ISSUE 37  |  Stealth Glamour

A Rose in Marin

September 14, 2012 11:00 AM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

The other day, we asked our friend Tricia Rose of Rough Linen, who has a hunting cabin and a garden in Northern California—on San Francisco Bay, no less— to send us a report:

Photography by Tricia Rose, except where noted.

Above: “My 1946 hunting cabin is on a double block, which is mostly under water,” Tricia says. “The garden is to one side, ten feet level before a precipitous jumble of big rocks, exposed and south facing.”

Above: “Some mornings you just can’t wait,” Tricia says. Photograph by Stefan Sargent.

Above: “In the beginning, the bank depends entirely on natural water. Only pigface and pickleweed survive in the salt marsh.”

Above: “Coming from London, I was starry eyed at the prospect of growing lemons, olives—figs! I built a long bed against my high front fence and planted the trees in half barrels to give them some depth of soil.”

Above: “Gardening is always the art of the possible, and some of my sentimental choices have not survived. One week of Sirocco-like winds reduced my thirty foot clematis armandii to a bizarre wall of death, bronzed intact like a baby’s bootie. A New Dawn rose struggles, but rosa mutabilis chinensis is rampant.”

Above: “Gophers wolf all the bulbs except for freesias, which have multiplied (taste no good?).The fragrance reminds me of Sydney.”

Above: “My cosseted kadota fig remains biblically barren, but a Mission fig rescued from a dumpster gives abundantly.”

Above: “Nepeta mussinii—catmint, which the cat ignores completely.”

Above: “I am not too proud to grow easy plants. Many of my plants started as cast offs and cuttings—iris corms, gazaneas, euphorbias—I am part of a local trade potlatch. Thompson’s grapes, not roses, twine around my front door.”

Above: “My garden and I are compatible, intimate and interdependent. Handing it over to a landscaper would be
like renting out my children.”

Above: “So I planted Queensland Blue pumpkin too late this year? I still have seed. Do I feel jaded? Water and weed. Feel like splurging? Buy more manure! There is a dead branch outside my kitchen window but I won’t cut it. That’s where the mockingbird sits.” (N.B.: We were thrilled to see that Rough Linen is a finalist for a Martha Stewart Presents American Made Award.)