May First Views from Town Mouse

Even here in CA, with the pretty manzanita blossoms in winter and the many different annuals in early spring, May is the most colorful month in the garden. Unfortunately, with the Garden Tour, several wildflower hikes, and - yes, it must be said - work, I haven't been great about taking or posting photos. So this months will be part looking back in delight, part today's pictures. And I'll keep the narration short and show lots of photos. Above, Ceanotus 'Tilden Park' at its peak, about two weeks ago. It was still pretty good a week ago on garden tour day, but another week of warm weather and it's faded to green. Still, color like this for about six weeks - what more can you ask?

Also in the front, tansy-leaved Phacelia, with some sulfur buckwheat in the background surrounded by the soft grey of Salvia leucophylla 'Pt Sal Spreader'. The Phacelia is just a tad weedy, but I love to watch the many insects come for pollen, and it's easy to pull where not wanted.

In the back, I oiled the Ipe bench in preparation of the tour. The dark wood highlights Heuchera 'Wendy', a native coral bell that harmonizes with the brick red Mimulus puniceus.

A little to the left of the symphonie of pale pink and red we have the bright yellows of Columbine and Mimulus 'Magic Mix', an interesting 50% native that probably deserves its own post (verdict: Fun plant, but very thirsty).

Turning toward the east from there, we see the California poppies in the early morning light, with Salvia's in the background.

And to match the poppies, I bought a few native orange wallflowers (Erysimum franciscanum var. crassifolium, which work well near the new fountain (this is a view from the other side).

Around the corner is a symphonie in pink. The star is the Australia tea tree, well matched by the still green Clarkia amoena and Eriogonum arborescens in front of it.

From the front, continuing the pink theme, Sidalcea malvaeflora (checkerbloom) has been blooming profusely. I'm always amazed when this plant comes back from complete dormancy in the spring. What a delight.

Turning around, we can enjoy the little froggy in the fountain, with Mimulus and a different species of checkerbloom to the right. We're looking over a container, a memorial to my complete incompetence with tomatoes, that now holds succulents.

Looking at the same monkey flowers from the side, we also enjoy Salvia gregii, yarrow, and the greyish green leaves of California fuchsia, signature plant of the garden in late summer and fall.

A final look at the decomposed granite plaza with the hammock, with bright pink Heuchera and a few California poppies in front. I propagated quite a few Heuchera this year and I'm so happy to see them all blooming this spring.

And now I'll add a Mr. Linky widget and I hope you'll join me with your own first views of the garden. The rules are simple - just show us the garden, and try to stay away from close-ups. It's not easy to do, but it's a great way to show what's really going on. I'd love to visit you all and enjoy your first views.


You do have quite a bit of color at this time of is stunningly beautiful! I can tell you have planned it all out so well. I like many of the combinations of flowers with foliage. I have some things blooming but not as much as you. Thanks for hosting.
Your 'Tilden Park' looks simply spectacular. I love your Phacelia too. I just added some Phacelia californica to our bee garden area, and I'm sure they'll love it. I've been having such a hard time sourcing some more Sulfur Buckwheat the last few weeks to finish off our new front garden area. I may have to resort to taking cuttings, but ours is also just starting to bloom at the moment, so I'll probably have to wait. It's interesting your Erysimum is orange. Mine, that's reportedly the same subspecies that I purchased through UC, is yellow.
Nell Jean said…
Oh, I wish I could take the tour for real. Everything looks wonderful! I thought of First Views yesterday and went ahead and made my pics because I'm watering today.
Country Mouse said…
This May first we are a little busy elsewhere. Mr Wood Rat and Ms Country Mouse are now officially rat and mouse, aka husband and wife!
Timeless said…
Wow, I can still only dream about a full blown garden, but at the moment we just recently had all the trees burst forth with blooms and leaves. Believe it or not we had a warm 75 Fahrenheit here in Sweden.

I love the Ceanothus, I had a 'concha' when living there.

Love the Coral Bells, mine here are finally leafed out along with the Columbine.

What can I say, I'm a Cal-Native thru & thru!


Kate said…
Looks like a beautiful May in your garden! The Phacelia sounds interesting. Weedy plants are my favorite. Especially the ones the bees like. Think I'll give it a try.
Lovely, lovely, lovely! The garden has a calm, relaxing feeling...
I got carried away with my tulip posts, but I'll join you one day to show my garden. All the best to you and your garden!
Anonymous said…
Your garden looks wonderful and so full of color. I hope to get some full garden images soon.