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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This is My Gaden and it is Dangerous; The Matt Gil sculpture Garden


 
The second garden we visited on the Garden Bloggers Fling in San Francisco was the Matt Gil Sculpture garden which is mostly situated on a huge cliff, prone to mudslides in heavy rain and directly beneath a curve in one of America's busiest freeways. So, you could be buried in mud or a truck carrying hydrofluoric acid or chlorine gas could come careening around the corner, fly off the highway, and land in your lap. 
 
Of course, there are also dangers inherent in large scale art.  For some reason as I walked through this garden, the following scene from Beetlejuice  went through my mind.
 
So steep is the cliff  in some areas behind the home and studio of the sculptor and his wife that gardening must be done by repelling from above.  Talk about gardening on the edge!




 The freeway noise added to the vibe of this place and I suppose one would eventually just tune it out if (s)he lived here.  I wonder if there is an interesting play of headlights in the evening.

Of course, not all of the plants are living in such precarious situations.
 








The garden is also serves as gallery for the imaginative work of Mr. Gil.




The piece above would fit very well into Auntie Mame's apartment remodel yes?
 
 
 
Kangaroo paw looking stunning in the sunlight.


 Fortunately, there was a nice bit of flat space in the garden as well.


 Agave 'Blue Glow' was getting a lot of attention.  I blame Heather for posting beautiful pictures and writing about how much she liked this plant. Here we see Alison kneeling to worship the plant while Loree  photographs something else.

It is beautiful isn't it?

Not all is spiky and dangerous.  Here a lovely combination of ferns graces one of the few shady spots to be found.

Such a treat to see a protea growing in the ground!


The home, in an industrial/modern style perfect for the site, contains lots of treasures.  I especially liked this area dominated by the curvaceous lines of the string bass.


Looking down from the balcony to see happy garden bloggers  taking it all in! 


NOID succulent.

Funky echiveria hybrid.

Dig the orange coloration that these take on when given sufficient sun!

Precarious hillside, spiky plants, industrial setting, and huge art  combine make this a fabulously dangerous  place to visit! 

 

23 comments:

  1. The garden is amazing with the challenges they faced here. We have freeway noise and have gotten used to it.

    I hadn't seen the art in this garden covered as extensively so I enjoyed it in your post especially. The catrina collection mixed in is a surprise.

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    1. I've heard that people do get used to the noise much like we're accustomed to helicopters landing at the hospital just a block away and the military jets whose landing pattern takes them right over our house. You are correct, it's a paradise created in a hellish spot!

      Our hosts also have a home in Mexico and die de los muertos is their favorite holiday thus the collection.

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  2. That Blue Glow was gorgeous! Kneeling to worship, LOL! I love those bumpy, warty Echeverias.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I completely guffawed reading that line! Alison, you worshiper of false idols.

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    2. The glowing agave demands that you approach with reverence or be prepared to be poked!

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  3. I like the art work and that protea next to the Agave is awesome but I am not sure I could get used to a garden bathed in freeway noise.

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    1. People say that they do but this was very close. Until becoming accustomed to the noise level, it would sure take away some of the peaceful feeling of the garden.

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  4. That first shot of the agave blue glow is like something out of a magazine! I'm having major plant lust over this one ... especially that multi headed purple cordyline, I love it! Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Glad you liked the shot. There were so many cordylines, palms, agaves, etc. in that area. It was the best of both worlds - gorgeous tropical plants and relatively cool and not very humid summers (compared to Florida and other places where these plants thrive.) There was a bit of a heat wave happening while we were there but that's fairly unusual. I'm so ready to move although I'd miss our green hills, blue mountains and towering evergreens.

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  5. Freeways produce 'white noise' much like a rushing stream. Discreet sounds like chirping birds, crowing roosters and howling coyotes were harder to adjust to when we moved to the country. This was a wonderful, in-depth report of this "danger" garden.

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    1. Interesting to know. Here I'm jarred by discrete sounds like cars going by playing music so loud that it rattles the windows of the house, the folks with mental disabilities from next door screaming obscenities and death threats at the air, drunks walking back to their cars from the bar up the street, their communication loud enough to decipher from inside the house, and machinery like leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and edgers hitting the sides of concrete when the lawn maintenance crews hit the three churches that are also neighbors. All part of the aural tapestry of urban living I keep telling myself while dreaming of living away from town.

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  6. Gardening by repelling? That's insane! I love the orange plant in the 2nd to last photo. This would have been a really place to visit. Ya gotta admire the fearlessness of these gardeners. :o)

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    1. It was a great place to visit! The plants and design of the garden were pretty amazing!

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  7. I'm sorry Peter, you're killing me..Auntie Mame ?? Does this mean I am not the only Patrick Dennis aficionado in the garden community ? I really like your set of photos from this garden, they are very different from many of the others I've seen-including mine. Love the pic of Alison and Loree.

    I can't wait to see what your next filmclip will be.

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    1. Oh. My. Gosh. We must be kindred spirits. How much richer our lives are for having such great images in our heads - fish berry jam, You could practically write a whole book about what happened to me. Bunny Bixler and I... How bleak was my puberty, How Vivid. One of my favorite movies! I know next to nothing about movies made in the last 30 years.

      Glad you liked the photos from this garden. I'm loving seeing so many different perspectives on the same gardens on various flingers blogs!

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  8. OMG...I wondered the same thing about headlights, I was going to ask but did't want to seem like a total freak. My bedroom in the house I grew up in got headlight reflections on the wall from almost a half mile away, it was odd but I grew to enjoy it.

    And of course I LOVED this garden.

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    1. Was there also loud music with a driving beat in your bedroom? Were you perhaps raised in a disco? I would imagine that the light show would add to the coolness of the Gil garden.

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  9. Some fine artwork there but that Agave blueglow, wow!

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    1. It's a way cool plant! Fortunately, I'd found one at a local nursery last year so I wasn't tempted to try and bring one home in my suitcase!

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  10. Great pics! I entirely missed the funky echiverias.

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    1. Thanks. They were in pots up on the balcony.

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  11. Looks like a great place, pink flamingos were all the rage in gardens over here in the 70's. Mount Annan has a dead tree painted that same shade of blue, god knows why they did it.

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    1. It is a fun place. I think the painted trees are a way to add color to the garden. It's certainly an easy way to take care of a dead tree. No sawing, hauling, digging. It's also an inexpensive way to have a large piece of yard art. I probably wouldn't do it in my garden but it might look good in the right setting.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.