Even following all the safety guidelines, I still felt as if I was engaged in some transgression, like trespassing or playing hooky from school, but then I feel much the same way every time I go to the supermarket. There were other visitors but the garden is 87 acres so it wasn't hard to keep my distance. Still, I spun through my visit in about an hour, clicking photos as I went. This post covers what I thought worth sharing. I should mention that the garden employs only four gardeners and a lot of maintenance is normally performed by volunteers. After an absence of over three months, it's showing the impact of their absence in many areas but I've generally focused on the positives.
|This is the courtyard at the entrance of the garden. In the past, plants offered for sale filled the area showed in the central photo.|
|This is the only decent photo of the Japanese Garden but it and the Fuchsia Garden beyond looked pretty good|
|Shortly before the lockdown, SCBG had leveled this large section of the Volunteer Garden to prepare a new formal garden (if I remember the plan correctly). Now it's a dust bowl.|
|The remaining sections of the Volunteer Garden are very weedy but the tree-sized Tithonia diversifolia (aka Mexican sunflower tree) was good to see|
|With the exception of this nice seating area, the Vegetable Garden was also a little sad but, with only 4 gardeners, I'm sure they have to set priorities|
|The Living Wall, comprised of a combination of succulents and ferns, has held up remarkably well|
|Sadly, the Desert Garden was very weedy. This was the nicest shot I got.|
|The newer succulent area is still relatively bare but it had fewer weeds! Shown from left to right: a noID Aloe, Cussonia paniculata (aka mountain cabbage tree), and Pseudobombax x elliptica (aka shaving brush tree).|
|This is the garden's amphitheater, which I don't think I've ever featured before. The white Brugmansia (aka angel trumpets) are in full bloom and, even after 9am in the morning, their scent was strong.|
|The Rose Garden offered plenty of color, even if a lot of shrubs are in serious need of deadheading|
|I was pleased to see a lot of parents with children in the garden|
|Top row: Rosa 'Julia Child' and 'Sparkle and Shine'|
Middle row: 'Lady Emma Hamilton', noID, and 'Oh My!'
Bottom row: 'Love Song' and 'Twilight Zone'
|Non-roses in the Rose Garden included: Agave attenuata (perhaps 'Kara's Stripes'), white-flowered Lagerostroemia indica (crape myrtle), and a bloomed out Salvia clevelandii|
|Just beyond the Rose Garden is the Garden for the Senses, which my friend Kay had taken on as a major project when she joined the volunteers. Someone has been keeping it up nicely in her absence!|
|This bed, also in the Garden of the Senses, looked spectacular!|
|The bed shown above features, clockwise from the upper left: Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Spring', 3 Echinacea, Helichrysum italicum (aka curry plant), Melissa officinalis (I think, aka lemon balm) and Tanacetum parthenium (aka feverfew)|
|Moving beyond the Garden for the Senses, I entered the Lavender Fields, in full flower and looking better than I think they ever have before|
|I think that's another crape myrtle in the center and beyond that you get a glimpse of a sculpture positioned in the Mediterranean Garden, which is never at its best in mid-summer|
|This end of the Lavender Fields is bordered by 2 desert willows (hybrids of Chilopsis I think)|
|If they weren't so absolutely huge, I'd want a desert willow in my own garden|
As I wrap up this post, here are a few other random shots I took in different spots of the garden.
|The little boy on the left is taking photos of the giant Dahlia 'Mystic Spirit' plants grown in a bed opposite the Rose Garden|
|The lovely purple-flowered plants here are Lycianthes rantonnetii (aka blue potato bush) and a smallish Jacaranda|
|One of the Fuchsias blooming in the Fuchsia Garden (noID)|
As I headed out, I noticed that the garden has made arrangements to sell sandwiches and other food since I was last there.
|Frankie & Elaine's had a coffee/drink stand open near the front entrance before the lockdown but I don't remember this booth featuring salads, sandwiches and other finger foods|
Other than a brief exchange with a staff member who recognized me shortly after I arrived, the only one I spoke to before I left was this fellow.
|He actually didn't say much - he just wanted me to move along and leave him to his digging|
I went home and pulled some weeds.
That's it from me this week. I hope you enjoy a pleasant weekend. Stay safe. The virus is still present and running wild, at least in the US, and it isn't time to let down your guard - or stop wearing masks to protect others.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party