When I left Rockridge I was only a little sad to be leaving behind my beloved hydrangeas just as the season was getting started in earnest. To my great surprise and delight the southwestern coast of France and the north coast of Spain are virtually covered in them–and in every size, shape, and color imaginable (cone, mophead, lace, blue, purple, magenta, light pink, green). In France they are most commonly called Hortensia. They are prolific and huge–these blooms are bigger than a human head. Unbelievable. I found the Hortensia especially striking in Biarritz, where they cover hillsides and line the boardwalks along the sea.
Tag Archives: landscaping
This week’s East Bay Express contains an examination of some of the “new Oakland;” the real estate development known as the Uptown. Unfortunately for lawmakers and current residents, the Uptown isn’t drawing new blood to Oakland in spite of LEED certification, “a 24-hour concierge, a state-of-the-art gym, access to Zipcar service, a game room, pool and spa, an on-site Oakland Police Department office, a chef’s kitchen, and a private screening room, all available with a lease.” Click here to read the full article and reader’s comments.
I happened to visit the Uptown myself recently. The lack of rentals certainly isn’t for lack of landscaping. The Uptown’s “town square” features red bud (cercis canadensis) and tons of wisteria. The wisteria is young still and will take forever to mature, but I love the effort. Check it out:
I took several photographs of A Great Sight in Rockridge to capture the soothing front garden, the gravel, stone spheres, and variety of emergent bulbs. But when I got home, I found that some of the pictures from my digital camera were corrupted. I was left without a photograph of the one bulb I really wanted to capture: Muscari, also commonly known as Grape Hyacinth. The sturdy yet precious little ones in the garden depicted in A Great Sight in Rockridge are one of my favorite things about my walks to College Avenue.
Although the photographs didn’t turn out, I’m not left without a souvenir from today’s Muscari sighting. When I arrived at Trader Joe’s I was thrilled to find some in a little twin-tin, already forced, blooming and ready to go.
Without further ado, I introduce you to the new bulb on the windowsill, Muscari:
And the sweet, sweet scent is fantastic