.

Acer japonicum 'Maiku jaku' is the academic name but all the hip gardeners who need personality in a shady spot know to ask for Dancing Peacock.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Behind The Makeover

At 5pm Friday, we re-launched the home page for Wildwood.

Leading up to that time there had been some incremental changes to the homepage, mainly the larger pictures rotating through as a slideshow.  The most noticeable Friday change is the 'Wildwood Nursery' logo. 'Where art and nature meet' is still the tag line but 'Farm' is gone.  We've thought of Wildwood as Wildwood Farm for so long it will take time for us to get used to the new phrase.  At the end of the day, Wildwood Nursery is a better description of the business.

The 'SHOP ONLINE' button is another significant change.  All the top nurseries and botanic gardens give their customers the option of buying online.  To keep pace we had to add that capability.

Of course, someone is always raising bar.  Days before we made our changes, The High Line launched a new website.  The gardening world is changing quickly.  Enjoy fall, it's a reminder to us as much as anyone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Inside Fine Gardening

The November/December edition of Fine Gardening boosted the spirits at Wildwood.  We needed a little shot in the arm while we're in the midst of loading our shopify shopping cart.

The article on Japanese Maples features Lady Wildwood talking about Koto No Ito.  It's a fairly wispy tree but she has a lot to say about it!  She actually makes it sound quite interesting.

Ok, Koto No Ito is a great maple.  We have it planted in the gardens at Wildwood and people do stop to look at the 8' tall bamboo leaf in full sun.

Hurry in, you'll be just in time to catch the fall color!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Start your Shopping Carts

We think of ourselves as gardeners, plant collectors, and outdoors people at Wildwood.

If you had seen what we've been doing the last few weeks, you would never have guessed.  Other than shooting tons of pictures, we've been glued to the computer.  Between magazine articles and setting up an online store, our gardening existence has been reduced to staring at store templates, cropping photos, writing plant descriptions and crunching shipping costs.  The crunching is ongoing by the way.

Once we tell the store how to compute shipping costs, it will be live.  In the meantime, you can preview the selection at

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Airport Art

A combination of travel and vacation took time away from the blog.

One surprise during boarding at SFO was the display of Tiffany glassware in the lobby.  The SFMOMA is 'on the move' during the renovation of the museum so the collections move about the city.  The task of maintaining interest in the museum is an interesting chore for the staff!

The descriptions accompanying the Tiffany display are very educational.  Tiffany Studios morphed from a dry goods store into a luxury goods maker under the direction of one of the founder's sons.  Quite an accomplishment!  It's worth flying out of SFO.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Container Ginkgos

Capturing the essence of Wildwood in a photo takes a little doing.  This photo of dwarf ginkgos is a very stylized image of container gardening.

The process began with moving large rocks into position.  The spacing between the rocks is key.  From a human perspective they look 'fine' in a certain configuration.  Through a camera lens, straight on, they look much different...

Once we set the ginkgo grouping, we placed the ferns, pieris, and umbrella pines to soften the hard surfaces.  All in all, it took about 16 hours [over 4 days] to design this garden!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

Even hot summer afternoons have their cool moments.

Bentley and Lola stopping by Wildwood is one of them.  They wanted to check out the plants and stare down the squirrels.  After touring around, they decided to cool down on a concrete bench by John Beck.

Luckily, we had the camera out from the morning photo shoot.  Westies are much easier to photograph then plants!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Project

Last week, Wildwood put the finishing touches on a small project in the East Bay.

The garden is full of the latest trends in California gardening! A small orchard - 6 [actually more, the apples are three in one] different fruit trees.  Low water plants - a mix of grasses and reed like plants that can go long spells without water.  Repurposed lumber - the curving pathway and stone patio are made from material that was onsite.

The fire pit at the end of the walk is the first one the studio designed! Can't wait to put it through the flame test...

Friday, August 8, 2014

New Camera

A few weeks ago, Wildwood joined the ranks with a DSLR camera.  It will be quite some time before we figure out all the functions.

That's not stopping us from taking photos though!  This is one of the first we took.  It shows bright red Fireglow and Emperor maples in the knot garden.  The Murasaki Kiyohime in the foreground is close to thirty years old!  The native madrone and huge walnut give a sense of stability to the scene.

The goal is showcase them on the website.  We'll be busy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Friends

Last Saturday, Wildwood packed up [a few things] and headed down to SF for the botanic garden's summer fair.

We saw a few familiar faces but most of the people we met were new.  There were people from the trade, folks from out of town, gardeners from down the block, and of course the friendly staff at the botanic garden.  It seemed like everyone had an interesting gardening story or chore to share.  Most people decided they could find room for one more plant after they stopped by our table.

We had a great time chatting with everyone and look forward to our next visit!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fair in San Francisco

It's time for the summer gardening fair at the SF Botanic Garden again!

Wildwood had so much fun last year that we're returning.  We'll be loaded to the gills with maples and ginkgos.  There are numerous one gallon maples that need much larger containers but we're feeling lazy.  They'll be on sale for $20.

The hybrids of the native dogwood, like C.n. Goldspot, have flowers!  If you can't wait till spring to see dogwoods blooming, stop by the fair.  We'd love to see you there.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Plants Arrive

Wildwood is transforming a backyard in the East Bay. One of the best parts of restoring a landscape is sprucing things up with fresh plants.  Today, a big truckload arrived.

There are Eddie's White Wonder Dogwoods, dwarf fruit trees and citrus, natives, and low water use grasses that will be going in the ground shortly.

They'll be sprinkled around a firepit, island deck, and plank walkway.  The 'After Pictures' should be ready around the first week of August.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

J Pop Festival 2014

This weekend Japantown and Union Square in San Francisco come alive with the music, shows, food, and activities that are part of Japanese culture.

Sleepy Japantown, with traditional bonsai, stationary, and textile stores, is the hip place to be with all the latest games, food trucks, dj's, and performances.  The days of massive gongs and kimonos are fading fast.  Now, stacks of speakers and platinum wigs are the preferred choice for younger generations.  It's possible to see how older styles influence the current generation but one has to look closely.

What does this mean for Japanese gardens and plants?!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mid Summer Presentation

Over the past weekend, close to 70 people attended Wildwood's presentations on Japanese Maples.

Exploring Dwarf Maples was the most popular presentation by far.  It's understandable since this is a wide topic.  Dwarf Maples can encompass lace leaf maples as well bushier varieties depending on one's perspective.  The talk covered the range in growth patterns for dwarf maples, seasonal color, leaf shapes, planting tips, and training dwarf maples.

The great thing about dwarf maples is they're great for any size garden or balcony!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Plant Care

Trees take summer off just like humans.  They soak up the rays and spend much of their time resting.

While they're not dormant, they're not exactly exerting themselves.  Generally, they're conserving energy for the next growth spurt in the fall.  This resting time is a great opportunity for humans to get off the lawn chair, rummage around in the shed for clippers, and do some light pruning.

In the spring, trees can send out long sprays of growth that make the outline of the tree look weird.  Clipping these sprays back by one half to two thirds can rein in the tree and recapture its glory.

When the fall growth spurt happens the tree will look much more balanced!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Annual Sale

Big News. Wildwood moved it's annual sale to July!

Starting today, you'll be able to purchase 33% more maples.  That's right, 33% off all maples - from 36" box Beni Kawa to our smallest dwarfs.  There are some maples that have an even bigger discount.  They're in the new sections we created last month.

The sale culminates with a series of talks July 11-13 on different aspects of maples.  Plan on gardening this month!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Displays At Wildwood

The past few years have seen a number of changes to the nursery especially the layout and display areas.

Lately, we've created a few more new display sections at Wildwood.  The section shown to the left is half of a pair of islands in the very front of the nursery.  They're only temporary; they'll be there for the first half of July.

Another section mid way through the nursery is undergoing a major revitalization.  The current layout centers on a fallen oak with wild looking roots still intact.  A row of miniature conifers lines the 'spine' of the trunk.  As we move into summer, the heat will force us to adapt the plant mix!

Stop in and explore the new pathways and plants.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mid Summer Maple Series

This July, Wildwood will have a series of talks on Maples.

The poster for the series is hot off the presses and we're excited.  The talks will go beyond FAQ's and cover the qualities that make maples magical.  The goal is broaden the concept of maple beyond lace leafs [Are you growing marijuana?] and the ubiquitous maple leaf.  With several hundred maples to cull from for the talks, we'll be sure to have fresh exciting concepts to cover.

Visit for a gardening pep talk and leave with inspiration for your garden and community!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rafting on the Middle Fork

Spring is for gardening, Summer is for fun, right?

The middle fork of the American River is a great place to have fun.  The canyon walls on either side of the river offer great scenery in the calmer sections.  The class IV rapids provide plenty of excitement for folks trying to lollygag in the warm weather.

Since the American River is one of the few rivers in CA that is dam controlled and raftable, the drought is a non-issue!

If you go, try to stay in the boat, unlike the unnamed fellow in the picture.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Crossing Grace

While summer's around the corner it seems like we've had quite a head start.  The growing season definitely started early.

We took advantage of that earlier this year at a garden in Sonoma County. Except for shade from a few large maples and one big smoke bush, the front yard gets all day sun.  The smokebush [Cotinus x Grace] is a hybrid of a European smoke bush and American smoke tree.

Its intense reds and scarlets need light greens to calm the color palette.  Wildwood chose the Autumn Joy Sedum, Penstemon Midnight, Agastache Acapulco, and Iris to accomplish this.  The Sedum is a soft pink, the Iris has large green blades and the Penstemon flowers jazz things up!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Taste of Photos

Here's a preview of the photos Robert Divers Herrick took at Wildwood.

This close up of Celestial Shadow captures the spirit of dogwoods and spring.  Even though it was early in the morning, the photo shows the sunny cheerfulness of dogwoods in spring.  Celestial Shadow is a hybrid of Cornus florida, Cornus nuttalli, and Cornus kousa - and it exhibits some of the best qualities of all them.

There's more photos of dogwoods, maples, and ginkgos that will be making their way onto the website shortly.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Santa Rosa Visits Wildwood

The Santa Rosa Garden Club paid a visit to Wildwood Wednesday.

Over 20 inquiring gardeners listened to Sara Monte introduce our dogwood, ginkgo, and maple collection.  Folks were pleasantly surprised to see the kousa dogwoods blooming.  Looks like they'll be holding flowers [bracts] into June.

Several club members selected small maples for their garden projects.  The hybrids of Acer circinatum were especially popular.  People like the idea that circinatums are a native.  With names like Sunglow and Sunny Sister you know the apricot and yellow tones will brighten up a shady spot!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Visiting Berkeley Botanic Garden

There was a delivery to the East Bay Wednesday so I carved out time to stop in the canyon above campus to see the garden.  With the record temperatures, it was fairly easy to stop at every bench and enjoy the views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Large oaks, dogwoods, and maples frame the views and provide shade for plants from around the world.

Seeing thirty foot tall Asian Dogwoods was very educational.  Their growth habit is naturally multi-trunked and bushy, albeit supersized bushy.  Of course, they looked sensational in full bloom.  Can't wait till Wildwood's get big!

There are also noteworthy species maples and east coast varieties of California natives that look quite happy.  A great stop if you're looking for inspiration.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Weekend Color

Last weekend, Wildwood was at Golden Gate Park for San Francisco Botanic Garden's spring sale.  We had thirteen tables packed to the gills with plants.

The picture to the left shows the front edge of the colorful display.  The combination of red and orange Exbury, a variegated Shirazz maple, and a speckled Eskimo Sunset maple was pretty outlandish.  The greenery of dogwoods and ginkgos helped balance things out.

Most of the plants in the picture are at new homes.  There are still brothers and sisters at Wildwood waiting for you to make your own display.  Many Exbury Azaleas are only beginning to bloom - great gifts for Mothers Day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Photo Shoot At Wildwood

Wildwood is usually a calm relaxing place to visit and enjoy plants.  Every now and then things get exciting.

The person who can capture all the excitement, tranquility, and moods at Wildwood is Robert Divers Herrick.  He's the reason an April post mentioned we have new pictures.  He visited Wildwood more than once last week, so it's worth more than one mention here. 

He had the close up lens out, then he's swap over to another lens, then he'd switch camera bodies.  He has leaves of Ginkgos and Maples, 'portraits' of a Dove Tree, and overviews of the knot garden at Wildwood.

We'll get the photos up soon with no writing because a photo's worth...

Friday, May 2, 2014

Plant Sale in San Francisco

Today and tomorrow the San Francisco Botanic Garden has its gigantic annual plant sale.

This year, they wanted to expand the selection of plants that shoppers can choose from.  So, they asked Wildwood to participate.  We are thrilled to be there and give a percentage of the proceeds to the Garden.

Wildwood has thirteen tables so there are plenty of dogwoods, maples, ginkgos, and other rare plants to choose from.  Members get first dibs this evening.  Open to the general public tomorrow!

Monday, April 28, 2014

April Heats Up

Things are getting busy at Wildwood.  Close to twenty people attended Saturday's dogwood class.  With the kousa dogwoods beginning to bloom and the florida dogwoods still going strong we didn't need to relly on slides to illustrate everything.  The slides are fall color are always fun to see, especially in the middle of spring!

Shortly, we'll have quite a few more AWESOME photos of Wildwood's plants.  Actually, as of a few hours ago, we already do.  Check back in a few days!

Friday, April 25, 2014

East Coast Dogwoods on the West Coast

The native habitat of dogwood species spans continents.  Heading west from the eastern seaboard of the U.S. to Asia the forests are filled with wild dogwoods.  They all 'flower' at different times.  They all like growing in California... Confused yet?

If so, the easiest thing to do is view them when they're blooming.  It is a dazzling display that is truly a riot of color.  Right now, the east coast dogwoods are at their peak.  There are many different varieties - plant people couldn't resist tinkering with such a showy tree!

A great example of the range of varieties is the contrast between Little Princess and Venus.  Little Princess is a dwarf dogwood with big white blooms.  It's great for a small patio garden.  Venus is a large fast growing tree with .... big white blooms!

Attend Wildwood's Dogwood Class tomorrow and learn much more.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

To Prune Or Not To Prune

This quandary perplexes many gardeners this time of year.  New growth looks so fresh and bountiful, especially on deciduous trees.  Too much new growth can also obscure the structure of a tree.  Suddenly, folks are just looking at a blob not a handsome tree.

So, how much new growth should one prune?  Should one make larger cuts?  The solution is not instantaneous; spring pruning should be minimally invasive.  Limiting cuts to smaller outer branches is probably wise.  Quite a bit can be accomplished with small hand held shears.  Save the big cuts for next winter. 

Hint: take pictures now so it is easier to remember how dense a tree can be with all its foliage!  And  enter the picture in Wildwood's Spring Photo Contest.

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.