I love this shot because it shows the poppies lining my walkway all the way back. Below the Showy Penstemon is a monkeyflower bush. And there are still more flowers to bloom this season!
It may not seem like it looking at these photos, but I actually have had trouble keeping Penstemon spectabilis alive. I’m am almost sure the problem is too much water. I mean, they look lush and as if they want water. But, I don’t think so.
I took these shots this morning because I liked how vibrant the color was with the sunlight slanting in behind them. The time of day makes the flowers seem to glow! Then I took a couple close-ups because the flowers are so interesting to look at.
Plus, knowing me, I’ll kill this one soon overwatering it.
I planted this penstemon in Fall of 2016. So it has been in my garden for just about a year a half. It was very small when I bought it, probably six to eight inches. It is now pretty close to 4 feet tall, I’d guess now.
The plant with the blue flowers looks an awful lot like the Foothill Penstemon, Margarita BOP. But, the thing is, I was pretty sure it had died. Yet, here it is, blooming amid yellow wild flowers.
I don’t always remove dead plants. It’s not a plan. I just don’t feel like it all the time. This is the second “dead plant” that has seemingly come back to life. So, some plants can keep living in their roots and re-emerge when conditions are right.
It’s good to see it, regardless. Those are some pretty flowers.
I took this video last night. This is a hummingbird moth aka Sphinx moth. I think this is Hiles lineata but I might be mistaken. And the plant is Penstemongrinnellii, I believe.
I got a few packets of wildflower seeds from my favorite nursery, Grow Native at Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens in Claremont. This lupine is from those seeds. I only had poppies last year. I’m enjoying watching the wildflowers grow this year.
Part of my plan is that these wildflowers will help crowd out weeds. It has been a struggle to eliminate weeds from the garden. There was a time when the entire yard was all weeds. I have tried using mulch and removing weeds by hand. I will admit to using some Round Up but it’s difficult to use around my plants.
Wildflowers should help by both crowding out the weeds and also by helping establish the underground microorganisms that feed the native plants.
In the meantime, they are beautiful to see.
Above, you’ll notice the very large White Sage (Salvia apiana) at top left. It’s about 5′ tall. When the flower wands sprout, it will touch 7′. But look down and toward the center. In the bottom right corner is a California Golden Poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Just above and to the left is another smaller White Sage. Two branches sticking up about a foot or two. I didn’t plant that sage. I’m assuming it is an offspring of the larger plant there! And if you look closely to the right of he larger sage, there is a Penstemon centranthifolius (or eatonii, I’m not sure which it is) that has also sprouted there.
I love that new plants are growing in the garden that I didn’t plant myself. I take that as a sign that things are going well for those plants.
A friend suggested posting something each day, even if it wasn’t much. I am going to try something similar. I have been very interested and amazed to see the changes in my garden. Spring brings on new growth, blooms, and color. And this is the third year many of my plants have been in the garden.
First they sleep, Next they creep. Third they leap!
This is, I am told, an old adage among gardeners and has mostly been true in my experience with this garden. Most of my plants barely grew at all the first year. Little buds here and there.
So, this being the third Spring, I’m seeing some good growth in many places.
I’ll try, if nothing else , to post a picture and a sentence or two about it. At least 3 per week. More if possible. Why? I don’t know. Why not?
I had some physical limitations get the best of me over the winter. I’m limited in some activities, like lifting heavy objects or bending over. That makes garden chores more difficult. Or expensive. It cost me $60 for my son to help me weed this month. I don’t mind paying him. He’s doing a lot of work and he does well at school. So, he deserves some pay. I could not have done it without him.
Please enjoy these pictures from my garden in the last week.
California Poppy “‘Mahogany Red” from seed.
Below is my stream area. White Sage, Upright Rosemary, California Morning Glory, some succulents, Jelly Bean succulent, Firesticks, and some other succulents. I’m not so knowledgeable about the succulents, I admit.
Above, a wide shot of my garden showing my California Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum. There’s a big bunch up front, behind that, and another to the right. Up front is also Penstemon “Margarita BOP”, some black sage, white sage, Bee’s Bliss sage, ceonothus, manzanita.
Below, Penstemoncentranthifolius ScarletBugler with some buckwheat creeping behind it. I didn’t plant this. It grew from seed from another plant!
California Morning Glory Calystegia macrostegia and a California Golden Poppy.
Below, some wildflowers from seed I got from Grow Native nursery at Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens. Also, I think there’s a Margarita BOP penstemon at the bottom. I swear I thought that thing died. Note to self: ignoring plants seems to help them live after a point.
Above, lupine, monkeyflower, poppy.
Below, a black sage with blue flowers (all my other black sage plants have white flowers), poppy, and California Sagebrush.