Monday, August 9, 2010

A Visit to Keela Meadows' Garden


This past Sunday I visited Keela Meadow's garden. She is just north of me in the
Eastbay, across the bay from San Francisco.
She is an artist, garden designer, writer and colorist supreme. She goes places with color that few would dare go, and pulls it off with incredible results. The art pieces are all her designs, as are the pots, plant choices and paint. I first met Keela when she gave a demonstration on putting together plant choices for pots you paint yourself, when I got her to sign my copy of her newest book: Fearless Color Gardens: The Creative Gardener's Guide to Jumping Off the Color Wheel.This is a really, really small lot but there are at least six areas that feel separate unto themselves without feeling cramped.
You can find the biography Timber Press did for her latest book and her own website is

The most noteworthy aspect of her garden, among many, is her bold use of color

... in her choice of plants:


Bold color, Keela Meadow's Garden



... in her use of paint:

especially on her house

The house, Keela Meadow's Garden

but also on her pots


and other structures

Purple/yellow garden near the studio, Keela Meadow's Garden

... in her choice of paving materials:

such as the tiled area beside the house


or this glass near the studio


or this serpent near the dining area

Floor treatments, Keela Meadow's Garden

... in her choice of outdoor furnishings and architectural details:

such as this bench

Furniture & Architectural Touches, Keela Meadow's Garden

or this dining table


such as this outdoor shower and roof top seating


and this gate


... in the creation and use of her sculptures:

Art pieces, Keela Meadow's Garden





But I couldn't help also noticing some very nice textural elements in the garden as well:

Texture (and color too of course), Keela Meadow's Garden





Saturday, August 7, 2010

July 2010


There were plenty of blooms in July. My favorite clover, a variegated one with lavender flowers has been in bloom all month and continues to be on into August. Variegated clover with large, lavender flower heads.
The Verbena bonariensis had at least one fan in this Red Admiral.Red Admiral on Verbena bonarsiensis
The Meadow Rue is in bloom too. Thalictrum detail.
So too did the Aloe distans bloom. Aloe distans

Other plants put on plenty of show through foliage alone, like this combination of the Ceonothus 'Diamond Heights' and Echeverias. Chartreuse Ceonothus foliage making the blues bluer.
More splendid foliage: the really large bromeliad, __ imperialis shown here in front of the garden bed.
Coming of the light, morning of July 3, 2010
The garden has done well in our thus far cool summer. Here is the center arch at the broken concrete courtyard, in the center of the back garden. The concrete courtyard.

With Lia, I visited four Southern California gardens in three days and two nights. We drove down to the Huntington in San Marino very early the first day. 4 Gardens in 3  days: #1, the Huntington garden in San Marino.
After we finished there we continued south where we stayed the night in a motel in Laguna Beach. The next morning at 10 a.m. we followed our guide up the hill to tour the Hortense Miller garden. Floor to ceiling window between the tub and enclosed outside patio. Lathe covered area on end of the house closest to the driveway. Viewing perch detail.
For lunch we ate at the restaurant of the Sherman Gardens and Library just up highway 1, in Corona Del Mar. Same planting as the previous photo. 4 Gardens in 3  days: #3, the Sherman garden in Corona Del Mar. A lathe house.
Finally we drove up to Santa Barbara where we stayed at the Montecito Inn. The next morning we checked out and headed up the hill to Lotusland where we were assigned to a tour guide who had formerly worked there as a gardener. The path through the Aloe garden one of two fountains at the Aloe garden's pool. Flying Sedum Saucers
After a quick tour of the Contemporary Art museum in Santa Barbara we headed home.


Later in July the Titan Lily, Maladora bloomed at the Berkeley Botanical Garden.
Maladora the Titan lily: A phallus in a skirt.
While I was there I couldn't help noticing how nice a place this garden really is.
The Berkeley Botanical Garden really is very beautiful. Love those tree ferns.

Still later in the month, the Garden Conservancy opened 5 private gardens to tour in my area. Sherry's garden and Zumba's garden in the hills above San Leandro were a pleasure to revisit. My balky camera prevented me from getting as many shots as I would have liked. At Sherry's there was lots new to see. This is the view you get upon reaching the top of the driveway. Entrance to Sherry's Garden It was fun to see these gardens with Cal Hort buddies Ellen and Beryl. Cal Hort buddies Ellen and Beryl As usual Sherry had incorporated many exotic plants, interesting combinations and loads of art in her garden. Near the hot tub. Musschia wollastonii Statue in the courtyard and a pool of light.

My camera died midway through touring Raul Zumba's garden, which just around the block from Sherry's garden. It looked even better than I remembered it. Here. At the top of the garden, a stair case leads down to a lawn and a garden cottage. Looking out from the cottage to the upper lawn and the stairs beyond. Stairs leading up from the rear patio. Stairs leading up from the rear patio. Water feature near the patio at the back of the house.

I also visited Keela Meadows' garden in Albany but my camera wasn't available to me there.