Garden Blogger's Bloom Day -- California Natives

Contrary to popular opinion, the roses and the lilacs don't bloom in the central California coastal regions in January. Instead, if we're lucky, we get rain, and I get moss on my bird bath as in this picture.
In sunny areas, both in the wild and in native gardens, the Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos) are starting to bloom. Pete of East Bay Wilds posted an amazing collection on his Flickr site here. In my garden, only Arctostaphylos pajaroensis has started to bloom. But it's quite a show, with pretty pink flowers set off against the reddish bark.
This particular plant is one of the rare Manzanita species that is supposed to grow to 4-5 feet, an ideal height for its spot in a sunny part of the front garden.
When I replanted the front garden in October, I bought some woolly blue curls (Trichostema lanatum) and some Santa cruz island buckwheat (Eriogonum arborescens). Both have been blooming non-stop ever since. This is actually worriesome, they are supposed to grow roots and not waste all their energy on blooming, so I snipped off the blossoms -- with some regret -- right after I took these pictures. You can guess which one is the Wooly blue curl. It's one of the most spectacular California natives, but hard to grow (another of the perfect drainage plants). But I just had to try.
Eriogonum is easy to grow and attrative year round, with green foilage and white to pink blossoms in summer which fade to orange to brown.
Finally, I just had to include this picture of blossoms of the non-native tea trea (Leptospermum laevigatum). Tea trees are natives of Australia, do well with very little water, and are beloved by birds for the blossoms, the seeds, and the shelter. I've never heard that they are invasive, so my tea tree, planted by the previous owner, stays to the enjoyment of both birds and humans.


Northern Shade said…
I like the shot of your birdbath, with the succulents around it, and the moss (hurray for rain).
You have great resolve to be able to snip off the pretty blossoms for the sake of long term growth, but getting a picture first is some compensation.
Stuart said…
Gorgeous blooms. I love your Trichostema which looks so detailed and intricate. Awesome effort. The Leptospermum looks incredible as well - good to see another Aussie performing well overseas!
Pat Leuchtman said…
Beautiful photos, suggestive more benign weather than we are enjoying. I had to give thanks for a photo of the Inaugural Poppy that a friend sent for one GBBD posting.
Wild Flora said…
Beautiful photos! My heart goes out to you over the Ribes sanguineum, a gorgeous plant.
Teza said…
I am so envious of those who have a longer gardening season.... ts usually May before I can do much and then October seems to be just lurking in the shadows of the garden. Gorgeous photos. I love anything blue and you have some wonderful specimens.... maybe if I put the garden under glass..... alas, living in the land of snow, we all have trials to overcome.
Town Mouse said…
Ah, well, Teza. For that we have droughts and it's often not so easy to keep the plants alive. Not to mention that I sometimes would not mind a little break... With the good weather we've been having, there's no excuse not to go out there and do some work. Then again, is it work when it's so much fun?
Such lovely blooms. In Northern VA our blooms are sleeping! I usually post for GBBD but didn't make it this time. It was just as well, since it's slow goin' in my garden right now;)