Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trip to Filoli

Last weekend Matt and I went to see the historic gardens of Filoli. Emily got us a membership for my birthday and since she couldn’t join us here’s my trip report!

“Recognized as one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century, Filoli welcomes the public to this remarkable 654-acre property, including the 36,000 square foot Georgian country house and spectacular 16-acre English Renaissance garden.”

You can read more of the history of the place here: http://www.filoli.org/explore-filoli/history/

Wandering around the grounds in late March you cannot help but notice the profusion of named varieties of bulbs flowering –daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths and so on. And on. And on!

I have always said you cannot have too many daffodils, and Filoli seems to employ gardeners who agree with me. Daffodils are naturalized en masse in meadows, and around the car park.

Though the display of the earlier varieties was somewhat waning when we went, there are still later flowering types coming up. All I can say is it would take an army of gardeners to deadhead all these flowers, so it’s no surprise they don’t bother with that.

But the gardeners at Filoli seem to have pounced upon a cunning plan to get maximum bang for their spring buck here. All the bulbs mentioned above have also been potted into zillions of large terracotta pots and placed in groups around any structure available. Everything from the main house steps to the bathrooms has multiple pots grouped around them. I expect that if a gardener so much as left a rake leaning against a wall for a minute, a circle of potted tulips would arrange itself around the base within seconds…

One wonders what happens during the rest of the year. When the spring bulbs peter out, and the hordes of camellias quit in late spring, I was having a hard time imagining the plantings being spectacular. I also know the area to be hot and dry in summer, and could find only 3 or 4 succulent plants in the entire place – what grows there later?

The only way to find out is to visit again in summer, which, thanks to Emily, I can do!

1 comment:

  1. Awesomeness! You know, now that I read your blog, I don't have to ask you about the trip. Ok, I'll still bug you about the trip you know that!


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