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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, January 29, 2014

The Ann Nichols Garden

On the third and final day of the garden bloggers' fling, we visited some amazing places.  We started the morning at the Ruth Bancroft Garden, a zeric paradise showcasing the result of 40 years of passionate collecting of cacti and succulents.   Next came the Dudan Garden with great living spaces and awesome views enhanced by the garden which absolutely fit the space to a T.  We're now on our third garden which couldn't be more different from the other two gardens if it tried.  You may notice some of the same plants in these gardens which illustrates how differently each artist utilizes a similar palette.  I loved all of the gardens on the fling but this one was extra special for a variety of reasons that Hoover Boo explains beautifully here
 
One of the things that has resonated with me is that this was a smallish garden, only a little larger than my own but it was packed with interest.  Great plants extremely well grown,  wonderful garden art well displayed, and touches of whimsy.   I was so excited that I started to take pictures as the bus pulled up in front of the garden.  The two first shots are not the best because they're taken through the tinted glass of the bus.  We weren't aware yet whether this was our destination or simply an exceptional garden on the way so  I snapped away.



Do you think that folks who live here get used to the sight of these palms and don't constantly look up and worship their beauty?  


The Nichols Garden has something to please both the plant-obsessed collector and the controlled designer.




Aloe polyphylla grown to perfection. I have one but it's a pile of mush.

The play of color and form in this garden is delightful!




Almost feels like an announcer should begin speaking about the undersea environment of the coral reef.




Everyone should have a palm trunk planted with tillandsias!


My recent bromeliad purchases were inspired by walking through this garden.  Well, that and a 30% off sale.




 Begonias are well represented in this garden as you may notice later on in the post.




A creative and beautiful way to protect one's koi from predators.






Fun mosaic work in the pavers around one of the ponds.










Two more begonias with which I fell in love.

Does anyone have an idea about the name of this begonia?  Notice the large caudex on the Agepetes on the right.

Little and Lewis?










Door to the garden shed with a trompe-l'œil painting to resemble the actual gate to the right.






I'd love to have this view from my kitchen windows!  Notice in the foreground the treats that Ann had waiting for us. 
 Looking back down the side yard slope garden/series of ponds. 

Here are  Ann's garden helper and Ann.  Such a kind and gracious host.  Thank you so much Ann and all of the gardeners who opened their private gardens to us!
 
Only two more San Francisco Fling entries left.   I hope that you will come to the Portland Fling this summer; you'll have a fabulous time!


33 comments:

  1. Oh, I didn't realize you hadn't yet shared your photos of this magnificent garden. I found it inspiring too, it was my absolute favorite! I so appreciate you waiting to share this till now in mid-winter, so I can get inspired all over again. I enjoyed this post and your pictures immensely.

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    1. It was my favorite, too although I loved them all! Your front border will look just like this right?

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  2. I was impressed with this garden when I saw earlier photos but what struck me in your review was the sheer volume of plants packed into the space. I was almost surprised to see a few slices of lawn in the later photos.

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    1. There were a lot of plants there but they didn't seem crowded and they were all so happy looking! A magical place!

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  3. People rarely realize how much work goes into preserving this AMAZING looking garden. The majestic palm trees in the front garden set the tone for everything else. The Koi protection is genius; the painted door to the tool shed is an idea I'd like to borrow...

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    1. We gardeners know how much work goes into this garden! A wonderful place!

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  4. Wow, what an entrance! We're so impressed with this garden Peter and enjoyed looking at your photos. Such a beautiful sight to behold!

    We're dreaming of summer now...

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    1. This is an impressive garden! I love that it balances funky/whimsical artist, plant-feind collector, rabid gardener, and tasteful designer all in one space. Truly difficult to do at all and here it's done perfectly!

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  5. I was chatting with Scott as we pulled up in front of this garden and he said something about how my face lit-up and my jaw dropped. I was afraid we weren't stopping there and I almost wanted to jump off the bus! It was such an amazing garden with a layering of plants that I aspire to. Thank you for the return visit! (I still haven't looked at my photos of this one yet...yay!)

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    1. I can't wait to see your post as I can't get enough of this place. It's interesting that you remember when you first saw this garden. Who says there's no such thing as love at first sight?

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  6. You got really good photos. I was so bedazzled my pics were not so good--hands were shaking. A delight to see all the marvels of that garden again--thanks!

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    1. I've seen posts that have much better images of this garden! Like you I was in awe and kept pointing my camera and pushing the button with no thought to composition. Like your garden, this is a place I could happily move into and hope the owners don't mind.

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  7. Really gorgeous pictures of a fabulous garden with a so nice light. bromeliads are fantastic

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the tour!

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  8. Great photos! I was scrabbling at my computer screen trying to jump through so I could look at all those plants! Love the bromeliads in the landscape, so jealous of gardeners in warm climates who can do that! I thought I saw Agapetes in there. Another favorite plant of mine, though I'm waiting until I have space to overwinter one before I get one. The weeping sequoia arches are beautiful, and I usually don't like that kind of thing. I also love the protective cover on the koi pond. Form and function together isn't as common as it used to be.

    That begonia could be Begonia gehrtii. Here's a link to it's page in Dave's Garden: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/63925/

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    1. This garden simply blew me away! I have three agapetes now and love them all but someday they'll be too big and I'll have to narrow the collection to only one so maybe our timing will work together and you can take one off my hands when it's time.

      Bless your heart for identifying Begonia gehrtii, I think you're right and will try and find one for sale! Love those crinkly leaves!

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    2. I don't think I could refuse the gift of a free agapetes, whether I had space or not. I would FIND space!

      I may be a compulsive plant identifier. If someone wonders what a plant is I automatically try to find out. Luckily this one only took a few minutes. ;)

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    3. Found another candidate for that begonia while perusing Logee's website. Begonia moysesii. Looks just about identical. Too bad it's out of stock at the moment. http://www.logees.com/Windowsill/products/188/0/3

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  9. This is such an amazing garden, with so much to interesting plants and accents packed into it. I love the nice touches of whimsicals and unique arrangement of plants. I've gone through your post several times and still find features tha I've missed. I think will go through it several times times more before I really get satiated.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this garden! It was an amazing treat to be there in person and, like all of the gardens we saw on this trip, it made me want to move to the San Francisco area! They have such a wonderful climate for gardening!

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  10. What beautiful plants and garden design!

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  11. Wow wow wow, that place is paradise! so much colour and so many interesting plants! I LOVE it.

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  12. How lush! How dramatic! How gorgeous! How I love it! And how many times will I look again and again just to drink it in? Many times. Thanks for these photos and all your wonderful posts!

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    1. This was a spectacular garden! Thank you for visiting and for your kind words!

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  13. This garden has a zillion plants! I love it!! I love how lush it feels even though most of the plants are succulents. Super cool!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it as it was an amazing experience to visit this garden!

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  14. OH MY WOW!!!!!! that is the best garden ever! I love it!!!! Those palms are absolutely stunning. But dar I say, it's the bromeliads this time that take the cake!!

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    1. I agree but I can't believe that I heard those words coming from Mr. Palm himself!

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  15. Dear Outlaw Gardener,
    Believe it or not, I just came across this blog. I've never been able to take a decent photo in the garden and yours are just incredible! It was a pleasure having all of you here last year and am glad to hear you enjoyed your tour. My heartfelt thanks for your kind comments. Please know that you have an open invitation to return any time! Sincerely, Ann Nichols in Oakland

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    1. Dear Ann,
      Your garden was a highlight of the tour! You balanced whimsical touches, an obvious knowledge and love of plants, collecting, and style with great plant health and comfort. Not an easy task but you, a magical juggler of a gardener have all of those balls in the air at the same time to great effect! Thank you again for opening your incredible garden and for the invitation to return!

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