Creature Feature

By Sara Malone
Sara is dwarfed by the hulking monsters!
Sara is dwarfed by the hulking monsters!

The monsters come out for Halloween, and the garden is no exception. Some plants, like the Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' above, are downright bizarre, even supernatural. With our minds on tricks and treats we are seeing creatures everywhere!

Coenosium Gardens, conifers, foliage gardening

Autumn's misty days exacerbate the eeriness; we wonder if the alien pictured above at Coenosium Gardens has designs on that tractor, or even the barn...we had barely escaped its clutches when we came upon the next horrible beast:

conifers, Picea abies 'Pendula', Coenosium Gardens

Not sure how much more our nerves could stand, we fled from Coenosium and sought sanctuary at Iseli Nursery. All seemed well, until we saw the horrible multi-headed sea serpent sitting outside the front door, daring anyone to enter:

Chamaecyparis, topiary

At Iseli, it appeared, it was too dangerous to linger. Would Buchholz & Buchholz be any safer? We were weary of running and hoped to find safety soon.

Larix deciduosa 'Pendula', conifers, weeping larch

Buchholz was clearly not the place to stay! An enormous creature greeted us in the Flora Wonder Arboretum and we decided that the only safe place was home, so we made our way back to Sonoma County. At Quarryhill Botanical Garden we realized that we must have just missed a witch's coven, as one of the witches left her broom in a pine tree:

conifers, pine trees

So on to Circle Oak Ranch, where we breathed a collective sigh of relief. No sooner were we settled than we realized that we had been invaded!

Cedrus deodara 'Divinely Blue', cedar, mixed foliage, colored foliage

What had appeared to be a lovely specimen of Cedrus deodara 'Divinely Blue' turned into the Loch Ness Monster! We recoiled and ran right into a series of webs...

Everything just looked eerier and eerier to us...spider webs were everywhere.

Giant blue gardener-eating amoebas flowed along the ground, creeping along at our feet, sending out tentacles to nibble at our toes.

junipers, blue foliage, conifers

Some of the monstrous brutes have fierce teeth, which look like they could make short work of us. We scurried away. Where would we be safe?

succulents, foliage plants

How had we not noticed all of the teeth before? They were everywhere!

succulents, black foliage

Exhausted, and with darkness falling, we realized that we needed to seek shelter in the house. We ran down the hill, passing a trio of demons, barely escaping their clutches.

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum'

At last, safety was ours, warm and snug inside, with the doors locked, a fire lit and the dogs on guard. We opened a bottle of wine and discussed how many narrow escapes we had had. What we didn't realize was that the creatures were waiting for us to leave to really let loose:

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum'

A very Happy Halloween to all from the Phantoms and Fiends at Form and Foliage!