Sometimes life has the unfortunate tendency to get in the way of blogging, so this month's First Views, while in the first week of the month, did not go out on the first day. Ms. Country Mouse and I started posting pictures of our gardens the first week of the month after we'd realized that we were posting too many close-ups of amazing plants on our blogs, and could not show photos of the garden over the year.
June is the last of the happy, flower-filled months here in my central California garden before quite a few of my native plants go summer dormant. Above Trichostemma lanatum (wolly blue curl) is still stunning in front of Festuca Californica, and is also a pollinator magnet.
Seen from the street in the morning light, you can notice that I've planted woolly blue curl at the slope of the dry stream bed - it really does require sharp drainage. To the right, Salvia apiana (white sage) is blooming and - true to its name - attracting bees to the garden. Different succulents including Cotyledon orbiculata from South Africa, and Dudleya pulverenta (chalk dudleya) and Dudleya traskiae (Santa Barbara live forever) from California round out the front garden picture.
I'm trying to make the front garden look good with minimal water, hoping that my neighbors will become more interested in native plants as well as the years go by. In the little blue put near the road I have some stone crop and several native bulbs, it's been interesting to watch it over the months.
The back garden has moved into a purple phase, with Lavendula angustifolia (English lavender) and Salvia clevlandii (Cleveland sage) singing a happy tune in purple. In front of the picture above is Heliantus annuus (Delta sunflower), one of this year's experiments. If it doesn't die, it should be stunning indeed in the summer months.
A similar view through the purple curtain from the other side shows the DG patio, with the redwood habitat in the background.
And here's the redwood habitat itself, with Mimulus puniceus blooming it's red head off, and my single lonely trillium (not the native, but still a wonderful surprise each year. The green cover is Oxalis oreganus (redwood sorrel), a native oxalis that, like all oxalis, likes to spread but it's easily contained in my dry-ish garden.
Continuing the circle around the mediterranean mounds, we see some native monkey flower that Ms. Country Mouse propagated last year and gave me as a gift. The flowers are a little smaller than those of some of the hybrid monkey flowers, but it's a reliable bloomer and I especially like that they bloom a little late.
Rounding the corner, we face the bridge that was in the background (in side view) in the last picture. We have Heuchera in front of the bridge, and Carpenteria californica still blooming behind the bridge. On the right, California fuchsia is starting to come into its own. I'm expecting those blossoms in August.
Leaving the best for last, I do want to show off the small strip next to the house that I planted with ferns and Heuchera last summer. The replanting - with some Heuchera from Ms. Country Mouse and some native and non-native ferns from the nursery went well beyond expectation. Intermixed with some Epipactis gigantea (stream orchid) and Sisyrinchium bellum (blue-eyed grass), this rather small area is now visually interesting throughout the year.
On the other side of the fountain (shown in the background in the previous picture), the monkey flower I propagated from a plant bought at the plant sale really likes its new location, while an autumn sage and Clarkia unguiculata (elegant clarkia) peek out in pink and white in the background.
And now, I'll get a magical widget so that you, dear friends, can show off your own gardens and add a link. I'm looking forward to visiting.