Volunteers who work on Garden Tour day, can attend previews (or post-views) of tour gardens year round. So, for those who live too far to attend, a preview with photos from the garden taken this morning.
Above, Salvia leucophylla 'Pt Sal Spreader' (purple sage). I have one 4 year old plant in the side strip and three new plants in the front garden. They get by pretty much without water, by completely exchanging their leaves for smaller, greyish leaves in summer.
Closer to the house (and in the shade of the house most of the time) I planted Iris douglasiana (Douglas iris). The first blossom just opened last week. Which means, by the way, that we're 3 weeks early. The first blossom last year opened a day after the garden tour.
Aristolochia californica (California dutchman's pipe) is almost done blooming and showing its pretty heart-shaped leaves. Weeding Wild Suburbia amazed me with a photo of the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly that depends on this vine right down there at Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Southern California. I now have 3 trellises with Aristolochia and feel I deserve a butterfly as well.
In the back garden, the Salvia spathacea (hummingbird sage) is really strutting its stuff.
Yes, this plant never looks quite perfect. Little white spots on the leaves, some die-off. But the minty-sagey smell of the leaves is intoxicating, and the hummingbirds love to visit.
In the shady area under the redwoods Dicentra formosa (Western bleeding heart) has naturalized.
And Heuchera maxima (a white coral bell) shown here against a dwarf conifer that came with the house is stretching its flower stands toward the sun.
Amazingly, Ribes sanguineum glutonosum (Pink flowering current) is still going strong after two months.
Also in the shady redwood habitat a blooming Mimulus puniceus (red monkey flower). This plant is not locally native but seems very happy here and bloomed a long time in a fairly shady area last year. Of course the brick red clashes with the pink of the redwood sorrel, but it can't be helped.
Poppies closed during this rainy day, but I was lucky to get a photo early this morning. This year we have the biggest poppies I've ever seen, more than 2 inches across.
But most amazing in the back garden is the freshly cleaned and raked DG plaza, which was overrun with weeds. Mr. Mouse and I cleaned it up yesterday, quite a job. Thanks Mr. Mouse!