Meadow

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A visit to Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge yesterday revealed a changing aesthetic.  One change is a transformation of the entry area bed, long a orderly progression of Cyclamens-to-Tulips-to-Petunias, into a Piet Odoulf-style meadow.  Nearby are masses of informal annuals and perennials. 
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This graceful, grassy spangle is a bamboo--

Otatea acuminata aztecorum, perhaps?

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A Midwestern meadow isn't any more Southern California than a geometry of Petunias, but it's lovely all the same.    

More from Descanso to follow. 



Comments

  1. You could almost see those plants gently swaying with the breeze. The bamboo looks like an Otatea indeed.

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    1. They did sway indeed. I was trying to figure out how to photograph that...

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  2. Very beautiful! Great photos of a great garden.

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  3. Great scenes for close-up views; even distant, I bet it's nice.

    Great points that many here miss, plus we are way too dry for "meadows" except in specialized valley soils/moisture spots. I would be curious what you might think of more California / Mediterranean-based meadows like those of John Greenlee? Wish I could lend you his book, or just give it to you, since I need to reduce books before moving!!

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    1. I've seen some Greenlee grasslands--they are beautiful, just seem to be a bit out of place here--properties are too small to enable the grasses to be a clearing surrounded by woodland, which seems to me the way a meadow should be, if it's not an endless prairie sea.

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  4. When we were in CA last May Descanso Gardens was recommended as a stop. I couldn't find much about it online at the time and we were pretty booked up anyway. Thanks for the reminder and visual!

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    1. The native oak forest is spectacular; not much in the way of Xerics, tho.

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  5. Are there not California meadows?

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    1. Yes, but not much in Southern California--which was coastal sage scrub, chapparal, and increasingly desert as one moves inland. Not much nature left in the flatlands. The San Joaquin Valley was originally a big meadow and north, with so much more rain, has meadowlands.

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  6. I've never been to Descanso. My MIL pooh-poohed it as camellias and annuals, but it looks like things have changed nicely for the better,at least somewhat. It's another for the SoCal list now.

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    1. It's a beautiful place for a long walk, to be with all those beautiful oaks. It's not so disneyland-for-the-educated as the Huntington. Some people like that, some don't.

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  7. Poppies, grasses, kniphofia, eryngo, Salvia chiapensis -- Descanso and I both seem to be on the same lines of Oudolfian inquiry as to what plants/perennials can tread lightly on resources and still be exciting in a mediterranean summer. The twist here in So Calif is our long growing season, which makes the timing tricky. And also tricky is the mild winter, plus the temptations from all the other cool stuff we can grow. I still like fiddling with the concept of putting together a community of plants for summer though. I need to go have a look! Stunning photos, Hoov.

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    1. The south of France and Italy have had a couple of thousand years to figure it out--the cypress and rosemary and lavender, succulents, our own oaks, and one hydrangea in a pot on the back porch.

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