Traveling can broaden our view of the world, and I've found that especially true of a recent 11 day, 160 mile hike in Franconia, organized by the Sierra Club.
And, while others exclaimed about the churches and half-timbered houses, I got a least as excited about the meadows. Above, a meadow covered in salvia, which seemed to thrive on the magnesium rich soils of Upper Franconia.
More common are the buttercups and Sauerampfer (Rumex acetosa). I used to nibble on its leaves when I was a kid, and still enjoyed the flavor even now.
I was especially happy to see lily-of-the-valley in the wild. They're hard to grow in gardens, and impossible to grow in areas that don't get sufficient frost.
And the graceful bellflowers covered some of the meadows with their pale, beautiful blue.
So pretty, so dainty, and so dependent on lots of moisture.
It was a bit of a shock to come home to the garden and to find that the beautiful spring flowers were all gone, that a lot of clean-up was needed. Several of the plants I had added to the garden in early spring did not survive the unusually high temperature and lack of extra babying in the last month. And yet, as the plums and peaches are ripening, as the birds gratefully come to visit the freshly filled birdbath, as I discover some blooms, I'm starting to make friends with my California garden again.