Friday, August 13, 2010

My very late posting on the Garden Conservancy 2010 Open Gardens - East Bay

This is a really late to be posting these photos but this summer's been so busy!

On the day of the tour I had only enough time to get to 2 gardens in Oakland. I had hoped to get to 3 that were close to each other but the gardens were so big it took awhile to get through them. The first garden I saw was Sherry Merciari's lovely home. Lushly planted with amazing pots, sculpture and furniture tucked into a myriad of different nooks and spaces.

First, some deer resistant blade-leaved plants outside the gate as I walked up to the house:

agave villmorianaagave americana 'marginata'agave bracteosa and libertia perigrinansdasylirions make me dizzy

The entrance was really cheery and I loved the old gate.

fun entrancegate detail

The garden was full of wonderful details. Check out the upside down bamboo. Very cool.

smelting pot?ganeshabuddha and bambooupsidedown bamboo

What a fantastic bench. Where do they find all this great stuff?!

marble bench

More nifty things: Love the Tillandsia balls

silly stork and succulentstillandsia ballsmuschias and potgorgeous relics

Great stonework in the garden - giant round boulders for seats, round stones for pavers.

giant stone seatsgreat stone paving

An old grapevine acting as a bean trellis, and a very ornate bird house.

grape vine bean trellisfancy birdhouse

Found this vine off in the corner of the property. Anyone know what it is? It looks to be in the Asclepias family.

mystery vine seed podmystery vine and flowers

More scenes from the garden:

shady walkalbizia and foutain

sun seat
retaining wall pots

A beautiful gate made of recycled materials and a blue sculpture that coordinates wonderfully with the pool.

reclaimed materials gatepoolside sculpture

Lush plantings around the pool - the masses of carex were newly planted and will be gorgeous once it is soft and floppy and filled in.

fishiescan i hang out here

Perfect steps into the spa and lovely shaded walks around the perimeter of the house.

spa stepsnice bromiliadcalifornia lanaiplant lovers paradise

The garden felt like being in a tropical oasis, I found it hard to believe I was only a few miles from Highway 580 in Oakland. Sherry Merciari's garden is beautiful and I'm sure the gardens she does for clients are fantastic as well.

The other garden I made it to was Raul Zumba's garden. I'll post pictures of it next.


  1. Such an old, lived-in feel to this amazing garden. That unnamed vine looks like the vine my neighbor inherited on her fence when she bought the house. Has white flowers. Very rampant. I started a couple cuttings then decided against it for that reason. (Kelly, do you know the name of the pale pink succulent opposite the tillandsia balls? I've had it a few years but no name.)
    Cool water bowl on that plinth too. And if that first agave is a bracteosa, it's the biggest I've seen. So beautiful and well grown.

  2. Lovely, and a style that we in Austin can aspire to as well. Thanks for the great tour!

  3. That looks like a fantastic garden. I especially like the pool setting. Thank you for sharing.

  4. beautiful photography of a beautiful place.
    You captured the essence of the garden .
    thanks for the tour.

  5. Denise - the vine did have white flowers and it did look tough and vigorous. Can't quite think of the name of the succulent. If I remember I'll get back to this and post it.

    Thanks everyone!

  6. Araujia sericifera is your vine.


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