Blooming beautiful: Berkeley in the spring

spring1
As I am sure most of you know, this is a Daffodil or Narcissus. This particular variety is called ‘Polar Ice.’ FYI, Devorah said that had she know this would have a deep orange and yellow Corona it would not have made the cut for her all white garden. Benvenue Ave. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg

Robert Trachtenberg, a landscape designer who lives in Berkeley, is the owner of Garden Architecture. This photo essay is part of an occasional series in which Trachtenberg brings an educated eye to the beauty of the nature that surrounds us in Berkeley.

It has been several weeks since I took these photos as I was hoping to share these images as soon as possible but life is full of twists and turns. Once again I didn’t have to travel far to catch some magnificent little jewels in the garden. I share a spectacular all white garden designed by my neighbor, florist Devorah Nussenbaum. All the white flowers in this piece are in our garden. Lucky me!

Scroll down for more photographs and extended captions…

spring2
But for this Berkeleysider it is a lovely surprise. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
spring3
Another Narcissus, this one is called ‘Dallas’. It is as pure as it gets. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
spring4
This is Narcissus ‘Goose Down’. One of the reasons I love Narcissus is that it is one few bulbs that we can plant in Berkeley that is a repeat bloomer. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Spring5
When viewed from behind when the sun is out (it wasn’t in this photo), the petals of this Narcissus have an ethereal translucent glow. This is Narcissus Thalia. I want to thank Devorah for helping me provide the proper names for her plantings. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Spring6
I love seeing Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) in a shady woodland garden. It is a perennial that dies completely back to the ground and in the spring emerges with a gorgeous display of blossoms. The leaf the canopy above is another lovely feature on this plant. In the lower right corner is a green flowering Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger). Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Spring7
This Flowering Dogwood is the tree that helps create the shady woodland garden that we enjoy so much. I love seeing how the flower slowly unfolds and displays its many forms as it blossoms. Devorah has shared with me any interesting story about the legend of the Dogwood. Check it out: http://www.appleseeds.org/dogwood.htm Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Spring8
Another little treasure in our garden is Fritillaria melegris ‘Alba’. Often called Checkered Lily or Snakehead, it is another bulb worth planting if you can find it. Benvenue Ave. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Spring9
Plain and simple but really stunning, this is a Flowering Cherry Tree (Prunus serrulata ’Shogetsu’). This trees gets a beautiful display of fall color as well. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Spring10
I could not resist sharing this image of an Eastern Dogwood or Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’). Again this tree has a nice bloom time and it is so much fun to watch the flowers unfold. Delicate and open in its branching and form, this tree makes a nice specimen for the garden with a great display of fall color. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
spring11
Bees like it too! Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
spring12
This same Dogwood is seen here with other woodland type plants like the Japanese Maple Acer palmatum ‘Burgundy Lace’) on the right. Other companion plants we like to use could be azaleas, ferns, Japanese Pieres and geraniums. This garden does not have fencing and the entire plant palette is deer resistant. Somehow it feels like and East coast garden but in fact it is on Vicente Road. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
spring13
Berkeley, I love this place. The Uplands. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg

Read Robert Trachtenberg’s previous columns:
Awakenings: Early bloomers in Berkeley [03.11.13]
Spectacular fall colors on view for all in Berkeley [12.19.11] 
Memories of a fading summer: Shades of blue in the garden [11.03.11]
An all-white garden: Serene, simple, sophisticated [05.25.11]
The Hanging Gardens of Berkeley [04.22.11]
Strong, sculptural trees bring a sense of community [03.29.11]
Berkeley in bloom: Shadow play and winter silhouettes [03.02.11]

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