So as I drive home, I will endeavor to keep my eyeballs straight and not to tire myself out with all of this seeing and looking but that’s truly how I memorize plants and I put a lot of energy into it. Today’s Halloween though, and it’s the day I head north again, so wish me luck as I enter back into the sphere of plant life I am familiar with already. I have a lifetime to learn about Californian plants and I will just have to accept that it will take that long to learn them.
|Morning Glory growing in a planter near the San Remo Hotel in San Francisco.|
|Closeup of the amazing Morning Glory in the alley near our hotel in San Francisco.|
This is a post of some odds and ends from the trip, and it’s a bit about my state of mind I suppose. As I told my husband, it is odd to be constructing a Californian identity. Sure I am still a tourist crashing at a friend’s house, but at what point does that change? I don’t really know, but it obviously has something to do with my husband’s being down there all of the time.
|I think this is the strangest pruning job I’ve ever seen of an Asparagus fern.|
Walking the streets all over the Bay Area you see so many amazing plants. Driving I saw even more but I couldn’t take as many shots as I’d wanted.
|Trailing Rosemary creates a great effect if you can pull it off correctly.|
My daily Ikebana project also added to my luggage.
Arranging the seeds and drying them really did slow me down but I am thankful many of them are ready to go.
Using origami envelopes made the picking much more convenient.
Back at home, unpacked, but still getting back into gear, I took this photo while sitting out back under the willow arbor with the kids young adults. I love them for not teasing me about all of the envelopes with seeds stuffed into them that are all over our house. It makes me happy to know that to the girls, what I do is somehow normal, and is expected of me.
|Located in The Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, this mission is also referred to as Mission Dolores. Its common name originates from a creek that once ran near the community named Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. Founded by Franciscans, it is named after my favorite Catholic hero: San Francesco d’Assisi.|
It is difficult for me to believe that I have been to the Bay Area almost twenty times in my life, and yet, this was my first visit to the city’s oldest structure, a location made even more famous by its inclusion in one of my all-time favorite Alfred Hitchcock films, Vertigo.
I loved that the official plaque made it very clear that the original adobe walls and roof tiles were still intact.
Lastly, there is the famous cemetery. If you have not yet seen Vertigo, I promise to hide my shock. If you have, this is where Jimmy Stewart’s character Scottie follows Madeline and he watches her as she sits and visits a gravesite.
The gravestone from the film is no longer here, but there are plenty of real people to keep you more than entertained for an hour of so. Oh, and then there are the plants!
The plants are rambling all over the place.
If you go and you see something you like, there is a list of plants posted.
The architecture, the light, and the plants, made for an unimaginable visit that day.
Even though it was overcast, I could easily see why Hitchcock had picked the site. For many years the church actually left the gravestone of one Carlotta Valdes in the cemetery, but it became too much of a tourist site, and the stone was removed. I am not sure where it is now, but I am sure that it is out there somewhere.
In the film, this figure can be seen behind Scottie. It was once part of a grotto, and from online research, it appears to have been moved around a bit.
St Francis pacing in thoughtful prayer around the rose garden. He was a bit too large and lifelike for me.
A newer addition, this looks a lot like the spineless Prickly Pear developed by Luther Burbank. Against the white wall, it really stands out.
As always, the history of the site appears to overlap with that of my husband’s ancestor who travelled on what was John C. Frémont’s famous Third expedition. It is sad that Basil LaJeunesse became an historical footnote during that trip, but his death reverberated for many years in the lives of those closest to him. It is my belief, based on what I’ve been reading, that it was a loss both Kit Carson and Frémont were unsettled about since during the ensuing weeks they did things they later regretted.
|I loved the casual feel here. The stepping stones, Sedum and hose make this feel so much like a garden.|
One of the most controversial actions these men took involves this man.
This is the grave of the first mayor of San Francisco—though he was called an Alcalde and the city was then still Yerba Buena. Kit Carson shot and killed his twin sons and their distant cousin in 1846 near San Rafael when told to do so by John C. Frémont. This was just a few weeks after Basil’s death, after they’d attacked and killed the wrong Native Americans to avenge the death in Oregon, and after they must have realized they’d been tracked by Modoc paid by the Mexican Government who’d been tracking them from their encampment near Monterey as they’d headed north of the border for safety.
So enough about all of that for now, you soon will be seeing more of Frémont as he has so many native plants that have his name attached to them. I just have to add this stuff because it is so much a part of why both my husband and I love where we live, between both the Pacific Northwest and California.
If you have not yet read about, or heard about, or seen Flora Grubb and the work that comes out of her nursery, then you have certainly missed a garden design superstar and an undeniable inspiration for many of us. Undoubtedly, you must have seen her work somewhere since published examples and articles highlighting her design work have been around now for several years. After seeing the headquarters at the nursery, I came away feeling like I’d had a relaxing afternoon at a garden spa. It was amazing and I bought some really special garden items but I will post those later.
|Lehua. Metrosideros collina ‘Springfire’. Hardy in zones 9-11.|
|Isopogon anethifolius ‘Cura Moors’. This is an Australian Protea that’s a shrub. Hardy to 20-25°F.|
|Grevillea lavandulacea ‘Penola’.|
|Willow Cone Bush. Leucadendron salignum ‘Blush’. Zone 9b-11.|
|Fernleaf Banksia. Banksia blechnifolia. Hardy to the mid-20sF.|
|Kohuhu. Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Gold Star’. Hardy to 20sF.|