June Blooms in the Suburbs

Yes, friends, it's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day again. Carol at May Dreams Gardens,  is inviting all Garden Bloggers to show photos of the blooms that delight their hearts. This being June, I expect to see roses, beautiful tableaus of extraordinary plants. This time of year, I'm always tempted to go the the Garden Center and stock up on foxglove and pansies. But then, where would I put them?

The front garden (above) is aglo with Mimulus (monkey flower), Salvia apiana (white sage), and Triteleia Queen Fabiola (Ithuriel's Spear) set off nicely by a 3x5 area of bright green Baccharis pilularis (coyote brush).

Here we're taking a closer look at the Mimulus, which has Trichostema lanatum (Woolly Blue Curl) right next to it.

A second Trichostema plant, more toward the end of the dry stream bed.

And a close-up.

Here a close-up of a native bee (or bumble bee) on Salvia apiana, which actually translates as bee sage.

Also stunning this year is Dudleya farinosa (cliff lettuce), a native succulent that lives in coastal areas, photographed here against the coyote brush. 

In summer, all my Dudleyas don't look so great. I think most of them would like foggier and moister conditions. But right now, they're impressive and a little other-worldly looking.

In the back garden, I pulled almost all the poppies and it's now possible to see the lavenders and Salvia clevlandii.

It was quite a job to remove a full toter full of poppies, well past their prime. But I was happy to be able to see my Asclepias speciosa (Showy milkweed), which bloomed for the first time this year. On the right, a Salvia spatacea (hummingbird sage).

The grass is a mediterranean grass, Stipa gigantea, which does well without summer water and, at over 8 feet,  adds some drama to the back garden.

Drama at a smaller scale is supplied by Epipactis gigantea (stream orchid), which, despite its promising name, doesn't grow much taller than a foot, but spreads nicely under favorable conditions.

And I'm very impressed by Clarkia 'Pink Ribbons', a shade-tolerant clarkia that I've planted in pots.

I love a plant that can bloom under the redwoods.

More suprises are around the corner. Here, in the sun, Clarkia ungiuculata (elegant clarkia) and Clarkia amoena (farewell to spring) are reigning supreme.

With little surprises tucked away here and there. Allium christophii (star of persia) managed to make it through the winter and has sent beautiful big blooms through the coyote brush. Here, it's framed by Clarkia u. and a Japanese maple.

And here, we have Clarkia a. with Verbascum chaxii 'Wedding Candles'. This non-native plant can be invasive with enough moisture, but this far south, the danger is negligable.

But the best surprise happened Sunday morning. As we were having breakfast outside on a warm day, I noticed something bright yellow in the Japanese maple. I was immediately a bit indignant. Had someone thrown a candy wrapper into my plant?

But no, I'd gotten indignant just a bit too sun. This was Calochortus luteus, a native bulb I had planted in the fall. I'd planted about 25, and most never made it. But the ones I had planted in the maple put were opening now, in June.

And with that happy news, I'm ready to go over to Carol's and see what everyone else has to offer for bloom day. Won't you join me?

Postscript: Queerbychoice correctly identified the native bulb, which is Calochortus luteus, not   Mentzelia laevicaulis (blazing star). I corrected the original post. Thanks!


Chandramouli S said…
How beautiful! The Salvia looks wonderful. I've never grown it, but I guess you can make tea out of it, isn't it? Do you also use its leaves in salads/curry?
Granny Fran said…
Gorgeous garden; I like seeing the natives!
NellJean said…
Love all the purples. June does bring roses, but they started in April here.
Anonymous said…
Are you sure that's Mentzelia laevicaulis? It looks more like Calochortus luteus, which would actually be a bulb, whereas Mentzelia laevicaulis isn't.

Mentzelia laevicaulis photos
Really lovely! You've got some plants I really covet. Wooly blue curls and all those clarkia....
camissonia said…
You have such a lovely native plant garden! I also have a couple Clarkia 'Pink Ribbons' flourishing in a circular flowerbed (purchased online from Annie's Annuals in NorCal). So pretty. And your Dudleyas are fab - mine are also flowering, but not as lush-looking as yours.
Carol said…
I love your colors and textures in your first photo and your surprise beneath the maple (candy wrapper indeed!) is quite delightful... wonderful photo! ;>)
Helen said…
It's always fascinating to see how people garden in other parts of the continent. And as there are so many California garden bloggers (must be something about the weather), I'm starting to feel the coasts pull closer together. Does the dudleya behave like a sempervivum or like a sedum after flowering -- does each crown flower only once in its life, or every year?
Kimberly said…
Love your purples! So many pretty colors. The orchids are beautiful too. I've not seen those, I don't think.
Lots of fascinating plants in your garden. Thanks for sharing.
Katie said…
The clarkia is really cool. I used to grow that in the garden up at Fort Ticonderoga. It didn't like cool springs, though, and was picky about the hot summer. I am IMPRESSED!

Happy Bloom day!
Denise said…
So much to admire, and your Stipa gigantea has blooms! My little one doesn't look ready to bloom this year. Big fan of dudleyas too. Wonderful bloom day post.
Christine said…
Town Mouse, you are the one-woman show out to convince folks to go native! And I think you're going to take over the world with such a gorgeous display!
Remind me to give you some Dudleya hassei next time I see you (if you'd like it). The Dudleya stems against the Baccharis are just stunning.
MulchMaid said…
Your clarkias are enviable...well, all your natives are enviable if you're me in wet zone 8! I love this beautiful warm, dry garden you've made. And thanks for visiting my blog!
Town Mouse, do remember where you acquired your Asclepias speciosa? I've had a little trouble hunting it down. I love the stream orchid, I didn't realize it filled a space so well, it's beautiful.
Your garden looks like a pollinator's paradise. The Clarkias are really pretty, especially the one for shade.
Town Mouse said…
Some answers are in order.
1. Chandra, There are many sages, and my sages are not the culinary sage though the white sage is the sage used in smudge sticks.
2. Helen, The Dudleya behaves like a sedum and starts from scratch each year.
3. Ms. Curbstonevalley, The Asclepias was from Yerba Buena nursery. You can always look at the CA Natives Link Exchange (http://www.cnplx.info/) if there's a plant you can't find. I have to warn you, they go dormant early and wake up late, but I'm doing it for the butterflies.

Thanks all for visiting! BTW, I also just discovered the first ripe plums. What a wonderful day!
ryan said…
Good stuff. Your woolly blue curls is really impressive and I like the allium popping up through the coyote brush. Your stream orchid is ahead of mine, which opened its first flowers last week and hasn't yet hit its prime.
Sylvana said…
I love the verbascum. I have a peachy colored one in my garden right now. I haven't found them to be invasive. The common mullein will reseed well, but the plants are easy to control.
Blackswamp_Girl said…
Your blooms, while mostly foreign to me, are completely lovely! By the way, I would plant "Woolly Blue Curl" just for the name alone, but the plant and flowers are beautiful.
I have lots of salvia because I love it. And so do the bees. I know what you mean about the temptations of the garden center but having to think twice about where to put new plants.
Yellow and all those purples...they're such classic California springtime colors. Gorgeous! I like what you said about the colors on the dudleyas. One of mine has been showing off its screaming red inflorescence against the creamy pale blue-green leaves for over a month now.
This is what is so great about Bloom Day, we get to see what grows somewhere else. I would love to have a calochortus of any kind, but they are not hardy here. So I can imagine how excited you are to have one going on in your place.

The salvias are very wonderful too.