Garden Tour Preview

Volunteers who work on Garden Tour day, can attend previews (or post-views) of tour gardens year round. So, for those who live too far to attend, a preview with photos from the garden taken this morning.

Above, Salvia leucophylla 'Pt Sal Spreader' (purple sage). I have one 4 year old plant in the side strip and three new plants in the front garden. They get by pretty much without water, by completely exchanging their leaves for smaller, greyish leaves in summer.

Closer to the house (and in the shade of the house most of the time) I planted Iris douglasiana (Douglas iris). The first blossom just opened last week. Which means, by the way, that we're 3 weeks early. The first blossom last year opened a day after the garden tour. 

Aristolochia californica (California dutchman's pipe) is almost done blooming and showing its pretty heart-shaped leaves. Weeding Wild Suburbia amazed me with a photo of the  Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly that depends on this vine right down there at Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Southern California. I now have 3 trellises with Aristolochia and feel I deserve a butterfly as well.

In the back garden, the Salvia spathacea (hummingbird sage) is really strutting its stuff.

Yes, this plant never looks quite perfect. Little white spots on the leaves, some die-off. But the minty-sagey smell of the leaves is intoxicating, and the hummingbirds love to visit. 

In the shady area under the redwoods Dicentra formosa (Western bleeding heart) has naturalized.

And Heuchera maxima (a white coral bell) shown here against a dwarf conifer that came with the house is stretching its flower stands toward the sun.

Amazingly, Ribes sanguineum glutonosum (Pink flowering current) is still going strong after two months. 

Also in the shady redwood habitat a blooming Mimulus puniceus (red monkey flower). This plant is not locally native but seems very happy here and bloomed a long time in a fairly shady area last year. Of course the brick red clashes with the pink of the redwood sorrel, but it can't be helped.

Poppies closed during this rainy day, but I was lucky to get a photo early this morning. This year we have the biggest poppies I've ever seen, more than 2 inches across. 

But most amazing in the back garden is the freshly cleaned and raked DG plaza, which was overrun with weeds. Mr. Mouse and I cleaned it up yesterday, quite a job. Thanks Mr. Mouse!


Very nice!

I've got Western Bleeding Heart growing on the tiny patch of "yard" that borders our neighbors' driveway. I love this plant, and would like to move it. Do you have any thoughts on transplanting? I don't want to kill it with my overeagerness.
Noelle said…
What a beautiful tour! I love the shape of the flower of the Douglas Iris. I hope your vines soon receive some visits from butterflies :-)
Janis said…
TM, lovely photos. Plenty of green contrasting foliage cools the heat and mitigates the tension between hot reds and vivid pinks. See these kinds of combinations all the time in nature. Your garden is beautiful! Enjoy!
Chandramouli S said…
Loved the tour. I failed miserably trying to germinate Salvia. Well, I've been failing at germinating many other seeds lately. Guess someone jinxed my seeds? :O
Love the Dutchman's pipes - looks cool!
Country Mouse said…
Lisa and Robb, I want to use D. formosa widely. So far, I've only been watching it grow from rubbery underground stem cutting to lovely delicate foliage - magic!!. It isn't even listed in California Native Plants for the Garden! what?! Or the East Bay Mud book! Why! However this article from online Fine Gardening mag says to grow in partial shade in moist, fertile soil, and divide in early spring - so you're just in the nick of time!
Christine said…
I guess remembering when the Iris bloomed last year is pretty easy- how wonderful it decided to behave this year!
Love the tour and can't wait to see it in person! Anyone looking to car pool from Oakland?
Kate said…
Great pics and what a sweet tour! I'm growing your top flower but I think the rest of these beauties might be too delicate for my zone. :)
Byddi said…
Thanks for the preview. I've registered for the native gardens tour and can't wait to get some inspiration for my own garden. I appreciated your input when I last commented. I hadn't considered the amount of sun/shade the garden gets. Having moved recently from Ireland, by comparison everywhere here seems to get lots of sun! Now having paid attention, I can see that my front yard gets morning and early afternoon sun with the house, south of it, casting a shadow from about 1.30pm onwards. The Douglas fir, being at the north side doesn't shade the garden too much.

I just love this blog - well done Mices!
Barbara said…
Well done! Your garden looks beautiful.
What a beautiful preview, thanks for posting it. I love the hummingbird sage, think I may have to try that. Our monkey-flower (Mimulus aurantiacus) is just starting to show hints of imminent blooms. Your douglas iris is beautiful too.
Gail said…
Wonderful! Wish I could take the real tour...gail