GBBD September - Country Mouse Report

For a really great show of blooms, demonstrating how lovely a California native garden can look this time of year - go see Ms Town Mouses' post! My post will feature few blooms as we have few. We have had much fog, and relatively little sun of late. I'm not focused on blooms this year - propagation and weed removal are my themes. Let's see what next year brings... Anyway there is one standout (also featured in Town Mouse's garden) and that is a Channel Islands plant, Eriogonum giganteum:

You can see how it's starting to turn a lovely rusty red - I love how it morphs slowly from dewy white to rusty red over a period of many months.

Another southern plant flowering in the garden is Encelia californica, Coast Sunflower. For a nice shot as you see it in the wild, check out this lost in the landscape post. I think here it is a little foggy for her pleasure:

Here she is in whole, behind and to the left of Duncan who is pointing something out to me. Probably something furry:

Another channel islands plant, Keckiella cordifolia, still blooming but in a scraggly kind of way - this is a volunteer actually:

Duncan on patrol, and my trusty snapdragon in front, blooming away, and a Spanish lavender that volunteered and I stuck in a pot. BTW you can see we added a board along the top of the new fence - the neighbor on the other side was concerned deer might jump into our pool area and over the fence into his orchard - so we did the neighborly thing.

The dubiously native Sphaeralcea munroana is blooming scantily. I would put this with something more lush perhaps so the pretty blooms show up against a better back drop. Or maybe it just isn't happy.

Love this non-native abutilon - it managed to squeeze out a flower...

Winifred Gilman sage - a cultivar of Salvia clevelandii - still scents the air with its foliage. And pops the odd flower out all the time, but only one or two.

She's actually a bit scraggly too - and I think it's just too shady where she is right now.

I impulsively bought three more when I was at the nursery for a watering wand the other day. I just love the scent - I'm going to find a sunny and well-drained spot for them, close to the house.

This Lessingia filaginifolia looks a bit ratty but I'm actually stunned that it is flowering at all. It is in a very inhospitable narrow strip between driveway and road, and gets no irrigation and maybe not enough sun either - though it does seem to like a bit of afternoon shade. Yet it survives. I'm going to put masses of these in that spot I think, and they may look better. A good plant for difficult situations:

Here's a closeup - with a bit of tlc I think you'd see more of these pretty little flowers for sure:

Just a few blooms of California Fuschia, epilobium canum (formerly known as Zauschneria californica) - this is a cultivar whose name I forget. This one is a problem for me actually as I would like to propagate our locally native Epilobium canum and don't want them to hybridize.

Ah finally an indigenous native - the sweet little Aster radulinus. When Jeffrey Caldwell came to consult with me the first time, this was the very first "mystery flower" he IDed for me and I was so happy. He said that by removing the invasive weeds I had made room for this little native to thrive. I was over the moon! Now on the Gardening with Natives forum, there has been discussion about growing this in a garden setting. I have seeds to share, but have to get to the seed sharing meetings to share them!

Finally a "mystery flower" IDed for me as Heterotheca grandiflora by Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds. (He's giving a talk on propagation Thursday November 4 at the Peninsula Conservation Center in Palo Alto - seed sharing to follow. Hope I don't miss it!)

This flower is weedy, you find it on roadsides. But I'm happy to let it bloom along our roadside. I bet massed it could look quite good... maybe...

Thanks as ever to May Dreams Gardens for hosting GBBD!


Christine said…
Duncan! It's so great to see him every once in awhile- especially with that adorable pose, er I mean tough-guy squirrel indicator.
Would that Sphaeralcea look pretty with a hybrid Mimulus? White or a dark orange like 'Pumpkin'?
My Lessingia is equally ratty, but I've seen photos of it looking lush and gray. The dried seed heads are just as cool as the flowers.
Perhaps if you bring your seeds to share with fellow classmates at Tilden, perhaps you'll have a taker or two... (memememe!)
Also, don't know what you're talking about having not much blooming- you've got tons!
Gail said…
I love California fuchsia and would love to be able to grow it in TN~I know I could if i treated it like an annual! Happy Bloom Day! gail
Duncan looks most intent on what, or should I say who he found. I keep considering Eriogonum giganteum, and then avoid it, for fear it might get too large. Despite its size, would you say it's otherwise well behaved? I do enjoy the smaller Eriogonums, but they do tend to get a little lost on our slopes, lacking much real impact. I'm going to try sowing some larger swaths of those though. I'm with you on 'Winnifred Gilman'...I'm absolutely smitten, and love the aroma when I walk past that plant. I'd be quite happy to obliterate the Spanish lavender here, left by the previous owner, in favor of more native sage. The lavender of late seems to be running amok, popping up everywhere!
Town Mouse said…
Happy bloom day! Well, maybe not so many blooms, but that fence really shines. Can't wait to come up and see how it all looks. We'll have to figure something out.
Queer by Choice said…
I kind of like my Sphaeralcea flat on the ground, with other plants growing up through the middle of it.

I so envy you your buckwheat. I'd buy one, but I think buckwheats kind of hate me. I've killed so many of them.
Művelt Kert said…
How beautiful flowers! That Eriogonum is really attractive and tha Aster alike. I've never seen Salvia clevelandii before - not even in pictures. It's lovely (immediately have to check out if it's possible to get seeds from such a faraway place)!

Thank you for your visit at my garden! Eszter
Susan Krzywicki said…
The first photo - of the eriogonum - almost looks like it has been rotated! It gave me a bit of a jolt. Does it seem like that to anyone else looking at it?
Country Mouse said…
Thanks for the suggestions for the Spharaelcea - interesting to grow it on the ground, I like that.

The buckwheat is growing against a neighbor fence and it's tilting towards the morning sun, and it's growing on a slope besides - I meant to mention all that! I have seen only one small volunteer in the 4 or 5 years I've been growing it so I'd say it's well behaved.

I was a bit iffy about the spanish lavender - it's been there since before I got into natives and was planted by a gardener who put in my dad's little cottage garden - he used rosemary and germander (? wrong name I think) and lavender - commonly used around here. We're going to redo those beds and rip all that out - it's old now anyway. Another fun garden planning project!

Thanks for coming by - I'll have to wait a few days before I can make my rounds of the bloom day posts so I apologize for not returning the pleasant social call and enjoying your gardens.
scottweberpdx said…
Love the Eriogonom...what an amazing drift of color!
camissonia said…
Your garden looks really great! So Duncan's doing the pointer thing, eh? Such a cutie. I love all the eriogonums from the Channel Islands and grow all three of the more commonly available varieties (E. arborescens, E. giganteum, and E. grande rubescens). I must say I was daunted by the prospect of E. giganteum living up to its name, but so far, after 3 years, mine have not grown beyond 3' tall. Probably due to the fact that I barely water them during the summer (once a month, if at all). So, perhaps withholding H20 helps to keep this one in check.
LC said…
I like the variegated abutilon... it looks like a tinge of blue in the foliage? L
Anonymous said…
I saw the new bed you are putting in and thought you would not have so much to show, but I was wrong. You have a number of bloomers. Happy Bloom Day. I like the image with the birdbath. It has a romantic feel.