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.
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.