Last October, Country Mouse delighted us all with a post about the first rains. "Today dawned pure and clean and lovely," she said, and I remember thinking to myself: "Ah, first rains, maybe that's the best time in the garden. The fresh green, the clear air, crisp fall air."
But then, not too long after the first rains, the garden is greening and the bird baths are starting to get crowded with all the migratory birds stopping for a rest or staying for winter vacation. And soon, the different Arctostaphylos species start to bloom. Here an especially attractive photo posted by Country Mouse in January.
But those first blossoms are only the beginning of the sequence of spring-bloomers. It starts with the checkerbloom, which really keeps going all winter.
In February, the different species of Ribes open their beautiful blossoms, attracting the first of the pollinators on warm days.
The big show begins in April and May, in time for the garden tour. We all know Carol at May Dreams Gardens dreams all year of May, her most favorite time in the garden. And it really is amazing to see the abundance of beautiful annuals such as Gilia...
...and California poppies...
Not to forget the different bulbs such as the Triteleia and Calochortus. And the monkey flowers and ceanothus, and...
But just when I'm sure this is my favorite season, June and July come. It get warmer, the lizards are everywhere, and the clarkias knock themselves out with amazing displays of color.
Maybe that's my favorite time? Well, but then just a few weeks later, the garden becomes more peaceful, and I can lie in my hammock on warm Sundays, while only a few spots of color liven up the symphony of greens, grays, and golds.
And now, we've almost come full circle. Yes, the first rains are still at least a month away. But the days have gotten shorter, the light has changed, and the California fuchsia is blooming, luring small crowds of hummingbirds into the garden.
As I sit with a cup of tea, thinking of the bulbs to buy this fall, and a few additions and replacements to the garden, I realize I just don't know. Maybe this is my favorite time, the promise of rain and the vision of the spring garden. Or maybe I really like all the seasons, and feel so fortunate to enjoy the different flowers and garden visitors throughout the year.
How about you?