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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.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Fling Visiting Filoli part one: The Gardens.

No garden centric to central California would be complete without a visit to Filoli, a country house set in 16 acres of formal gardens surrounded by a 654 acre estate.  I'd heard about Filoli for years as it's been featured on many garden shows and was looking forward to seeing this grand place in person.  Even the 100 degree temperature couldn't damper my enthusiasm. O.K. it did but I was still excited, especially since the gift shop had a big cooler filled with ice cold water!

The olive orchard.
 
Looking back through the allee leading to the main garden entrance.

Filoli has an interesting history.  To learn more, go here.

It's also a rather large garden so here's a map to help you out. the trees next to the parking area that have Garden Entrance and House Entrance written on them are the olive orchard. 



The clock tower sits atop the carriage house, now used as a gift shop.

One of many gates in the walled garden. These block views of the  gardens and give a feeling both of enclosure and of mystery beyond. (Like, do you think it might be cooler over there? Geeze, It's hot out today!)
Path to the cottage.

the sunken garden.  This, by the way, is not the swimming pool, that's hidden behind the hedge in the left rear.

 
 
 
The garden house.

Garden house from further away, looking across the sunken garden.

Aloe in bloom.


Agave parryi var. huachucensis.

Spectacular grown in a shallow pot and used as living statuary.


This may be Chartres Garden.
 
 

Part of he walled garden.   

More of the same.  the order gets a little blurry because of many trips back to the gift shop beneath the clock tower to get more water. 

 To see some amazing images of Filoli in all seasons taken by the talented Saxon Holt, go here.

The rose garden.


It was near the rose garden that Ms Playin' Outside showed me a water fountain.  Hooray, I could simply fill my water bottles rather than buying more!

Perennial border.

Knot Garden.

I'm tired just thinking about the maintenance on this.

And onward through the copper beech.

The cutting garden.

Cutting garden.  Deer proof plants here!

The middle of the yew allee.
Looking back on the yew allee from the high place.

The high place. I thought that 60's Haight-Ashbury was the local high place but I'm pretty ignorant bout things like that.
I walked back on the far side of the fruit garden and daffodil meadow.  This is the gate to the woodland garden missing the wedding place and Dutch garden.  Should have looked at the map in my camera bag.   

Woodland garden offered welcome shade.
The Tennis court is very close to the lovely brick restroom building which were probably changing rooms at one time.  Because food and drink are not allowed in the house, the Garden house, now an education center is used for indoor dining and the tennis court is used for outdoor dining.

The swimming pool is beautifully maintained.  I guess the fact that no one swims in it helps with that.  On this sweltering day, it sure was tempting to roll up my pant legs and go wading!


Looking back at the clock tower from the other side of the sunken garden. 

I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to see this well known estate garden as it's truly a national treasure.  Tomorrow, we'll poke around inside the house.
 
And for a helicopter tour of the grounds.

46 comments:

  1. What a wonder! (The heat, not so much!)

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  2. I've always wanted to see this garden.

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    1. When you live in Portland, this will be a 12 hour drive away from home!

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  3. Looks like something one would have to travel to Europe to see.

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    1. And yet it's not far at all! I'd like to go back in spring.

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  4. Gorgeous garden, I loved seeing all the different views of this garden from the fling. Interesting to note they have a deer problem to contend with.

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    1. The 654 acre estate is also a wildlife sanctuary.

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  5. Like you, I kept hitting the gift shop for more ice cold water. I should have realized there were water fountains for refills! You got great pics despite the blazing sun and heat. It's a lovely garden. I'd love to see it again on a milder day.

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    1. It was a hot day & I'd not experienced weather that warm before. I'm thinking that spring would be a nice time to visit. One of the videos I watched about it mentioned that they are in zone 7 which surprised the heck out of me as just a few miles away, we visited gardens in zone 9. Crazy!

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  6. Wow, that´s a pretty garden! I´m learning so many places I should visit someday! thanks!

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    1. It is a spectacular estate garden and I think you'd really enjoy it!

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  7. I'm thinking we should encourage everyone to purchase a Camelbak for the next Fling. Ample water storage!

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    1. I already have the one that I carry on my front which is why I look so fat.

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  8. Geeze Louise you saw a lot there I missed!

    Had you rolled up your pants and had a moment in the pool you no doubt would have been arrested and hauled away to the slammer. Did you hear how irate the staff got when someone dared to step on the lawn?

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    1. It was overwhelming - point your camera in any direction and voila a scene.

      I didn't hear about the irate staff but I got in trouble myself for stepping over a line to take a picture. Out of nowhere came a voice, "You can't do that!" Yikes.

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  9. Now I feel ever worse about how lazy I was that day...I spent most of our time there in the café eating gelato...it was so hot!

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    1. I have a picture of you out on one of the terraces taking pictures of that agave so you must have done some touring. Gelato in the café sounds heavenly! What was I thinking?

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  10. Such a Stunning garden, some sections have such a wonderful atmosphere.

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    1. An incredible place! Hot but incredible!

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  11. What a garden! There aren't words to describe it, except "heaven" perhaps :) You've taken, and chosen a fantastic selection of photos, really captures how "grand" everything is.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary! I kept thinking of how much work it would be to take care of such a large garden. Definitely not something for a do-it-yourselfer!

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  12. Beautiful Gardens! I love visiting gardens like this. I bet the inside is just as nice.

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    1. The inside is very grand! See tomorrow's post for a glimpse of it.

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  13. Really a shame about the heat that day, it's a sensational garden and fun to wander around in for an extended period. I haven't seen anyone but you post photos of the cutting garden, damn it was hot back there !My one disappointment (besides the heat) was the elimination of the Penstemon border that used to run along the lawn at the back side of the house, now a sea of Cotoneaster. I blame recession-era funding reduction.

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    1. Ooh, a Penstemon border sounds gorgeous - pity! It's only a 13 hour drive for me so maybe we'll return when it's cooler!

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  14. That Agave is certainly impressive. Love the Knot Garden! I could see doing that on a "fairy garden" scale. (Hmmmm, lightbulb idea.) Looks like a magical place!

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    1. The place is magical! Thinking of living that kind of privileged life is a little mind boggling! What a cool idea to do a mini knot garden. Don't think I'd have the patience but look forward to seeing yours!

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  15. Thank you for sharing, Peter. What a huge and beautiful garden! Happy weekend!

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    1. Happy weekend to you, Satu. I hope you enjoy going back to work!

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  16. Thanks to you, I had a great tour of the expansive grounds. Its truly impressive. I love the agave, aloe, the knot garden.

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    1. It's quite a sight to see. Thanks for joining me on the tour!

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  17. I think my favorite part was the cutting garden.

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    1. This was were the family would go to make cutting remarks abut their guests, right?

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  18. You did a nice overview of the gardens. Think you covered more ground than I did AND you went inside too....Mr. Speedy.

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    1. Thanks. They don't let me out much and when they do, I want to see all that I can!

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  19. It's very pretty but a bit too tidy and restrained for my taste. I have a feeling that a giant ruler must pop out and slap the petal of any plant that dares escape its hedge.

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    1. Silly Tammy, that's so old school. What happens now is that a group of gardeners, a plant psychologist and other therapists meet together and test the plants to see if they qualify for additional support in any of several areas. If not, a 504 plan is written to help create an even playing field for the plant. In addition, the plant's self esteem is artificially inflated by praising it for simply being a plant and doing it's job. If ample water, fertilizer, creating an appropriate growing environment, engaging work, and challenging the plant to grow don't work, parent plants will attack the system for failing the seedling that they have been uninvolved with since it left their reproductive systems.

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    2. WOO-HOO!!! Laughed out loud! Don't forget all the meds the plant is given since 'poor planting/gardening' is often diagnosed as other conditions instead. I'm sure the plants bring lawyers with them to all their meetings to make sure all their accommodations are being met. If they don't grow , it's not their fault. But I'm sure a lawsuit would be just the motivation they need to sprout. Ahhh, September! Let the insanity begin!

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  20. Lovely gardens! Reminds me of Huntington Gardens.
    Your comment to Tammy is funny!

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    1. It's a nice place to visit! Just a little back to school humor.

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  21. I remember the banana slugs loved the high place, as did I, when I would set the sprinkers there, as one of 8 Filoli gardeners, 1971. Best job ever!

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    1. Wow Art, what an incredible garden in which to work! Were you only there for one year? Did you go on to have a career in horticulture or are you now cultivating minds at AHC?

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    2. I knew it was a special time and place... I was taking a year off after a disasterous freshman year, later completed my education... I was hired as an unskilled trainee, eventually allowed to do a little bit of everything.
      The orchids were amazing... end of day, we raked the foot and barrow prints from the gravel walks... dragged a piece of chain link fence behing a golf cart to smooth the gravel park at the front of the house. Very satisfying to look upon the day's work... Soon I finish my 33 year career as a clinical social worker, weeding lives. I've always cherished my time at Filoli.

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  22. About that hedge in the cutting garden - it's actually copper beech, not photinia. This is at it's most drop dead beautiful in spring - first week of April. Last year they planted 87,000 bulbs - the sunken garden alone holds 4000 tulips, with 44,000 in the garden and the 3000 pots arrayed around the garden. Add to that the 16,000 narcissus and 20,000 small bulbs - the weeping cherries and pear trees in bloom - and the place is to die for. If you're going to visit - spring is definitely the time - the garden has no finer time.

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    1. Thanks for the correction! I'll change the name in my post. There are some videos of Filoli in the spring and it looks spectacular! You know a lot about this garden; do you work there?

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