Filoli (Woodside, CA): Part I, Arrangements, Doors & Gates

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Located in Woodside, CA the Filioli Estate was built between 1915-1917 by Willliam Bowers Bourn II and his wife Agnes Moody Bourn. The estate has a total of 654 acres, 16 of which are formal gardens.
Filoli was first on my list of gardens to visit during this trip to California.
Floral arrangement in Visitor’s Center.
In the newly constructed visitor center I was stuck by this massive floral arrangement and noted that the materials used were garden materials instead of stark and showy exotics so I was thrilled when I discovered that the arrangements throughout the interiors were made with flowers from the cutting garden on the estate.
When you enter the main house, you will see this orchid planter. It’s massive size does nothing to dwarf the beauty of its contents.
In another room nearby an arrangement is seen on a table with Delphinium and Dutch Iris (Iris x hollandica) from the garden. As a matter of fact, all of the rooms in the house had amazing arrangements in them—though the ikebana-inspired piece was truly my least favorite since it really disappointed me.
Of coures there are a few houseplants too like this Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)—a classic for any dark interior.
A pair of Boston ferns (Nephrolenpis) on two of the largest plant stands I’ve ever seen.
Out back, past the larger formal gardens you’ll find the cutting garden. It’s in two parts with one being protected, while the other is out in the open.
Then there are the many garden doors and gateways at Filoli…

Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of these few pieces and parts.

Stay tuned for more…

Official Website: Filoli
Wikipedia: Filoli Estate

Those Last Minute Fall Plant Sales!!

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I am such a sucker for the Fall Plant Sale, and by that I mean the plant sales with deep discounts, the ones that often have the sad plants that look like Charlie Brown Christmas trees. Maybe it’s the foster parent in me, the girl who has always been on the side of the downtrodden, sad, and neglected in life, or maybe it’s the fact that I have an incredible amount of patience that is backed by this drive in me to study things over a long period of time. Who knows but at least I am not alone.
I already have a Monstera deliciosa thriving in my entry, so I knew I could resist this amazing Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Varietgata’ but I won’t lie, I wanted it! That frosted, glazed donut look gets me every time!

This year I limited myself to two sales and the first one I went to was at Al’s Garden Center in Woodburn. When I saw that they had Woolly Pockets at a deep discount, I had to go! I’d wanted one ever since I first saw them in an amazing glossy ad, but then I promised myself I would resist all the other stuff!

One more way to stuff African Violets into your home.
A frilly edged Asplenium nidus, or Bird’s Nest Fern.
Crocodile Fern, Microsorum musifolium.
Mounted Staghorn Ferns aka Platycerium.
I was so proud to have made it past all the ferns, but then it was this display of Bromeliads that ruined me. I saw all of them and thought, “Maybe I should keep working on this group. I bought one last winter and didn’t kill it so maybe I could expand on that success!” (For such a cynic, I truly can sound ridiculously positive.)
From left to right: Phlebodium aureum ‘Mandaianum’, Vriesea ‘Splenriet’, Dracaena ‘Green Stripe’, Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’.

Lucky for me I was able to find a Bromeliad on the clearance rack. At that point, after crumbling, I couldn’t buy just one plant from the sale rack, so I bought the group shown here and brought them home with me.

Moving out to the perennial sales area I came across this tulip blend and the idea of a ‘Wine and Cheese’ tulip mix really cracked me up. Maybe this loosened me up too much though because I continued to select a few more items to purchase.

Delphinium ‘Sweethearts’.

At least I was able to convince my friend to purchase this amazing Delphinium. I am not fond of pink, but I do love dusty rose. From afar, this plant really stood out too.

Doll’s Eyes or White Baneberry, Actaea pachypoda.

As if by fate, while standing there trying to convince my friend to buy something, I saw these Doll’s Eyes staring at me. This North American native is one I’ve wanted for a really long time. I bought one of them too and, of course, I quickly harvested its seeds.

The second sale I was able to commit to this year was the annual Cistus Nursery parking lot sale. Due to my rather challenging foster child that weekend we were a bit late, and many plants had already been purchased by people who’d shown up with trailers, but we had a good time anyway and found plenty of plants.

Our cart filled up quickly with plants that were very different from the plants we’d found last year! You just never know what you’ll find at this sale. That’s what makes it so much fun.

This year there were a number of Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) so I picked one up.
My husband and I were never really sure about planting palms, but after seeing them in Japanese gardens in photographs shown during a lecture last winter up in Seattle, we felt more comfortable about adding one to our berm area.

I picked this one after the tag tugged at my heartstrings. It was grown from Portland seeds. Awhhhhhh!

Myrtus communis ‘Ann McDonald’.

There was also a Myrtle so I bought it even though I already have a small one in the backyard. Myrtles fascinate me and the blooms were so pretty I couldn’t resist.

Spider Plant ‘Gold Nugget’ (Chlorophytum ‘Gold Nugget’).

I also bought two plants from the nursery that were not on sale. This Spider Plant ‘Gold Nugget’ is one I’ve been wanting for awhile, and since it looked like it had some seeds, I was even more sold on the idea of it. I am curious to see how those grow. I know this must sound funny, but I really am curious.

Spider Plant ‘Gold Nugget’, (Chlorophytum ‘Gold Nugget’) seed heads.
Jasminum parkeri.

This cute little Dwarf Flowering Jasmine also caught my eye. The smell was nice too.

Has anyone else been to any great sales? What deals did you find this fall?

City People’s Garden Store, Seattle (Washington)

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During the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling last month I was unable to sneak over to City People’s Garden Store to go shopping. I really wanted to, but once I was told I’d be coming back in a few weeks with the husband for a wine pouring, I relaxed and vowed to return then—and I did!

I’ve only been here twice before and both of those visits took place during the wintertime when I was looking for houseplants. This time I shopped inside AND outside.

Reiger Begonias are a hybrid cross between tuberous and wax Begonias.

There were so many things I wanted to buy, but since our garden is currently unkempt, and with the impending threat of the serial casting process for two injured fingers on my right hand being planned, I was just looking and not shopping.

I would buy one of these for every girl who came through my door if I could because ever the cynical foster teens melt when anyone mentions fairies. It is nice to see that a door can still open to their inner child sometimes.

I don’t grow Kangaroo Paw plants, but the green blooms on this one were so tempting.

Having been the black sheep oftentimes during Lenten activities at my Catholic school makes some place deep inside of me want a black sheep for my garden. This one is not quite black, but it’s close!

The salmon was interesting in its rusticity. I liked that the artist got the hooked snout just right.

It was so pretty that day but I was so sad it was already August. With my birthday looming, I knew that fall was near. The nursery was already stocking mums, so that made the inevitability of the changing season that much clearer.

I am sure that others around me would have understood how I felt that day if they’d known so I continued to take in as much as I could along with the rest of them. Oh the lies we tell ourselves to justify the things that satisfy us!

Sometimes you really need to gawk.

The colors are like Valium for your eyes—at least in my case they are.

And even though I have seen these blooms many times before, I still always want to see them again.

Digitalis obscura.
Delphinium hybid.
Gentiana acaulis hybrid ‘Holzmann’.
Silene ‘Jack Flash’.
The native plant corner was where I rested my eyes for a minute or two.

When I turned around I saw the Aucuba on the right with the solid green leaf. I’ve wanted one of these for awhile, but I passed on it. Sometimes it is sooooo hard to say “No” though.

This year my Fuchsia plants do not look quite this happy.

I wanted to crawl into this seat to rest a spell because my finger injuries were really making my tired. Sometimes it is such hard work looking at plants but somebody has to do it.