And Now For A Bunch Of Things That Are Completely Different
So the Garden Bloggers’ Fling started in earnest on Friday. I’ve gotta say we have been seeing some jaw-dropping gardens. Not just creative and visually stunning, but also very different from what I normally associate with the word “garden”.
Mat Gil’s Sculpture Garden is built up against a rock face below a highway overpass in an industrial part of San Francisco. The artist lives and works here with his wife, Lesa Porche. The garden was designed and is maintained by Dan Carlson of Wigglestem Gardens.
A deck overlooking the garden features containers with succulents and grasses.
The designers found niches for plants all the way up the rock. The flora must tolerate the tough conditions or die. They are either natives or well-adapted exotics.
This garden was the beginning of my crash course in the very exotic world of West Coast plants, so I often caught only the Genus name. You’ll have to bear with me. The tree with the red leaves at the top is a Leucadendron.
There were plenty of Agaves. If this is an Agave. UPDATE: Thanks to Hoov from Piece of Eden, I now know this is an Aloe arborescens.
The thing that looks like walking Martian artichokes is a Protea. I was kind of fascinated by this plant.
It’s a sculpture garden, so there are sculptures. Gil’s studio is on ground level.
In a shadier spot, some bamboo and a water feature. The grill is for keeping out raccoons.
Here is the ground level entrance to the garden.
If I weren’t so tired I would try to say more about this garden. I’ll just conclude by noting that the garden amazed me in three ways. First, it seemed to fit in a remarkably natural way into what I would consider an extremely unnatural place for a garden. Second, it had such a fully three-dimensional feel – it was a garden with a verticality that seized your attention, drawing you to views from above, below, and across. Finally, it was a space that felt very enclosed and at the same time exciting and inviting.