With the weather forecast decidedly mixed, Mr. Mouse and I looked forward to this year's garden tour with some trepidation. Yes, we had both spent a goodly amount of time in the garden - pulling weeds, raking leaves, pulling more weeds - but what if you have a tour and nobody comes?
We needn't have worried. Even though publicity for the tour wasn't great this year, the rain meant that the people who showed up were the true plant lovers. There must be a correlation between people who like plants and people who like rain (or are at least willing to leave the house even if some wet stuff comes down from the sky).
It probably helped that I was fortunate to have Nicky from Gold Rush Nursery sell plants at my garden this year. And I was so happy to see people snap up not only the dainty little columbine and pretty iris but also all of the California native cobweb thistles, and all of the bee plant (Scrophularia)! Because in the end, I'm putting my garden on tour to encourage people to consider habitat-friendly plants that are not only beautiful, fragrant, and drought tolerant, but also great for butterflies, pollinators, or hummingbirds.
It really felt my heart with joy to see so many people, young, old, CA native and immigrants, consider that our gardens can be an oasis for us, and also for other creatures that we share this earth with.
|Wooly blue curl, foothill penstemon, and plant sale in the back|
|Scented penstemon and prettyface, a bulb|
In the back garden, the shade from the redwoods meant that things were mostly green. Surely a welcome sight, but just a little disappointing for those who came for the color. Luckily a few early spring bloomers were looking good already. Below, canyon sunflower, a Southern California native that's a bit frost tender. It's gotten bigger than I had planned and I'll have to try to transplant (or kill) it in early fall. But everyone enjoyed the lush green and happy sunflower faces.
I have iris in several colors, and one plant that might even be a non-Douglas native iris. The leaves are skinnier, and the flower is a rich, dark purple.
"Come back in two weeks," I wanted to tell everyone. "When the Chinese houses are in full bloom, and the clarkia!" But garden tour day is but once a year. So I felt lucky it was such a great, moist (and not so cold) day, and that so many people (282, to be precise) had a chance to come by, enjoy the garden - and take home a few habitat-friendly plants for their own gardens!
|The first of the Chinese houses|