In June, the garden slowly goes to sleep. Many of the natives drop their green leaves and don a new set of grey leaves. Yet others are putting out the last flowers before summer dormancey. And a few are just getting started.
Lilium pardalinum (Leopard lily) started out as a single plant in October 2006 and bloomed in spring 2007. After summer dormancy, she returned as two plants in spring 2008. And this year? Five plants, all getting ready to bloom. She lives in a somewhat soggy area with terrible drainage (it's a long story) but seems to be quite happy.
Aquilegia formosa (Western columbine) delights with a similar color scheme. I had high hopes of showing her off during the garden tour. Now it's two months later and finally, here are the blooms. The hummingbirds are happy, and so am I.
Nearby in the shade I have two hydrangeas, which I bought before I started to get excited about California natives. Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight' is a vine that gently spreads along a fence and rewards with big, beautiful flowers in summer.
A varigated hydrangea that I planted for the foilage, which lights up the shade under the redwoods, also rewards with beautiful flowers. Both get by with relatively little water, and they appreciate the shade.
Also in the shade, and starting to trail down a retaining wall, is Salvia cacaliifolia (Guatemalan vine sage). I started with 5 very small plants a few years ago, and find this winter dormant sage can take rather shady conditions and still blooms beautifully to the delight of the hummingbirds (they don't seem to mind this sage is blue).
Close by, in part shade, some much maligned Agapanthus are starting to open. "Few plants give so much for so little" says the East Bay MUD book. I agree. My agapanthus, inherited from the previous owner, start up when the rest of the garden starts to dry out a bit, and I love the extra color of the showy large blossoms and the green leaves.
On the sunny side of the garden, Salvia clevlandii has started to delight with its beautiful fragrance and great display of blossoms.
This year, after fairly decent rains, the blooms look bigger than ever.
On the Mediterranean mounds, the poppies have almost disappeared -- well, I pulled them because they looked ratty -- but a row of lavenders has started to bloom.
To the right of the lavender, Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird sage), planted in the fall, has grown tall and is putting out beautiful blooms to delight the hummers. Different grasses, still beautiful in their shades of tan, harmonize with the green of the lavender and the sages. I have interplanted the sage with some Asclepias speciosa (butterfly weed).
I hope this interesting plant (which goes winter dormant) will work out in this spot. I want the butterflies, but I don't want to look at a bare mound in winter.
Just around the corner from the mounds is an area where I removed some concrete and planted some sun lovers. I started by scattering seeds of Clarkia amoena (Farewell to spring). I'm using the hybridized variety for the big show it's putting on. Just have a look.
I don't usually care for pink, but give me an annual that blooms all of June with no water, and reseeds even on bark mulch, and I'll relent.
As usual, I'm posting a bit early because I won't have time tomorrow. But I expect you all know that June 15 is Garden Bloggers Bloom day. Go over to May Dreams Gardens and see what the rest of the world has to show. I'm looking forward to it already. Thanks Carol -- and thanks fellow bloomers.