GBBD -- Abundance (Town Mouse)

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.


Anonymous said…
Your Penstemon heterophyllus is truly the picture of abundance. I've been disappointed in mine this year; only one of my three is blooming at all this year, and even that one isn't blooming as much as last year.

Meanwhile, your monkeyflower looks just like mine but six times as big as any of mine! I have two that are new this year, but also one from last year, and my older one is really just leggier than the others, not fuller or more covered with flowers like yours.

It's so odd that my clarkias would be ahead of yours, when I'm so far north of you! I guess being farther inland really makes a difference.
Lovely! I didn't know Chris was your designer, I know her well! And she did a great job on your garden. I know what you mean about the Salvia apiana; it really likes to stretch out, doesn't it?
NellJean said…
I see abundant natives.
Gail said…
Abundantly beautiful~The first photo was a treat this morning, such a striking blue. gail
Liz said…
So beautiful, I love the Aquilegia, sage and the use of native flowers!

It's all looking very nice indeed :)
I too grow natives and drought tolerant as we are on sandy soil. Love your choices. Thanks for sharing them. Valerie
wiseacre said…
I hate to leave 'drive by' comments but I have to say 'Great Garden'.

Yep, too many photos. I know I'll never use all mine since I bring new ones home everyday. So far this year, 54 folders - 2274 photos. (after deleting the poor ones)
Country Mouse said…
I too have lots of photos and no time. I may post a bloom day set late this month. Your set is just too lovely! I have just one clarkia reseeded from last year - forget now which one but it's lovely - and some other pretty things on the go that are giving us pleasure and take my mind off the weeds in the chaparral!
Oooh and ahh is right! Your garden looked fabulous on the tour, but it's looking amazing now. I love the penstemon, anything that can bloom well with little water is wonderful. We have a lot of areas here I'd like to add plantings to, but don't want to have to irrigate everywhere. That little yellow lupine is lovely too, and I'm surprised it's blooming already!
rebecca sweet said…
What a gorgeous garden you have, Townie. I must come back for more pictures (I'm hoping to write a post about your garden in the next few weeks!). Would love more shots of your garden now that other plants are blooming - just beautiful!!
Christine said…
Thanks for the mention and.... just wow. So lovely, I can't believe you're taking the time to show it to us- I'd probably just be hypnotized by the bounty, spending all weekend watching the bees fly by.
ryan said…
An abundance indeed. Lots of great photos. I think Penstemon het. and Mimulus have two of the best bloom colors of any plant. All of the blooms are looking very nice. Happy bloom day.
lovely colours and textures - your planting does indeed look abundant and very natural.

The colour of the Penstemon heterophyllus is wonderful and the aqueligea swwet

There's no question it's spring in your garden! I love the white sage so much. I have one plant in a featured spot where it can show off, along with two others behind a fence that I have to go out of my see visit and get next to no attention. Of course it's the plants that are getting no attention that are blooming and doing well. I'll live vicariously through yours and in the ones I see in my walks through the local wilds.
debsgarden said…
Thanks so much for the views of your garden! Abundant, indeed! And beautifully designed. I love the penstemons and salvias.
Oh, and how inviting your garden looks dressed in its spring colors! Thanks for visiting my blog! Happy Bloom Day! Pam
sweet bay said…
Oh my I love the blue Penstemon. How beautiful. So the third picture is the front yard. I love the curve of the river bed and the polished rock with the lovely blue and white flowers and grasses.
Noelle said…
Oh, I would love your blue colored Penstemon heterophyllus to go next to my bright red/orange Firecracker Penstemon.
Chandramouli S said…
Penstemon rocks! I love how well your design your garden!
Sylvana said…
Your Penstemon heterophyllus is beautiful. I love the large drift of it. The succulent bloom is very interesting as well. You picked some great blooms to feature this month.
Kate said…
That blue Penstamon grows wild at my place. Seems to thrive on neglect! Your gardens are gorgeous and quite the inspiration as I try to plant and nuture natives in the back half of our property.
Kimberly said…
Abundant is a great word to describe your May garden! And how nice to have so many natives. Gorgeous!
susan morrison said…
I love penstemon heterophyllus 'Margarita Bop'. I thought it stayed relatively small, but a few days ago I visited a garden that was planted 3 years ago and it's huge! As big as plain old border penstemon.

Not that I'm complaining.
Les said…
Interesting post, as this is something that's really surprised me in my Tucson garden. A large part of the maintenance routine is pulling out all the reseeders that are desirable plants but just too much! When I first started gardening here, dealing with an abundance of desirable plants (as opposed to plain old weeds) is the last problem I thought I'd have.