As Gardenrant reports, the NWF has come to a more or less satisfactory close. So we can return to our regular programming, and with the first week of the month just starting, it's time for First Views. I started this meme because I realized that I had lots of great close-ups of the flowers in my garden, but that I did not have pictures of the garden itself, as it unfolds month by month. Now I post views of the garden every month in the first week of the month, and invite others to share their views.
When I started walking around with my camera early this morning, I was actually somewhat surprised by how green it is. We've had 2.75 inches of rain since last June (if this were a normal year, we'd have 10 inches or more). But somehow, the plants manage. Sure, I've started to water once a week, but the annuals are coming up all by themselves, Just look at the bright green California poppy in the picture above.
Other areas are more sparse. Surrounding the green container above we have Columbine all spring and summer, followed by California fuchsia in late summer and fall. But I cut everything back to 1 inch in December, so now the color comes from the Camelia that I add to the garden buddha.
Around the corner things are already more colorful. The little pink blossoms of the Australian tea tree to the right are visited by hummingbirds every day.
Viewed from the other side you can see the bright green Clarkia that somehow seems to hang in there, drought or not. And the biggest surprise - yes, this calls for a close-up.
Salvia brandegii 'Pacific Blue' is actually blooming! Well, I've never seen that in late January before!
Meanwhile, the front garden looks fairly tidy, with most of the leaves gone and the seedheads removed from Eriogonum arborescens (channel island buckwheat). And while I'm sorely missing the rain, I'm not missing the weeds that usually appear with it. Sure, there are still a few weeds but nothing like last year!
In the panorama view, we can see that a few annuals are also risking it (Phacelia to the left of the path). I'm hoping they'll make it, and might just supplement with some water. No irrigation in the front, so we'll see how motivated I get.
As a final picture, another close-up to prove that things are not as grim as they might be. The manzanita "hedge", while not yet as hedge-like as I would have hoped, is blooming quite prettily. Let's add some water here so we can get a little more growth.
And now I'm hoping some of you will join me and Country Mouse in sharing some views of the garden. I'll put up a Mr. Linky widget and visit everyone who decides to participate.