Friday, September 19, 2014

Walking San Luis Obispo Campus ~The Leaning Pine Arboretum ~ Tapenade

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's there are few." 

~ Shunryu  Suzuki

The beginners mind. There is wisdom in off turning off the mind. Using my heart to see, the connection to the event changed perceptively. I caught the hummingbird diving into the flowering canopy of the floss silk tree. The hummer may have flown thousands of miles, and if I had my nose in my notebook and a pen in my hand, I would have missed the moment.

(L-R) Randy Baldwin, GM of San Marcos Growers chats with Professor Matt Ritter

Our official host for the walk was Matt Ritter, author of A Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us

Cal Fire and San Luis Obispo keep the Registry of  California Big Trees.  The 154' tall Eucalyptus Karri  Gum the group is oohing and awing, is listed. 

The Pacific Horticulture event provided quite an entourage to follow the young professor. Don't we look like duckies following their mama? One of the truly wonderful mix of people was the mix of minds. I am not alone: not everyone hates lawns.

Some do hate pink. They tend to be male. The detractors don't believe the color  blends with the native California landscape, which admittedly leans to the warm side of the color wheel.  Yes: pink does stand out. But, doesn't this image show that standing out can be a good thing?

Roughly the size of a mature artichoke, this magnificent magenta bloom arose from a dusty earthen patch on the Cal Poly campus. It is good to know so many experts who can supply me the name. This was a portion of the itinerary desired to experience details as a child does: as they come.

 Walking the Leaning Pine Arboretum, whose name could be more accurately 'The Pine- Which- Leaned- Too-Far- and Fell-Over' Arboretum, proved views don't have to be owned. It is perfectly fine to borrow them.

Deck view
Come walk with me. Enjoy the charm of place. 

Formal garden with tiered fountain

Sunken color garden

Entrance to Australian Garden

In  California, lawns are quite controversial. If you are going to have one: be intentional in your care of it. The difference between raggedy and rich is not much in water or care. 

See those spots of coral red behind where Joan Bolton and Carol Bornstein thought they were having a private chat in the garden...

Oh, my. Just when I thought my plant lust might stay undercover  for just one weekend....

I have never seen bauhinia galpinii- the red orchid tree. Such a moment is why I took the train rather than drive. Stopping at every nursery back to LA would have added a day and a couple hundred dollars to the journey.  Better to sleep on it for a few days. Wait until the temps to dip out of the triple digits here. 

The sun was softening, Our feet were tiring. The temperature back into bragging territory. These last two parting shots from the arboretum of just how ephemerally beautiful a low-water low maintenance landscape can be. 

It was getting to be time to run by the motel to clean up and head over to Sage Ecological Landscapes and Nursery for wine tasting and tables groaning under the weight of hors d' oeuvres. 

Press release photo found on Internet
Snack-Alert. The Mediterranean  Olive Tapenade by Chef OH, served at the host nursery, was spectacular. Simply served on crackers or bread spread with brie, there was no obnoxious vinegary taste clashing with the beverages. Instead, the creators relied on the infused oil of the olive to carry the flavors. I'm renewing my membership card just to be able to put this on our table.  

Until we meet again, Thank YOU for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Times, They Are A Changing

"The present now
Will later be past "

by Bob Dylan

"Changing Times, Changing Gardens" was the Pacific Horticulture weekend-long seminar.The journey up the central coast began at the train station in Fullerton.

A transportation center is a tough place to have a garden. But garden lovers are not tethered to "can't do". Planted between the succulent and cactus is a heart covered in a quilted mosaic pattern.  Phooey   on the drought- this garden will always have color in "its heart".

Instead of tensely watching for idiot-drivers along hundreds of miles of traffic, I could lazily lean against the window, allow my attention to nature's vignettes- places such as where boulders perched precariously on golden hillsides.

I could admire our long coastline without looking for off ramps with "restroom potential" . How magnificent to live in an age when people sail with seagulls over the waves.

Garden designer and  fellow garden writer Joan Bolton met me at the train platform for the rest of our journey. First stop: a wine tasting and book signing for  her long-time friend Andrea Weir's novel A Foolish Consistency.  So far, the heroine has hooked up 25 years later with the man she should have married, but didn't... Will they or won't they? To find out  buy the book 

My date: Einstein
Even Einstein would be impressed with the All-Star line up for Day 1

Lorene Edwards Forkner, Editor of Pacific Horticulture Magazine

Matt Ritter, Cal Poly Biology Professor and author of A Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us

Jeffrey Gordon Smith  JGS Landscape Architecture

Susan Van Atta of Van Atta Associates

 Randy Baldwin, GM of San Marcos Growers 

Todd Davidson, Owner/ GM of Sage Ecological Landscapes and Nursery
Gabriel Frank - of Gardens by Gabriel and about-to-be- father

here is much to report from the weekend, which measured in time, is already past. But measured in influence- the road forward is only just begun. Beginning with editing through 444 images... 

 Until we meet again- Thank you for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful.