Last Sunday and Monday were very social for me (which is rare – I’m practically a hermit). First on Sunday Vince and Janet Marino were on the AAUW garden tour. You may remember I blogged about their garden before in my Bocce post. It was their first time on the tour and Gabe was going to be there to help answer questions. Even though I didn’t design this particular garden I know enough about the garden that I felt like I could be of use answering questions about plants.
The garden was looking great! Janet had been slaving away all week making sure that not a single leaf was out of place (the garden has looked great every time I have seen it).
The Leucospermum were still in full bloom and Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ was looking perfect.
The Euphorbia lambii were looking lush.
The bocce court was immaculate.
There were several stands of Kniphofia thomsonii and other Kniphofia’s in full bloom.
Vince and Gabe greeting visitors.
The tour was very successful. Apparently there were over 500 visitors to the garden. I swear at one point in the middle of the day there were 100 people in the garden all at once! I did try to make myself useful by standing in the lower path and greeting people and answering questions about plants. There were a few plants in particular that I got asked about over and over.
My photo doesn’t do it justice but the groundcover above (with lots of Linaria growing through it) is Grevillea ‘Fanfare’.
Here is a closeup so you can see the red bottlebrush flowers and red and green oak like leaves. It stays low, just a few inches tall, but spreads out to about 10 or 15 feet across. It is planted right at street level and stopped many visitors in their tracks.
Sedum ‘Coppertone’ was another popular plant. I don’t particularly think of this Sedum as that rare but I have never seen such huge specimens of this plant. People couldn’t believe that this garden was only about 2 years old and that most of the plants had gone in as gallon sized pots. When you have good compost to plant in and that perfect coastal climate things grow pretty fast!
Kalanchoe orgyalis ‘Copper Spoons’ was another popular plant.
I felt kind of bad for all the folks visiting from inland. This is a garden that benefits from the cool coastal location and has a lot of tender specimens that don’t like it too hot or too cold.
Plants like Leucospermum ‘Scarlet Ribbon’ prefer to live on the coast.
Close up of the “ribbons”.
The tour was a huge success and I hope that Vince and Janet will be on future tours. It really is a garden that is worth showing off and I had a lot of fun spending the day with them.
And it was perfect that we were in tour mode because the next day Megan and Matti from Far Out Flora were in town. I’m going to assume that everyone who reads my blog is already familiar with Far Out Flora. One of the best gardening blogs on the internet and one of the reasons that I started my blog actually. Megan and Matti (and border collie Max) are headed back to Wisconsin to start a family and came to visit me on their way east. OK I think they actually came down the coast to pay a visit to Lotusland in Santa Barbara but we’ll pretend they just wanted to visit me.
I had them meet me at my place (didn’t want my garden to seem anticlimactic compared to the other cool gardens we would visit) and then we headed over to meet Gabe and Maggie at Vince and Janet’s house.
I thought they would appreciate some cool central coast gardens.
Next we brought them up to Cayucos to show them a few gardens designed by Nick Wilkinson of Grow Nursery.
First stop was the garden of Nick’s parents house in Cayucos. Now I’m going to cheat a bit. When I am being social I take horrible photos so I have a few older photos that are a bit better and do the garden justice.
Hopefully Megan got some good current pictures and will post them when she is settled in back in Wisconsin.
The last garden is another designed by Nick and is just down the road on the beach.
Quite a view. You can watch the sunset and the ocean all the while surrounded by amazing succulents.
Anyway now I can go back to my hermit like ways but I had a great time seeing Megan again and meeting Matti (and Max!). I can’t wait to see their visit to Lotusland come to life on their blog and can’t wait to see how their blog transforms itself from a San Francisco Bay area garden blog to a Madison, Wisconsin garden blog! And hopefully if they ever find themselves on another road trip on the California coast they will pay us another visit.