Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Hot, the Loud and the Proud #8

Show us your tropicals and exotics, your hot Mediterranean colors and wild combinations, amazing discoveries and unusual variations. Or how about something exciting you just saw, a crazy garden,  amazing garden art or design, an inspiring visit or hike?
This meme is open to all (you do not have to live in an exotic location to participate)  and will be on the last day of each month…so mark your calendars and lets do something fun on the hot, the loud and the proud meme. I’ll have the link available early, east coast time (USA) to catch you early birds and even earlier for those of you in other countries.


This month, I would love to take you to one of my favorite garden meccas in Northern California and that is Cornerstone in Sonoma. This beautiful place showcases some of the most innovative gardens of local and international landscape architects and designers into small and walkable gardens. Besides the gardens are beautiful high end garden shops, wineries and galleries with imported asian treasures, imported garden artefacts and bookshops, art/sculpture galleries, and cafes. You will spend an enjoyable day just browsing and getting inspired with all gardening related activities and of course beautiful gardens. I’ll highlight some of the most exhuberant themes to visit in the gardens.

Here’s a contemporary take on a garden titled “ Garden Play” with local garden designer, Topher Delany. The backdrop is a barcoded wall in beautiful blue/black bars adding a burst of color to this minimal garden and the graveled grounds contain large twined balls along with smaller silver balls. I almost want to play a contemporary version of bocce balls, but could not find the instructions on how to play.


One of my favorites is a simple and colorful tribute to the playful pinwheel. The pinwheel daisy border by New York Garden designer Ken Smith evokes the innocence and playfulness these pinwheels generate. It creates wonderful patterns and different moods with the wind, sun or rain adding to this installment. I can just stay here for awhile and watch the wind blow through these and create this joyful experience in mass.


The prairie garden by John Greenlee is a Sonoma tribute to various grasses growing in the valley, creating wonderful texture and patterns. Along dreamy pathways mowed out for visitors to follow, it lends to a nice experience like one was going to meadows and nature inspired walks in this free flowing space.



“ The Garden of Contrasts” by designer James Van Sweden offers a new paradigm to the American garden.  Under a canopy of old olive trees this minimal palette of grasses, herbs to dramatic agaves show us the wonderful textural play and how color, pattern, bold forms and scent can lead to a dramatic and quite visually stunning design.




There are quite a few more gardens at Cornerstone and I would love to show you these in the next post.  Meanwhile, let me temp you with some of the amazing sculptures that I saw at the New Leaf Gallery – such a wonderful art and sculpture gallery.






Hope you enjoyed the tour to Cornerstone. Please do visit some of the other amazing Hot, Loud and proud posts below, you will be amazed.

This is also my contribution to scenic sunday, go visit


Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Aloha Noel! Thanks for the invite to join the hot meme - I've added a link to the post. I am in love with that "Garden of Contrasts", wonderful contrast in textures. Some great sculture there too - I'm enjoying being back in California via your posts!

Anonymous said...

Aloha! I enjoyed going through these images, Noel. Garden sculpture, particularly of this kind, is not something that we get to see in our region. Love the pinwheel daisies and the prairie garden.Beautiful capture of the Garden Of Contrasts.

Have a great Sunday!

Beth said...

Very nice sculptures - I especially like the first one. I also like the garden of contrasts. Thanks for sharing and boy, do I ever WISH it was "hot" here. It's a nice day for fall in the midwest (49 degrees)...but far from hot, and our gardens are well past peak.
Blessings, Beth

Wendy said...

oh! I have seen people participating in this meme, but never knew who was hosting it! I'm going to try to play along next time.

If I could get it together, I would post a photo of my cayenne chili plant, that is completely covered in red chili peppers despite the weekend of 36 degree days!

lotusleaf said...

Aloha Noel! The different types of gardens are an eye- opener for me. I liked the pin wheel daisies very much. They look so innocent and cheerful.

Anonymous said...

I just love all the art. The color is so wonderful. And I am a bit partial to the vibrant blues. So cool.No tropical plants here in the north though, only in the house.

One said...

I have the same thoughts as Wendy. Haha! And I also have lots of chillies! :)

Charlene N. K. said...

Nice series of images that tell a lot of messages.

Anonymous said...

What delightful gardens and sculptures!

Andrea said...

Aloha Noel, i am glad i've just been reconnected with my friends in Hawaii and from Hawaii. Your post now deserves to be hot and proud, as most in there are extraordinary, the sculptures are great too. At least i have the feeling that i've been there!

Autumn Belle said...

Aloha, Noel! I hope mine is hot enough for this meme. The art sculptures in your post are very nice and unique.

Kathy said...

What fun! I think I would have to visit there everyday if I lived near by. How inspiring. Mahalo for the tour.

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