Ruth Bancroft Garden

Sign for the back door of a restaurant: “Trespassers will be spatchcocked”


Last week my friends David and Sandy treated me to a delicious lunch at Va de Vi  in Walnut Creek, a favorite restaurant that’s a jewel in Walnut Creek’s crown.  Fabulous food in a sylvan setting. A destination restaurant, in fact.

Afterwards, David took me to the Ruth Bancroft Garden, another of Walnut Creek’s jewels.  We’d hoped to catch the cactii at their max bloom, but we aren’t the Sonoran desert here, so the bloom schedule seems to be non-traditional and not a single cactus was in bloom although we just missed some of ’em, like this Ferocactus.



Not that the visit was a disappointment, as many of the shrubs were in bloom.



As was this Yucca treculeana.

Yucca treculeana

Not blooming yet, but doing a great job with its inflorescence is this Agave asparagusii.  Well, if that’s not its name, it should be.

Agave asparagusii

And speaking of agaves, i’m not sure whether this is one, but whatever it is, it’s spectacular.



Finally, just to show that you don’t have to be blooming to be gorgeous, check out this Beaucarnia recurvata!  It’s only about six feet high, but that bulb must be two feet across.  Never saw one that large.

Beaucarnia recurvata

And this wonderful creature, whatever it is.


If i had to indulge in one tiny quibble with the Ruth Bancroft Garden, it would be a plea for more of those little stakes identifying the plants.  Then again, i doubt most visitors are as curious about the botanical names as i am.

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  1. David Ogden
    Posted 3 April 2015 at 15:22 | Permalink

    Don’t know why you need a new camera. The photos are spectacular. Agree that Agave asparagusii should be correct name.

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 7 April 2015 at 09:57 | Permalink

      You’re too kind about the photos, since all i’m doing is seeing good things to take pics of. That said, a more powerful camera might compensate for my lack of skill and let me get more detail. Besides, the battery in my old DMC-FZ50 will no longer hold a charge very long, so i’m thinking that instead of spending all that money on a new battery i could just go ahead and get a DMC-FZ1000, which will obviously be 200 times better.

  2. marker
    Posted 11 May 2015 at 14:19 | Permalink

    The photo of the whatever-it-is with the inflorescence is SPECTAÇULAR!!!

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 11 May 2015 at 14:51 | Permalink

      Glad you liked it, as it was just yelling at me, “Take me NOW!”

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