The sculptural beauty of desert plants – succulents and cactus – can be seen in a most amazing garden where these plants have been growing for over forty years.  The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California was started in the 1970s when one woman, Ruth Bancroft, planted three acres with her beloved water conserving plants.

I got to visit this garden recently,  I had read about it many years ago.  The size of some of the plants is amazing.  Right now there is a sculpture exhibit throughout the garden.  These larger than life six feet + tall bronze sculptures show the size of some of the agaves.  The two tall stalks are the flower of the agave – also called century plants.  Once an agave produces flower stalks, the mother plant dies.

 

 

The colors and forms of these plants are nature’s sculptures.  I especially loved the mandala shape of so many.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some plants looked like they belonged in a Dr. Seuss book.

 

 

 

 

My favorites are the agaves, with their blue green color and leaf imprints that show how they were formed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are in the San Fransisco area, it is worth the trip to Walnut Creek to visit this garden.  It is part of the American Horticultural Society’s reciprocal program, which mean members of some other botanical gardens get in free.  The Missouri Botanical Garden is part of this group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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