The gardens at Filoli are quiet and peaceful this time of year–in the past, I’ve taken classes during the regular spring-summer season and gotten to know the face the garden usually shows to the public. Fully made-up, dressed to the nines. Bustling with volunteers and visitors, everything immaculate.
The first day of orientation for the UC Master Gardener training program was a surprise, like seeing the ropes, pulleys, and blocking tape backstage before a play. There are no crowds yet to gawk at the beds full of tulips and pots overflowing with flowers. There are a few birds beginning to set up shop in the crisp cold, and herds of tame deer grazing in the meadows. I’ll be attending Master Gardener training for 12 more weeks, and I’ll be posting pictures each week, watching as spring unfolds and the curtain rises.
Arriving for class the first morning to the sight of a large herd of deer in the front meadow.
It’s impossible to make out in this photo, but there was a buck at the center with a large rack, keeping watch over his ladies.
Passing over the bridge. This is the first time I’ve been here that there is pretty much no one else here.
Amazingly peaceful, there is no one ahead of or behind me, so I’m actually stopped in the middle of the road to take these photos.
Me, on a private backstage tour of Filoli! Actually, we have to get down to work on this week’s topic, plant morphology and physiology.
Ahhh. I always try to look UP in a garden.
And here’s what I see, lots of extremely discreet lighting. This grove “glows” like moonlight at night, rather than looking like a runway dotted with path lights.
Frost edges all the lawns this morning.
Frost crusts everything, making even these few remaining dead leaves look like they’re sugared.
The pollarded sycamores are still sleeping, no signs of spring.
We enter through the “servants” entrance along the backside of the east wing.
Lots of wonderful iron details everywhere.
Leaving class in the afternoon, I spot the herd of deer again, grazing along the side of the parking area, clearly unruffled by the few of us finding our cars.
I walked closer than this, taking video, and they still didn’t move. Filoli doesn’t need lawn statuary, when they have so many tame deer who will play the part.
I’m greeted on the second week of class by a large herd of deer grazing in the front meadow.
The quiet in the olive grove near the parking lot is incredibly peaceful.
The first signs of spring at Filoli, which is widely regarded for the grand bulb displays later in the season.
Daffodil or Narcissus? They’re the same, really.
One of the gardeners meticulously grooming the wisteria vine.
Rain or shine, this garden is gorgeous.
The bare structure of a cherry.
Can’t wait to see what this is in a few weeks. Lots of buds!
The magnolias along the front walk look like they’ll be ready in about two weeks.
Looking up into the canopy of winter branches.
Garrya elliptica hedge near the visitor center.
The long, dangling flower clusters. A “raceme” or a “panicle”? Does it matter, when it’s so pretty in the January garden?
I think the flowers on ‘James Roof’ are longer, so this is probably the species, but it’s hard to say. In a couple of weeks we’ll be pruning with the garden staff and I can ask.
Is it a shrub? Or is it a tree? It’s hard to think of it as a shrub, when you’re looking UP into its branches!
A wall of flowers!
The volunteer greeter at the welcome center.
A bunny’s eye view of the path through the grove.
One of my favorite winter garden colors, moss and lichen on bark.
I love moss everywhere.
Trying to use the selective focus to capture the raindrops hanging suspended from almost every olive in the grove.
Fun with iPhone panoramas.
See you next week, Filoli!