When Mr. Mouse and I first talked to our garden designer Chris, she had each of us fill out a separate questionnaire. When we were done, I had circled drought tolerant and natives, and he had circled abundant.
"Well, that will never work out," I muttered to myself. But Chris just smiled and did her design, and we ended up with a beautiful back garden, with natives such as the Penstemon heterophyllus above, that is drought tolerant and generously planted.
A few years later, I designed the front garden myself, and here too, we see the abundance of grasses, perennials, and annuals. In fact, the Salvia apiana (white sage) in the right corner of the picture above is almost a little too abundant. Here it is again, looking in the other direction.
But who can resist a plant that gives so much on so little water? Just look at those white blossoms, and you would not believe the fragrance (this is the sage used by American Indians for smudge sticks).
Meanwhile, a California native succulent is starting to bloom, highlighted here against the bright green Baccharis pilularis (coyote brush) Twin Peaks II.
And the Lupinus aureus I bought from Annies Annuals in April is adding a nice touch of bright yellow against the manzanita that bloomed in January and is now fruiting (See this post about the fun I had with my package).
In the back garden, the Ceanothus thyrsiflorus are now blooming. With a long rainy season and cold days in spring, it started a little late, but is even more delightful now that it's started.
And behind the mounds with ceanothus, we find Mimulus (monkey flower), Collinsia heterophylla (Chinese houses) and Aquilegia formosa (western columbine) on the right. I've tried for a few wide shots for this bloom day so you get a better picture of the plants in the garden setting.
The columbine is especially impressive this year, it has clearly benefited from the late rains.
Close by, Carpenteria californica, plant of the week over at Idora Design looks more like a tropical plant than a rare native from an area near Fresno. Almost extinct in the wild, Carpenteria adapts well to garden settings and is a favorite of many designers.
Well, friends, I have about 50 photos in the folder GBBD0510. But I'll have to come up with other delightful stories and clever posts to use those photos in. For now, let me go over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see what everyone else has to show. This being May, I expect I'll ooohh and ahh all weekend.