October 01, 2014

Arts & Crafts Front Entry Garden - One Year Maintenance Visit


One year after planting, today I detailed this garden: staking, weeding, shearing and deadheading.  This is my first garden design to incorporate those plants and ideas from my trip to England in 2012. This small front bed was a blank slate. The building's Arts & Crafts style is the theme for this planting.



Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light', Verbena bonariensis, Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Golf Ball Kohuhu', Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spears', Achillea millefolium 'Moonshine' with Geranium 'Rozanne' and Erigeron karvinskianus.


August 19, 2014

Dahlia Show, San Francisco

 California's Dahlia Society 2014 Flower Show at the Hall of Flowers in San Francisco.

Waterlily Form

August 03, 2014

Brighton, UK

The last weekend of our trip culminated with Brighton's gay pride celebration.  A fun diverse tourist industry catered to vast hordes arriving from London and beyond.   Gay pride is the cities largest event bringing more people to the already large groups of English couples, Muslim couples and families, straight, gay, old and new.   It's a city that knows how to entertain. 

Brighton is historically the tourist get away spot for England.  An hour train ride from London means it can entertain large numbers of day tourist.   Extra trains back to London left late into the night via their special red queuing scheme.   Our train home was a party train. 

The English love Ferris wheels.   London on the Thames, Mancester downtown square and here Brighton is on the Channel. 

August 01, 2014

Great Dixter

We decided to end our tour with the garden we saw first in 2012, the Great Dixter.  This time the season is solidly summer with the dahlias in crescendo.  



Long border in perfection.  Every plant had its space and filled it well.  Nothing flopping except those spilling over the flagstone. 

July 24, 2014

Trentham Estate

The Trentham Estate in Staffordshire is a formal garden set along the River Stoke.   Recently renovated from the designs of Piet Oudolf and Tom Stuart-Smith, this is a comtempory formal garden. 

The Victoirian Garden in the middle with the Italian Garden and lake beyond. 

This formal garden is planted with the New Perennials in drifts among the stately columns of Irish Yews.   The center section was designed by Tom Stuart-Smith.   

July 09, 2014

Tintinhull




Lytes Cary Manor



Kilver Court

Kilver Court in Shipton Mallet, attached not to a great country house but to a designer outlet mall.   A beautiful mall, not like something you see off the interstate in the US, but a cute collection of clothing stores, cafe, restaurant, nursery in a collection of stone buildings.   


The space is dominated by the large arched railroad bridge with a pond and rockery.  

June 17, 2014

Olio Lens on Dearborn Dahlias

I got a new four lens optical gadget for my iPhone.  It lets me take 10x, 15x, wide angle and fish-eye photos.  Here are some close ups of what's blooming here in June (Dahlias). 

Frank and my garden plot. 

Dearborn community garden. 

Pompon or ball?  It is difficult to know.




Water Lily or decorative?  I get confused.

I'm pretty sure this is a single!  Woo Hoo!

Informal? With a dash of Collerette?

A cucumber.  The bees were loving it. 

Unknown single rose. 


Slightly tart blackberry and thumb. 






June 07, 2014

New Orleans & Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve


On the outskirts of New Orleans, LA, there is the swamp.   An abused piece of "land" now protected by the National Park Service and now entering a healing phase.   All of the oyster shell mounds have been mined, all the old growth cedars have been harvested, the oil industry had its way, now nature is allow back in to reign. 

May 13, 2014

Noe Valley Entry Garden



An Arts & Crafts inspired front entry way planted in October 2013, ravished by gopher for 3 months, replanted in March. Here's what it looks like eight months after planting.

Achillea millefolium 'Moonshine', Senecio mandraliscae, Pittosporum 'Golf Ball' spheres, Geranium 'Rozanne', Lavandula (English), Erigeron karvinskianus and Verbena bonariensis

May 10, 2014

Annies Nursery & Wave Garden, Point Richmond



On April 12th, 2014, I travel across the bay to Annies' Nursery in Richmod. They we having their annual Spring fete. It was great too see everyone there and listen to the eatable garden lecture.



















Frank's Gardener Club Tour

Frank has put together another tour of San Francisco gardens.  This one is exclusive to professional gardeners, horticulturists, arborists and the likes.

First up: Eric & Jason.  A collectors garden focusing on the subtropical and water-wise plants from other Mediterranean climates.  Below a creeping Oxalis.






April 25, 2014

Westbury Court


Started back in the late 1600's, Westbury Court is the oldest style garden we will visit in July.  The Dutch influence was strong in this period of Royal and religious turmoil in England.  After looking to France for all things cultural, the Protestant state of the Holland became the importer of cultural ideas.  Long straight lines, canals, rows of trees, topiary and hedges are Dutch elements introduced to the English garden at the end of the seventeenth century.  


"Westbury Court, Gloucestershire, has the last remaining Dutch-style water garden in Britain.  Dating from the 18th century, it is very simple and serene.  Evergreen hedges, topiary and perfectly straight canals of still water calm the soul.  All the plants, even those in the vegetable garden, are 18th-century varieties to tie in the water garden.  Small but perfectly formed."  -- From Gardens Illustrated magazine

Kept small by lack of land, the Dutch created lots of variety in a small space.  Their garden elements were funtional, canal were drainage ditches, rows of trees a windbreak.  The new Protestant King lead the decline of the French formal parterre designs in England.  Along with Hercules, Neptune is a political symbol of the William of Orange, the new King of England.  At Westbury Court we will see a statue of Neptune, long canal, topiaries and satisfying vistas opening up.
    
"Westbury Court Garden was never a large garden, and what remains today is a skillful and delightful restoration of about two-thirds of the original site. In 1696, Maynard Colchester, a local squire, who had recently the good fortune to marry the daughter and heiress of a wealthy City mercer; started the garden; which was continued and enlarged by his nephew. Following William of Orange’s Glorious Revolution in 1688, England was in almost constant warfare with France for a generation; and the Dutch style in gardens became popular for a whole series of political and fashionable reasons." -- Westbury Court Garden – A Dutch Survivor by Richard Jackson

Alice's Garden Travel Buzz has some good recent photographs.



We have two spots remaining on our tour July 11-18th 2014.   Click here for the itinerary.

April 12, 2014

Rodmarton Manor Garden

The our second day of the tour we will be visiting Rodmarton Manor.  Rodmarton was built in the true essence of the Arts & Crafts movement as it was happening in 1909.  Centrally located in the Cotswold and ground zero for the movement, this garden will show you a good foundation for all Arts & Crafts gardens later in the tour. Those gardens: Hidcote, East Lambrook Manor, Hestercombe, The Courts, & Tintinhull; all are rooted in what we see at Rodmarton and possess different merits to attain our tour.
http://www.rodmarton-manor.co.uk/index.html 
Author and British garden historian Tim Richardson wrote a good article for The Telegraph about Rodmarton.
"Rodmarton’s garden was the real thing at the time and remains so today. A visit to this garden can give you an authentic savour of what Arts and Crafts meant to those disciples of William Morris who practised their crafts so assiduously and passionately in the first decades of the 20th century." -- Tim Richardson via The Telegraph

April 02, 2014

Hidcote Manor Garden

Okay here comes another entry for the beauty that awaits you on this summer's English garden tour 2014. Drumroll please… Hidcote.



Hidcote was the work of a man named Lawrence Waterbury Johnston. Johnston was already 36 when he arrived in Gloucestershire with his mother in 1907. She purchased the property at auction in the hopes that her only surviving son would become a farmer. Instead he became a plantsman extraordinaire. Johnston is responsible for many plant introductions, including Jasminum polyanthum also known as pink flowering jasmine. Any plant that is named either Hidcote or Johnston's this or that is attributed to Johnston. He left no diaries or plant records as to the creation of the gardens. He wasn't a member of the Royal Horticulture Society. Few photos survive to give us any insight into who Johnston was. What we do know is that he never married and his best friends were society ladies.

March 29, 2014

Dearborn Community Garden in the Heart of the Mission

Spring came quickly this year, in fact, we never really had our normal winter rains.   We are under voluntary 10% water reduction.  Aside from that ominous drought, our Spring has been a good mix of showers with plenty of sunshine.   Two weeks ago everything started to burst forth.   Here's some of the highlights from plot #12:

We doubled the size of our Rubus structure.  Last year we had so many wonderful blackberries we decided to give it more room by growing it over our plot shading our lettuce.

March 25, 2014

The Home of the English Cottage Garden

In preparation for leading a small group around the great gardens of the Cotswold area I'm reading many books on our specific destinations.   This week it's East Lambrook Manor House.   Although I think it technically is not in the Cotswolds area, it is a must see for us, this is the Home of a the English Cottage Garden.  


What is a Cottage Garden?  Merely a small residence with some food and flowers planted around the yard?    After reading 'The Cottage Garden - Margery Fish at East Lambrook Manor' by Susan Chivers & Suzanne Woloszynska, I would like to share some of my findings, thoughts and feelings about cottage gardening.

Cottagers started out very poor working the land and builder their homes.   Naturally they started with useful plants that produced food, herbs and extending into flowering shrubs for their color and scent among other reasons.  As their lives improved the cottagers began to collect those rare oddities they found in nature around them.  "plants like double primroses and unusual violets.  In this way, his garden became a sanctuary for mutants that would have otherwise disappeared. " For Mrs Fish, the preservation of the cottage varieties and selections was utmost important.  

The cottagers in the 16th century became the main repository of plants as the monastic gardens began to fade.  Well into the 18th century, the cottager were collecting and protecting selections of flowering plants.   In the 18th century when the Landscape Gardening became all the rage, the cottagers took the lead in conserving many plants otherwise lost when the large formal estates were transformed into Landscapes.  Finally I think the apogee of the Cottage Garden happen in the Edwardian era in the form of an Arts & Crafts Garden. This is when the Cottage Garden took center stage, allowed into the formal part of the garden.  The great herbaceous borders created by Gertrude Jekyll and encouraged by William Robinson's writing, the Arts & Crafts Garden owed much to the conservation of the cottager.

March 22, 2014

Angielskie Ogrody


With much excitement I found an English garden tour from Poland that utilized my photo of East Lambrook Garden, one of the 14 gardens we're going to visit in July, IN ENGLAND.  We have 3 spots still available.


Check out another garden tour offer. This one is from a Polish perspective. We're offering a California professional gardener's perspective. I'm proud to say the author gave me credit for my photo of the garden at East Lambrook Manor House.


Kasia Bellingham is leading a 'Pride and Prejudice' themed tour in England.

Angielski Ogrody Tour & Blog

Our picks have some overlap.  We presenting 300 years of English Gardens as our theme.
Both tours include East lambrook, Hampton Court, Tintinhull, Iford and Hestercombe.

We have two spots remaining on our tour July 11-18th 2014.   Click here for the itinerary.

March 04, 2014

Streets of San Francisco - Late Winter 2014


Our beloved and healthy London Plane street trees on Market Street.*  Some landscape architect consultate in the Bay Area thinks these do well here and keep planting them.  Most recent additions along Valencia Street.   *Sarcastic smart a**

I love these shallow wide urns in front of the Federal Court House.   Complements those gigantic lights well.

February 14, 2014

Stourhead

This is the oldest garden that you will see with Mike and I on our summer tour. It is in the natural landscape style ala Capability Brown. This garden was designed by Henry Hoare in 1740. The house was in the Hoare family for 300 years. It has since been turned over to the national trust. 



We will visit this garden on our tour of English gardens this summer. I will try to post regularly to FB about the places that we are planning on going as a way to seduce you to join us on this tour. Please write to me for details. The tour is July 11-18. We have designed the tour with a historical perspective. We will show you over 300 years of gardens. From Stourhead to the most current trends at the Hampton Court Flower Show. 

Please think about joining us. It's going to be amazing. You deserve a vacation.

Smooches,
Frank




We have two spots remaining on our tour July 11-18th 2014.   Click here for the itinerary.

February 13, 2014

Mike & Frank's Quintessential English Garden Tour

Click here for our 2016 English Garden Tour

This is it.  Frank and I have been planning this trip for 2 years.    We're hosting a small group to a journey through the development of the renown English Garden.  That fantastic place where nature and art collide.





We will visit 15 gardens including:  Hampton Court Flower and Garden Show, Rodmarton Manor, Hidcote 
ManorKiftsgate, Rousham, East Lambrook Manor, Tintinhull, StourheadHestercombe, Westbury Court, Iford Manor, The Courts, Broughton Grange and Great Fosters.

Housing accommodations provided in a Cotswold Cottage with swimming pool, private garden and BBQ. 
Three meals a day provided by local cooks, local pubs or restaurants. 

Tour Price: 
$3000 for single in shared room with shared bathroom.
$3350 for single in double bed with own bathroom.

View the Term & Conditions.


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