I had planned to write about the Urban Bee Garden today, but I just have to share some of my Fleming Garden photos (see the Country Mouse post from Monday for more). Above, the fern wall you see as you walk up to the house. It's amazingly lush, different shades of green, different shapes, and completely covers a steep slope. The greeter told us that permeable stones were used for the wall. Earth and water are trapped, and allow the plants to grow. The green is accented with just a few Heuchera and iris.
Inside, I could not believe my eyes when I saw fruiting currants. I love currants, and unsuccessfully tried to grow European currants (not enough chill hours). Maybe there is hope? Maybe over time my native currants will bear fruit?
I also loved the flannel bush overhanging the path. The big golden flowers looked stunning against a bright blue sky.
And, just like Country Mouse, I was enchanted by the fresh growth of the Arctostaphylos. With berries and fresh green like that, who needs showy flowers?
After the Fleming garden and another hillside garden, we decided to head to the UC Berkeley Botanical garden, which has, among other attractions, a restroom. Much relieved, we decided to take a short stroll through the amazing cactus greenhouses and through the California area of the garden. We were enchanted by big butterflies - could they have been pipevine swallowtails? We also very much enjoyed the vernal pool. Vernal pools are temporary pools of water. They are usually devoid of fish, and thus allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species. We went to hunt for vernal pools in the Sierra foothills last year, but this one was bigger than any we saw then.
Here's a closer shot. I believe we see meadowfoam, with seep monkeyflower and juncus along the edges (you all know to click to actually see this, I'm sure).
I was also quite taken with the Rhododendron occidentale, which was blooming profusely in full sun.
We then had some water and an apple, and made some purchases at the gift store (entrance was free, so we had to buy something. I got a book, Country Mouse a very nice hat and some things for the grandchildren).
And then, the adventure continued...