Here on the mountain, things are slowly perking up. It hasn't been a very good year for Douglas Iris - as I was helping to trim up the plants for the CNPS native plant sale this Saturday (up at the UC santa Cruz Arboretum), we were lamenting how late they all are. I don't know why. But I'm very happy to see some emerging. Wonderful rich reddish purple blooms
This time I'm trying to show a few more shots that show more than one flower at a time. Here's the "entrance garden" which is getting decent. Monkey flowers on the right and penstemons on the left - only starting to bloom.
My property is probably not going to be a marvelous flower garden ever as I'm just not that good at making things pretty. But maybe I'll evolve those skills along with the landscape as I add a few meandering paths and a terrace here and there, which I do like doing using dry stone techniques. More on that anon.
The monkey flowers on the right are popping a bit more, and there are less caterpillars. I've been looking for the white pupae but haven't seen any.
You can see above that there are a few blooms, not as thick as they get. But each one a beauty -
And on the left a few foothill penstemons - "Margarita BOP" are popping.
Along with a few puffs of sulphur buckwheat. Second year for these - about a 50 percent survival rate. Probably the soil isn't lean enough?
A few yarrow (Achillea millefolium) sprout nearby. You can see some yarrow frondy bits above as well.
I've been sticking, a bit puritanically, to the vanilla-white ones but I think I'd like to try some of the more colorful cultivars in the fall. There are some lovely salmon-pink to maroon ones.
A pair of little house finches were perched in the plum-or-cherry trees (Some kind of ornamental fruit tree that was here before me).
The ceanothus is still putting out a few blossoms but nothing like last year. The Bees Bliss sage is blooming but nearing the end of its run maybe. But the native sage is looking lovely, with bright green leaves and blooms that are extensive if not as showy as its garden cultivars.
My baby flannel bush is doing great - popping out blossoms good style.
Bit hard to see as it's still in protective custody!
The foothill needlegrass is beginning to bloom, not that you would notice if you didn't get close.
Meanwhile over at my dad's cottage side of the yard, hundreds of hummingbirds are sipping the sugar water. Here's one.
Here there are fewer natives as this planting went in before I came to my senses. But pretty and drought tolerant plants none-the-less. The lavender is blooming profusely. Here's a bit that escaped the confines of the bed behind it (probably using runners) and is growing between a rock and a hard place.
The Mexican sage is just starting to emerge - it is very vigorous and likes to be neglected.
A few rock roses are sprinkling their tissue paper pink blossoms on a rather scraggly bush. I guess this doesn'tappreciate the neglect quite so much.
Here's a view of the cottage "front garden" facing the driveway. I'm going to have to take out all this rosemary that is stacked up against the cottage wall like kindling for a bonfire. It's been there for about 7 years and is getting too woody. I whack it back and it rebounds every time. The night scented stock is more reddish purplish and isn't a very good color combination with the blue of the rosemary either. Getting to be time to have another go at these beds. I want plants for hummingbirds and also for color. So much to do in the garden - well, it keeps me out of mischief.