How Come I Don't Remember These Plants?

 When I prepared a post with some pictures of the garden recently, I sent the link to a few friends.  Everyone enjoyed the tour, but one of my friends was surprised. She had visited the garden in April and in November, and remembered a completely different garden. "How come I don't remember these plants?" she asked. And I replied:"Actually, I have over 100 different plants in my garden. Depending on the season, a plant might be in full bloom, completely dormant, or something in between."

The first photo shows a close-up of the California poppies, as viewed from the sunroom, in late April. The second photo shows a view in the other direction, looking toward the sunroom, in early April. In that photo, you can also see the Salvia clevlandii on the left, and the large green leaves of Salvia spatacea (hummingbird sage) in the background.

In June, the picture has changed again. Here is Salvia clevlandii in the morning light, at the end of the mound viewed from the sunroom (the large leaves in the background belong to a small Loquat tree).

And here is the Salvia spatacea (hummingbird sage) viewed from the sunroom, with lavender to the left and the butterfly weed in full bloom in the background. Stipa gigantea frames that picture.

The story of the side garden is quite similar. Here's the photo I showed, with Eriogonum grande rubescense and Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Flavida' (Finger aloe). 

But in April, the same area is fairly bare, with the Australian tea tree along the fence just starting to show its beautiful pink blossoms, and the native checkerbloom putting on a show near the Christmas fountain.

Here's a close-up.

 And a month later, mid-May, the Clarkia amoena, a beautiful California native annual, completely covers that same area as the checkerbloom starts going summer dormant.

So, what am I trying to say? It's complicated. In more traditional 4 season climates, the succession of plants probably makes more sense than in my garden, where different plants are dormant in different seasons. And because I don't water much, most plants bloom for a limited time only, then die off and reseed, go semi-dormant by dropping their rainy season leaves, or go dormant altogether. The fun part is that there's a surprise in the garden every day. The fireworks of the soap plant.

Or the stunning display of the butterfly weed (Asclepias speciosa).

Many of the plants have a fairly short bloom time, maybe only a few weeks. But with over 100 different species of plants in my garden, there's always a new discovery.


debsgarden said…
The ever changing views in a garden is one reason gardening is so much fun. There is aleways a surprise. Your garden is very lovely!
Elephant's Eye said…
It's hard work. No down time in a mediterranean garden. We hand water when it is hot (just the privileged few!) and prune when it's not ;~)

But there are always flowers!
Sue Langley said…
One of the best things in the garden is watching it grow and change. I love the V. I just planted one and hope it looks as well as yours.

I can understand why someone not there everyday would think it's a different garden! My favorite garden sign says: "If only you were here last week when the garden was at its peak."
Sue Langley said…
I love your Eriogonum grande rubescense. hahaha Can you tell I copied and 'did not paste'
James said…
If it's the same garden over and over what's the point? Your examples really make the point that we really do have seasons, and pretty stunning ones at that.