Monday, May 18, 2009

Marin County Garden Conservancy Tour

On May 17, 2009 the Garden Conservancy had an open garden tour in Marin County CA.
Three gardens were open to the public.
I had already seen two of the gardens in the past so I visited only one garden on that glorious warm Sunday afternoon.

The garden that I viewed was located in Belvedere was a picture of horticultural restraint juxtaposed against beautiful stonework and splendid craftsman styled architecture.

Horticulturally speaking the plantings were classically conservative but done very well, albeit a tad bit boring, hence the lack of photographs of the gardens and the expanse of lawn.
All the predictable performers were there, boxwood and privet hedges, roses, a few standard perennials and thousands of square feet of green lush lawn.

Marin Municipal Water District must LOVE this piece of property. It probably pulls in a couple thousand dollars a month in watering fees.

The most notable element within this garden, besides the vast expanse of lawn in an arid Mediterranean climate was the exception stone craftsmanship and fine wood carpentry.

The stone entry columns located off of the motor court were perfectly proportionate to the width of the staircase and the simply elegant gridded gates.
From garden tours.

Upon arriving at the top of the staircase one is directed down a boxwood lined path constructed out of New England bluestone that was laid in an ashlar pattern.

At the end of the path lies the grand front entry to the gracious home and to opposite side is the grand expanse of water hogging lawn , proudly called the “GREAT LAWN” by the landscape designer .

I did not take any photos of the lawn. Why bother ?

Down the hill was a beautifully appointed outdoor sitting room
From garden tours.

The stone work was absolutely beautifully handcrafted on the floors, the walls and on the fireplace.

To my eye the fireplace could have used a bit more aesthetic line and form.
Fortunately the stone work was so strong that you didn’t really feel the blocky-ness of the fireplace and its lack of artistic form.
From garden tours.

Equal in its attention to outstandingly fine craftsmanship was the pergola that lead you past the GREAT LAWN , and to the swimming pool.
From garden tours.

The joinery was impecable.
From garden tours.

I liked this garden for its incredible attention to fine quality landscape construction and craftsmanship.
I just wish the horticultural craftsmanship was a bit more imaginative and environmentally conscience .

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