On Thursday, I took my friend Pirkle Jones to Bolinas, to visit Mary Nisbet at
California Orchids. Pirkle and Mary are long time friends, and Pirkle is an avid orchid collector. So we dropped off some plants that were done blooming--Mary offers a great boarding service for your orchids. She takes care of them and brings them to you when they are ready to bloom. We got to explore some of the greenhouses, and see the preparations for their big Spring Sale, which is being held this Saturday from 9 to 4.
Being at California Orchids was like being in the middle of one of Henri Rousseau's jungle scenes (one of my very favorite painters!) Incredible blooms and colors erupting from fantasy-like foliage. One of the most interesting things was the big tree trunks, which were cork trees, that Mary has used as a "planting bed"---upon which she has cultivated various kinds of orchids and other plants.
Seeing the incredible diversity of flowers, fragrance, types of leaves and growth was quite inspiring. Just the thing I needed for some foliage ideas for a painting I'm currently working on. It was a great trip and I want to go back again--I didn't get to see all the greenhouses (I think there are about 5) To top it off, the drive over to Bolinas from Mill Valley was just exquisite---a sunny clear day--we spotted lots of egrets and ducks and the water sparkled like jewels in the sunlight. It was a very good day indeed.
Images of the greenhouses at California Orchids in Bolinas. Bottom picture: L to R--Tim and Mary, owners of California Orchids, and Pirkle Jones