Friday, May 27, 2022

A kick-ass garden in Oakland


I've just featured two other East Bay gardens that are garden extravaganzas of a high order: I doubt those two gardens shared even 1% of their plant palette with one another. And now here is another totally unique garden jewel designed and maintained by the owner, Ann Nichols. Intermediate in size between the previous two gardens, the plants here represent a whole different assortment and approach: I have seen few gardens that can compare with these three when it comes to melding form and content so well! This container with giant bromeliad and cascading Lotus berthelotii is emblematic of this gardens brilliant combos and contrasts.

Each path is so different from the next...

Meticulous brickwork leading to the house...

Stepping stones taking you to the back yard 

I never dreamed Bromeliads could be used in so many ways in a garden (where they are hardy--you will see no end of vignettes featuring them here!

And, oh yes! Some perfectly grown Aloe polyphylla. Enough to make you eat your heart out!

As if designing and maintaining this jewel of a garden weren't enough, Ann also oversees the maintenance and management of the spectacular Vireya garden at the Gardens at Lake Merrit botanical garden which I have intended to blog about...and shall do so one day. The Vireya garden is a certerpiece of the botanical garden and one of the finest collections of those rhododendrons anywhere.

I took too many pictures--but this garden commanded you do so: just scroll through and enjoy and marvel at the variety, artistry, whimsy and perfection!

I said a bit about Ann before: let me add she's incredibly sweet, thoughtful and generous. Just my kind of mensch!

Charming garden art is everywhere, but never comes close to overwhelming the fantastic plantings.

I never dreamed the red leaf plantain would make such a great crevice stuffer!

And what about this stunning desert fern (nee Cheilanthes, now a Myriopteris: I wanted a piece of this BAD, but behaved myself. I have a hunch she would have dug me up a chunk if I'd asked...

It would take centuries for wooden chairs to lichen up like this on our desolate steppe: needless to say, no one sits on this.

Who ever would have dreamed Sequiodendron could be trained to make an archway? This piece-de-resistance crowned the top of the garden and blew my mind! Dontcha love the cat?

Troy isn't quite as scary from the other side...

The back yard is to die for.

My dear friend Linda Aurichio, having a moment of inspiration! I last featured her at 14,000 feet in Yunnan in this blog.

We're headed back to the street again--the side garden looks altogether different from this direction.

A carpeting Melostome along the path--a new one for me--will be my parting shot. Thank you Ann! You sure kicked my ass with your flawless gem of a garden!

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