Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sherman Gardens - Part 1

Just a few days after returning from the Capital Region Garden Bloggers' Fling, I joined 2 SoCal bloggers, Denise of A Growing Obsession and Hoover Boo of Piece of Eden, as well as HB's friend and neighbor, in visiting Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar.  I've visited these gardens before but not for a very long time so I felt as though I was seeing them anew.  Despite the fact that the gardens occupy a space of barely over 2 acres, I took a ridiculous number of photos so I'm breaking this post into 2 parts.  This one will cover the Sun Garden, the Central Garden, the Perennial Garden, and selected plants and plant combinations that grabbed my attention.

The Sun Garden is located near the front entry.  It's laid out fairly formally with a small pond in the center.

The main space was organized in parterre fashion

The glass sculptures are part of an exhibit by California Viscosity Studios running through October

I fell for this otter statue sitting on the edge of the pond

I didn't take a full-sized photo of this Butia capitata (Jelly Palm) tucked into a corner of the Sun Garden but I really liked the way it had been embellished with shade tolerant plants.  Plants were literally crammed into every nook and cranny throughout the gardens.


The Central Garden is a display area directly across from the on-site restaurant.  The current display is all about Dahlias.

The wind was blowing the tall Dahlias about and none of the close-up photos I took are worth sharing but this photo provides visual testimony to the variety and number of plants tucked into this space

Another glass sculpture occupied pride of place


The Perennial Garden sits adjacent to a large lath house containing shade garden specimens.

This area contained many plants that can be found in my own garden, such as Arctotis 'Pink Sugar', Leucadendron 'Jester', Nandina domestica and Phlomis fruticosa; however, the plants are more tightly packed together than mine.  There's a lesson there in terms of how I could create more impact in my own garden.

This is an extension of the same bed shown in the earlier photo.  The large plant near the path leading into the shade structure is Grevillea 'Moonlight', a plant I'd like to add to my own garden


There were a LOT of beautiful plants and plant combinations distributed throughout the gardens but a few stood out for me.

Although this isn't a great photo, the image of this snow bush (Breynia) limbed up like a tree stood out for me.  I grew this plant (or a related species) in a shady section of my former garden and I miss it.  I'm already plotting a way to bring a plant like this into my current garden.

I seem to be developing a thing for red flowers.  This is chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) which I didn't use to care much for but now I find intriguing.

I'm not certain but I think this is another Acalypha, possibly A. wilkesiana

This is Ceratozamia mexicana, a new-to-me cycad from the tropical forests of Mexico.  It's new foliage can be bronze (as shown here) or light green.  It reportedly makes a good house plant as it will grow in very low light but don't get too excited - on-line sources show plants with a one-inch caudex for sale at $50 each and the prices go up dramatically from there.

This bromeliad with the neatly curled foliage is Quesnelia marmorata.  I'm going to a bromeliad show and sale on Sunday and will be looking for this one!

These plants (Aeonium arboreum, Plectranthus aureus variegatus and Coprosma repens 'Pacific Sunset') aren't especially unusual - in fact, I have all of them in my own garden.  However, I've never thought to combine them so I may be copying this.

I also have artichokes, Achillea millefolium, Limonium perezii and Pelargoniums in my garden but I haven't thought to combine those either.  Another great idea.


Part 2, covering the Tropical Conservatory, Shade Garden, and Succulent Garden will follow later this week.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Wow. Those are great images. The Quesnelia marmorata plants are the cultivar 'Tim Plowman'. The straight species lacks the curled leaves.

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    1. Thanks Tim! I'll be looking for that cultivar then.

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  2. Nice pictures of red things. Great combinations shown, too, especially that last one. This is a good showing for a SoCal summer. Of course, being next to the ocean helps. ll be glad when the Chihuly craze is over.

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    1. They used more glass than I'd have done were it my garden but it was done with far more thought and restraint than the exhibit at my own local botanic garden last year. I thought the display with the dahlias was just right.

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  3. Beautiful combinations and the glass sculptures compliment so well. Dahlias galore! Does this garden irrigate? I wonder if the closeness of plants impacts their need for extra water?

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    1. I think there are few, if any, botanical gardens in SoCal that don't irrigate, Eliza, although I suspect they all moderate levels based on plant type. As a general rule we get no rain from May until October or November and, other than some well-adapted natives, few botanical garden displays would survive without irrigation. Corona del Mar (like my own area) is classified as a coastal sage scrub environment or soft chaparral. In a natural setting, many of the plants that can handle that long period of dryness are dormant during the summer months. I don't expect that a dormant botanic garden would get many visitors!

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  4. So may beautiful things! The pond with the Glass sculptures and water lilies is a jewel but the cute otter steals the show ❤ ! I really like glass ornaments in gardens I wish they were available here. Those aeoniums are stunning I definitely need more aeoniums in my garden/life!

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    1. Aeoniums are very rose-like succulents, MDN! ;) They're really easy to grow here - we can just take cuttings and stick them directly in the soil. In your climate, I expect you might have to take more pains to ensure they get good drainage so they don't rot.

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  5. You got great photos. The color on the Ceratozamia is striking. The otter has so much charm.

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    1. I love that otter. If I could find one, I'd be tempted to install it right next to the fountain. I wonder if it would scare off the raccoons?

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  6. Great pictures! I have to admit, I'm kind of fascinated by this place. This IS the place with the fancy seascape succulent garden, right? I love that curly Bromeliad too, it reminds me of the noisemakers we used to blow into at birthday parties.

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    1. I had the same thought about that bromeliad, Alison! This garden has a highly stylized succulent bed (to be featured in my next post!) but it's less of a seascape scheme than those designed by Jeff Moore (author of "Under the Spell of Succulents") for the San Diego Botanic Garden.

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    1. He's pretty incredibly cute. I have a soft spot for otters too.

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  8. It's very reassuring to see these types of plants being crammed in that tightly! ;-) Totally unfamiliar with Ceratozamia mexicana, but it looks fantastic, so I'm checking Dave's Garden... looks like it will tolerate zone 9 winters, but I notice it's only reported in coastal areas, so probably not a chance here! Thanks for the tour :)

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    1. The cycad is a native of Mexico's tropical forests so you'd need a greenhouse for it, Amy!

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  9. Wow - that Quesnelia marmorata looks crazy. How cool - I hope you find one! I agree that that Cycad is stunning, and that Breynia too. I hope you find one of those too.

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    1. Fortunately, the Breynia shouldn't be hard to find. The problem will be selecting a spot where it can thrive in my sunny, dry, and windy garden.

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  10. Good planting combinations. Visiting gardens is such a great way of making us see our own gardens in a fresh way too. I like the shade structure, I feel I need something like that here so I hope you'll feature how it was used in your next post.

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    1. My post covering the lath house should be up tomorrow, Christina. Taking pictures from inside the structure, where the lath lines create shadows everywhere, wasn't easy but hopefully you'll get an idea as to how Sherman Gardens used the space.

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  11. That curly bromeliad is one festive plant -- looks like a lavish bow on top of a birthday present, or a pile of those celebratory paper "kazoo" that unroll when you blow into them.

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    1. It's a fascinating plant, Nell. Apparently only the cultivar 'Tim Plowman' has curls, which I learned from tvojt.

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  12. How lucky to visit this glorious garden with such great company! That cycad is really cool but at that price, I'll come back and enjoy your picture. Hope you find that bromeliad!

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    1. Cycads are usually pricey but even I was shocked by the on-line quotes for that one.

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  13. Amazing! Incredible colors and the glass sculptures are fabulous. But most of all I love the otter, patiently watering the garden!

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    1. I'm more than a little in love with that otter myself, Deb!

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