June 29th, 2013: Hottest day in a million years and we garden bloggers hop on our buses in San Francisco and drive to Sunset Magazine Headquarters in Menlo Park! I'm surprised it looks a bit ordinary. I've grown up with Sunset Mag, and it has always seemed bigger than life. It's not. It has offices and gardens and real people you can talk to! I love it!
After a presentation of new hydrangeas, roses and such by Bailey Nurseries, we are let loose on the grounds. There's a social media contest - who can tweet, FB, instagram the most? Guess who? ME!
as are these framed plantings (colorful aluminum-framed planting systems for shade or sun, indoors or out by Plantasy). I especially like the use of these bright summer perennials ...
and, this version which is composed of plants from the Sunset Western Plant Collectionn (including the first ground cover Loropetalum, "Purple Pixie"... which grows 1' high and 4 to 5' wide ... I'm using it in a new garden installation this week to spill over and soften some retaining walls!!! Excuse me, I digress.)
Quiet as can be, this cute, wood-fired, pizza oven by Pizza Forno. minds its business until some one says, "Let's make pizza!"
But, my favorite of all spaces is this garden structure. It was the gold metal winner by McKenna Landscaping at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show in 2012, and so gotta-have-it, that Sunset talked them into re-locating it to their demo garden. I probably have the story a bit askew, but it's essentially true. I was told that Sunset plans to feature it in their January issue. If it happens, remember I told you so! McKenna used reclaimed lumber and old windows, gravel "floors" and the wonderful "Karl Forester" Calamagrostis acutifolia ...
which gives comfort looking out ...
and looking in.
I'm charmed and taken. Great time at Sunset!
Their gates are open to visitors most weekdays between 9 and 4.