5/26/08

The California Trip, Pt. 13: Hearst Castle

We took the garden tour. It was actually half garden, half home-and-garden (e.g., guest house, pool, pool house, et cetera). Here are some pictures I took of the garden which is a Mediterranean-English pastiche.

And even though we were on the garden tour, other tours got to see parts of the garden that we did not. So, whatever.

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Despite being in citrus-unfriendly Sunset Zone 17, the garden's 1600 ft. elevation must keep it above the influence of summer fog. All the citrus trees were loaded with fruit.

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Some gardener planted a single Gleditsia triacanthos in the place of a tree that died. It's nice with Leptospermum scoparium (although those kinds of contrasts have nothing to do with a Mediterranean garden), but it wrecks the garden design's Renaissance-inspired symmetry and they're going to remove it. (Sorry--no picture of the de-symmetrization effect.)

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Rose standards are deeply unappealing--most plant standards are--but I thought it was interesting to see them tied to the stake with a band of twine. I guess they had to use something before the arrival of nursery tape.

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Lots of statuary went unphotographed by me, but I did get a couple of the sarcohphagi. One is original, and the other is a reproduction.

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Hearst believed garden sculpture should be delightful--the nude gold woman on top of the pedestal is looking at a frog she's holding in her hand.

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If I understood the docent correctly, the Romneya coulteri is from the original landscaping.

The California trip ends. Some final thoughts in the Epilogue, and more pitcures of Lotusland, here.

4 comments:

Christopher C. NC said...

Is that a cathedral in the first two shots or is the castle made to look like a cathedral?

The Biltmore has all types of tours for different prices and what you get to see, though you are pretty free to wander the grounds on your own. They explore every possible option to empty your wallet.

chuck b. said...

That's Hearst Castle. It was a vacation home.

cloverann said...

Your photos and commentary are great, Chuck!
Don't you wish you had but ONE of the Hearst garden statues ;-)
We've done 2 of the house/garden tours. I thought they also did just a garden tour in the spring??
Thanks for taking me down memory lane at the Madonna Inn - were there still small groups of women waiting to see the famous mens' restroom with the rock wall urinal?
LOL - Best comment you had "You either get it or you don't." I found it amazing in 1974...
Thanks again for taking us on your roadtrip. Safe travels.

lisa said...

Boy, you can sure tell from the height of those palms that the castle has been there awhile. What a view!