Springtime Peak in the Garden

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We just returned from a short trip to the desert. Didn’t really see many wildflowers though it was truly beautiful nonetheless. We went to the Mojave National Preserve. It was a bit early for flowers but we saw some of the most amazing Joshua Tree forests that we have ever seen. More on that in a later post.


We returned – following another couple of warm spring days – to a garden nearly at peak. Yes the common, old California poppies overwhelm many of the other more delicate flowers, but the vibrant, joyful colors can’t be beat. This year it was cool and wet until mid-March and then it warmed up quickly. As a consequence many things that usually bloom in sequence, are blooming together. Here’s a partial list of what is blooming:

coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)
Chinese fringe trees (Chionanthus retusus) – non-native
avocado trees (Persea cultivars)

Shrubs and perennials
Frosty Blue California lilac (Ceanothus ‘Frosty Blue’)
Howard McMinn California lilac (Ceanothus ‘Howard McMinn’)
purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra)
monkeyflowers (Mimulus cultivars)
wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca spp. californica)
De La Mina verbena (Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’)
coral bells (Heuchera ‘Wendy’ and ‘Santa Ana Cardinal’)
PCH iris (Iris – Pacific Coast hybrid)
California Glory flannel bush (Fremontodendron ‘California Glory’)
desert mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)
apricot mallow (Abutilon palmeri)
blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum)
wild sages (Salvia ‘Mrs. Beard’, S. ‘Pacific Blue’)
hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea)
yesterday, today and tomorrow (Brunfelsia pauciflora) – non-native

Chinese houses (Collinsia heterophylla)
tidytips (Layia platyglossa)
California poppies (Eschscholzia californica)
bird’s eye gilia (Gilia tricolor)
globe gilia (Gilia capitata)
nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) – non-native

And now for the eye-candy.

Pacific Coast hybrid iris, may be straight Douglas iris

California poppy with darker center.

Needlegrass, poppies, Howard McMinn ceanothus, globe gilias, and white Chinese fringe trees

White flowering Chinese fringe trees, Frosty Blue ceanothus, poppies and nasturtium

Soquel Orange monkeyflower

Ruby Silver monkeyflower


De La Mina verbena in container.

Woodland container with Wendy coralbells on left and Santa Ana Cardinal on right, giant chain fern behind.

Beargrass about to bloom.

The garage is a brick red color now. Pretty much done with that project….

I’m sure I’m missing lots of other pretty flowering things. Now to see if I can keep this going for the next two and a half months!

5 thoughts on “Springtime Peak in the Garden

  1. Wow! What a show! I&#39;m just glad my garden is still asleep, for the most part. Hoping it will be at its peak for the Native Garden Tour. <br /><br />But great to have a little taste by looking at your pictures.

  2. Things are later where you are. I&#39;m sure your garden is going to look great for the tour. I wish I could have been on the TPF tour this year because I think it is my best year yet, but it would have been way too crazy. My husband and I are busy sanding and painting the family room now that the garage is done. And then last week we have a toilet catastrophe – with water flooding through the

  3. liz

    I have been enjoying the spectacular wild flower show every morning during my walk. I&#39;m so lucky to be your neighbor.

  4. That bear grass is incredible! What a wonderful show. <br />Good luck with the plumbing… you guys really have your hands full! <br />And you were totally right about the red paint. It looks great!

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