Thursday, May 26, 2022

A crazy cool crevice masterpiece

Ordinarily, on a bright, sunny late spring day photographing is a problem. But there's something magical about a certain garden in Berkeley: it's almost impossible not to take a good picture. So you will see a lot of them. And a LOT of plants, because the climate where Kipp McMichael gardens is...well.. amazing!

I have already forgotten the name of the rock type--a metamorphic rock from the nearby Berkeley hills: it is a lovely golden color, and angular. Kipp assures me that had never heard of Czech crevice gardens (and his style is utterly distinct from them) but has obviously independently discovered many of the magic qualities ANY crevice garden possesses: fantastic drainage, the rock forming a frame (so to speak) to show off the plant gems. and of course the mineral soil to keep them growing "hard"..

But seeing is believing: having dropped by twice in the last few months, I have to say that the robust health of the plants and the truly remarkable tapestry-like combinations speak for themselves.

Kipp McMichael

Here is the artist himself--a gracious host and fount of knowledge.

There is no way that I can begin to identify every plant--and those that I can identify (like the Agave victoria-reginae above and the Abromeitiella (now Deutorocohnia) below you could identify as easily!

So scroll away: I'll chime in again from time to time--but the garden really speaks for itself!

Aha! The backyard is in a different mode--rather like a wild English garden.  Kipp said he leaves this to his partner.

Kipps takes over again in the greenhouse, which is filled with caudiciforms and bulbous gems from Africa.

I've always had a weakness for these cousins of our north Temperate Scilla.

Back outside, I was impressed with the substantial bamboo grove...

 And we end with a glimpse across the back yard towards the greenhouse. The treeform bronze colored Cordyline is a clue we're not in Kansas anymore! More like horticultural Heaven! I was thinking this wasn't the image to end the series on when in an exchange of emails, Kipp sent the following two images of Calochortus weedii v. intermedius just now blooming in his garden: I was there barely a week and a half ago and missed it! I did see C. amabilis earlier this year and lots of others past bloom or in seed: this garden is a repository of these and other choice bulbs as well as succulents.

Photo by Kipp McMichael

I, for one, have never seen so many flowers on any mariposa lily! I can't imagine a plant more inappropriately named ("weedii"?).

                                                                                                       Photo by Kipp McMichael

Thank you, Kipp, for your extreaordinary garden and generosity in sharing it.

1 comment:

  1. You get to see the coolest gardens, PK! Thank you so much for sharing them with us.


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