Monday, July 30, 2012

The Huntington... definitely one for the gardener's bucket list...

Talk to most hard-core garden geeks, people like me, and we have our own garden 'bucket lists.' That list of dreamy garden destinations you must visit before you kick the bucket.

 Over the years, I have sought out those 'dream' locations that could never be replicated in a home garden due to sheer size and cost, but are what make them special 'dream' places to visit.  Places you never forget, places that bring you back to your childhood and fill your heart with joy and your mind with wonder.

Some of those places are in the Sacramento region, others are in the Bay Area and Southern California. Our proximity to all these locations, living in Sacramento, makes me appreciate living in California as a gardener's paradise full of bucket list places for gardeners to explore.

Recently, on a trip to Southern California, I was able to convince my family to spend a half day at The Huntington in San Marino, CA (near Pasadena), a 200 acre facility that has 120 acres of themed gardens as well as a library and and extensive art collection, among other things.  Specifically, I was very excited to see the recently renovated Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden (called the Garden of Flowering Fragrance) and the Jungle Garden.

The Huntington did not disappoint and it ranks on the top of places that I have now had the honor to visit.

Here are some photos of my recent visit:

The recently renovated Japanese Garden at The Huntington in San Marino, CA.  At the top of the hill is the Japanese House.  This garden opened to the public in 1928.

This is the side view of the garden with a large grove of bamboo to the left that you can walk through.

This is the bamboo pathway in the Japanese Garden.

This is the Plantain Court (Ba Jiao Yuan) in the Chinese-inspired Garden of Flowing Fragrance.

This is the Terrace of the Jade Mirror (Yu Jing Tai) in the Garden of Flowing Fragrance.

This is one of the many ponds in the Jungle Garden... very peaceful and beautiful.

This is part of a very old grove of Bambusa beecheyana 'Beechey Bamboo' (a clumping bamboo) that stands at the entrance of the Jungle Garden.  This is likely at least 60 years old, if not older, and is massive.

Visiting The Huntington's garden was an experience I will never forget.  I will be posting many more photos on out Facebook page over the next several weeks.  Like our page and see much more than just this.  For you fellow gardeners, if you love these types of experiences, add The Huntington in San Marino, CA to your gardeners 'bucket list.' It is worthy for placement on the top of the list for sure.  I can mark this off my bucket list, but no doubt will visit again if the opportunity comes around again.

Mad Man Bamboo - Rocklin, CA
(916) 300-6335

Got Bamboo?

We are very excited to offer a new shirt for all you bamboo lovers out there (or those that also love Panda Bears).  This shirt is 100% cotton and is in a natural color.  We have small, medium, large and extra large adult sizes available.

Shirts are $15, plus CA sales tax.  We won't be able to sell them at the Farmers' Market, but will have them at future plant sales.

We can also ship anywhere in the United States for $5.50 shipping and handling.

Want a shirt? E-mail me at


Mad Man Bamboo Nursery - Rocklin, CA
(916) 300-6335

Monday, July 9, 2012

'Weaver's Bamboo' adds style to a modern LA area building

Sometimes when you have a 'garden moment', an inspiration, that one mix of plant material with hardscape or against the right building, it just speaks to you. This picture does just that for me.

Lately, I have grown to really appreciate Bambusa textilis 'Weaver's Bamboo' for it lush green coloring, upright stature and its clean open look.  It looks like a classic running bamboo, but it is a non-invasive clumper.  Names so for its thin culm walls that can be used for basket-weaving and other weaving crafts.

Paul, a Bamboo Geek blog reader, asked me to ID this plant and in exchange he gave me permission to show off this photo taken of a hedge of 'Weaver's Bamboo' taken in the Los Angeles area, used against a modern whitewashed building.

If this doesn't show off LA style, I'm not sure what does.... beautiful.

Never fear... it looks just as beautiful in our warm, sunny Sacramento landscapes as well!


Mad Man Bamboo - Rocklin, CA
(916) 300-6335
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