Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ancient Cork Oaks.. Bay Vistas .. Sculptural Installations

In thrall with this vignette from my final open garden visit on the June 5th 'Open Days,'

...& this natural wonder: a venerable cork oak.

A terrace surrounded and shaded by magnificent cork oak trees.
The extensive grounds of the hilltop property surrounded one of the largest homes I've seen: the map handed to me by the ticket taker shows a front garden wrapping around the curvature of the house. Fortunately, as I arrived my friend Richard Turner (editor of Pacific Horticulture) was departing, and he mentioned that a grove of cork oaks was a high point of the visit. I likely would have missed these magnificent trees growing beyond the garden's Meditation Walk, near the tennis court.

The 30-acre estate, with its colorful mixed borders of grasses and perennials, and sculptural works abetting views of the Bay.

A terrace sweeps along the front of the house, overlooking a large pond, swathes of lawn, and paths softened by mixed ornamental grasses, roses, herbs. A pool appears as you continue, and a quiet nook devoted to meditation. Shimmering Bay vistas ... need I say more!

Continuing along the pathway past the pond, a rose arbor emerges, along with a mini-orchard, and a circular organic vegetable garden.

A small segment of the house's profile and sunny front patio, anchored by terraced plantings and fragrant roses.
The Garden Conservancy's Open Days continue throughout the summer & Fall. Check the Open Days Directory or the web site to locate open gardens in your area of the U.S.


  1. Now that's a deer I can live with! The views across the Bay are wonderful, but that cork oak is amazing!

  2. Alice you got some great shots !
    This was a fun garden to explore.
    Did you notice what was inside the large sculpture ?
    Tons of doggie toys. !
    Now that is what I call a pretty fancy dog toy storage sculpture.

  3. Michelle,
    You're soooo observant! I did not see the doggie toys;-)

  4. Pretty darn spectacular! I love cork oaks, remember seeing my first (appropriately) at Pomona college and being amazed at cork in the flesh.

    I didn't notice the doggie toys, either...

  5. how absolutely gorgeous! Those cork oaks are stunning - I don't think I've ever seen them before.

  6. It's nice that there are open days so as to see places like this.