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October 23, 2015

Slideshow 2016 English Garden Tour

For those of you who couldn't make it out to Flora Grubb last night. Here's the slideshow but you missed our talk. We may do another in Oakland and Marin.

October 20, 2015

Studley Royal

This garden is on our 2016 garden tour itinerary.

Studley Royal, this idyllic English garden was created in the first half of the 18th century in the scenic Yorkshire Skell river valley. The main approach to the house is a long allee of trees focused on the Ripon Cathedral almost 3 miles on the horizon. The formal part of the garden is isolated from the Palladian house that burned down in 1946 but a similar Palladian style stables remains on 800 acres parkland. The raised valley floor anchored a series of straight and curved canals controlled by numerous weirs. The center of the valley and garden is a series of Moon ponds, one full circle, one half circle and two crescent that may represent the waxing and waning of the Moon. The ponds are laid out in an asymmetrical form that echos the natural serpentine valley floor and is reminiscent of natural oxbow lakes. Clipped yew hedges separate the formal water & Parterre à l'Angloise from the planted native tree hillside. Steep and angular turf banks frame the valley floor. Here the light and wind play off the water surface and the tree canopy. Everywhere the sound of water.

October 13, 2015

Evening at Flora Grubb Gardens

Hello Garden Enthusiasts!

Frank Eddy and Mike Collins are gonna do it again. We had such a successful garden tour last year that we are planning another for 2016. On October 22 we are hosting a slideshow/cocktail party/Q&A event at Flora Grubb Gardens to tempt and seduce you. We will be indulging you with some nibbles and drinks, sharing some pictures from our last tour and offering ourselves to you for questions regarding the next tour.

Mike and I are planning our next tour through North Yorkshire, Kent and East Sussex. We are still negotiating the details but we will have a basic itinerary and cost for you to consider and anticipate. We are planning our escape for late summer 2016. The tour will be 6-7 days and nights. Along with guiding you through 7-10 gardens, we will provide accommodations, transportation, and meals.

Please consider joining us at Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco for a fun evening to check out what we have planned for next summer. Perhaps even some of last years guest may show up and offer testimonials to what an amazing time they had with us.

What: A cocktail party and slideshow with Mike Collins and Frank Eddy
Where: Flora Grubb Gardens, 1634 Jerrold Ave, San Francisco CA
When: October 22, 6-8 pm.

October 12, 2015

2016 English Garden Tour presented by Mike and Frank

It's official. After our successful 2014 Mike and Frank Quintessential English Garden Tour, we're hosting our third tour of those special English gardens in 2016.

This years location is Kent, Sussex & Yorkshire.

September 30, 2015

Annies Annuals Fall Sale

My buddy, Dino is being attacked by the giant green man at Annie's Fall Sale Party. I've been making this 45 minute trip from San Francisco for 10 years now. It is by far the most interesting nursery in the Bay Area. If you've never been, well, you should go! Here is some of the interesting things I saw:

At first I thought this was a verbena but it turns out to be Lavandula canariensis. Wonderful bright green leaves with a panicle of flowers that appears to bloom for months.

September 27, 2015

Bay Street Entry Garden

My latest installation in the front entry stairwell for a building in the Marina neighborhood. This low light interior space is open only to the sidewalk. It's a southern exposure with bright indirect light reflecting off the sidewalk.

September 04, 2015

Retarding a Vigorous Street Tree

Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) grows to 10–18 m tall and 15–20 m wide in ideal conditions. It's tough being a street tree but U. parvifolia is vigorous and resilient in San Francisco. This one in Noe Valley must have a low water table. It is never irrigated but is lush. I prune this tree ever 6-9 months. Essentially this is a extremely large bonsia. The soil in the tree basins act more like large containers then expanses of live soil.

Ready for a trim. After 5 hours of pruning and two dump runs:

July 25, 2015

Victorian Garden

I came across this posters of 819 Eddy Street in San Francisco, CA.   That's a rough part of town.  I'm intrigued by the plants.   So many of these Victorian architecture in San Francisco but none of the original gardens remain.  

June 25, 2015

Noe Valley Garden

Last week I was invite over to my friend Nader's house for dinner and drinks. I arrived late due to confusion on my part but it was perfect lighting to view the garden. Nader's garden is always impeccable and constantly evolving. It's been well over a year since I been here and the first thing I noticed was the red. Nader doesn't do red so I was shocked. Is he ok?

June 09, 2015

Border with Bold Colors

Bold, Hot or exotic. Not sure which is correct when describing the facelift we gave to this large space around the barn's decks.

Planting a White Garden on the Pacific Coast

The garden tour is this Saturday.  The Garden Conservancy is hosting it's annual garden tours.  We spruced up this garden for the tour.

Frank and I are leaving early Wednesday and will be adding these plants. I'm so thrilled that I was able to find these gorgeous silver plants from Flora Grubb Gardens:

Stachys 'Bello Grigio'

May 11, 2015

Piccolo Fiume

Little River, California, a tiny enclave on the Mendocino coast includes this garden, Piccolo Fiume. I, along with Frank Eddy, have been designing and supervising a major make over for the Garden Conservatory Tour June 2015. Along with sprucing up an already "landscape-architected" garden we have added a white garden and bold colored perennial bed. First built in 2000, this garden has evolved but needed some simple editing.

These three photos was from our 3rd weekend work fest March 29th. The Tour is June 13th and I will be there. It will be great to see you there.

Tour information: The Garden Conservancy.

May 10, 2015

Bees on a Poppy

Lots of activities in the garden today.  Busy bees, mostly honey bees here.

March 24, 2015

North Oakland Cottage Garden

This garden caught my eye from a far. It was one of few interesting gardens in this north Oakland neighborhood. The quivering coins of birch leaves along with white bubbles of Erigeron and yellow dots of Thunbergia alata created an effervesce aura.

January 24, 2015

Vicksburg Street Dry Garden

Front stairs on Vicksburg Street. Hand watered garden of Ceanothus and Aeonium species.

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