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Garden of Niki Mueller, Portola Valley, CA

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A 1 ½+ acre garden with its many pathways and “secret” places, places to sit, places to view the hills and visit with friends. Rhododendrons, roses, clematis, abutilons and European perennials are among the plants that flower in the spring. Summer flowerings are mainly from California and the southern hemisphere.

Everyone enjoyed the picnic especially since Niki and Jean were such gracious hosts. Niki gave a tour of her garden to everyone showing us some of her special plants and how her oak tree fell over one night. It is still there too. Then we all had time to walk around by ourselves and sit in the many little resting areas. The hammock was very tempting. The flowers and objects in the many winding paths were great for photos opts.

Niki provided the barbecue and lemonade for everyone.


WHS provided iced drinks and plates and utensils. We brought pot luck food to share, salads and a rice dish. Niki played chef and barbecued lots of tasty chicken wings that just about everyone tasted and some more than one. They were so good.

In all, there were at least 25 who came and more who came even after the picnic. We had several drop-ins which was great as there was plenty of food for everybody. Many people sat around the pool for the picnic. It was great fun. Several new master gardeners came too.

After lunch, Niki gave a slide presentation showing the beginning of her home and garden. She told us all about how they built the hills up to landscape them and clear the property. They spent years getting the gardens to where they are today. It certainly was a labor of love.

Niki and Jean are going to relocate to Florida within the next 12 - 18 months. We will miss them.

- Contributed by Rosalie Shepherd

Photos: Rosalie Shepherd

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