GBBD: The Town Mouse Report

Today, I started a 10-week drawing class. When I mentioned to the teacher that I wanted to learn how to draw plants, she said:"Oh, too bad this time of year nothing is blooming." Mmmm. Let's have a look at nothing...

In the front garden, above, Eriogonum arborescens (Channel island buckwheat) still puts on a good show, and I enjoy the colors of the slowly fading blossom clusters. Also in the front, several self-seeded and transplanted Zauschneria Californica (California Fuchsia). I'm hoping to plant even more this fall.

The back side garden still looks fairly lush, with Eriogonum arborescens, Eriogonum grande rubescens, and Sedum Autumn Joy, all near the Christmas fountain and offset against a lush dark green Toyon on the right.

Here's a close-up of the sedum.

And here's a close-up of the Eriogonum together with the mystery sedum (Ms. ElephantsEye from South Africa will attempt to identify it, I'm planning on a post with blooms soon -- but it's done blooming so I can't include it here)

The mediterranean mounds look much better than last hear because it's been unusually cool. Here the ceanothus, still quite green, with another native buckwheat and Stipa gigantea (giant feathergrass), a very drought-tolerant mediterranean grass.

A close-up of this buckwheat, which really shines this time of year with silvery foilage and white blossoms, beloved by pollinators and butterflies. 

But we also have color! Here, a deep red salvia, revived with a 20 minute soak after the irrigation had been shut of for 3 weeks in my absence. 

This salvia is a big hit with the hummingbirds as is, despite of its blue flowers, the Agaphantus. This one is over 5 feet, and I left a few blossoms during a recent clean-up. 

The big surprise has been that we have a few monkey flower blossoms in the garden. Usually, monkeyflowers are just a sorry heap of dead-looking leaves, with a bit of green mixed in. But this year, a few blossoms. 

And in the shade, the plant playing tricks on me is Rhododendron occidentale. This California native rhododendron was supposed to bloom in spring but did not. It's decided to bloom now, while the leaves are starting to turn at the same time. The beautiful white flowers are tinged with a bit of yellow and fragrant. 

I'd hope that my drawing teacher would be impressed with my collection of California natives and other mediterranean climate plants. But if she were not -- some are not so showy -- I think I'd surely win here over with the waterlily.

And now, I'll briefly head over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who has faithfully brought us Garden Blogger's Bloom Day for many months and years. Tomorrow, I hope I'll have time to visit longer and see what's blooming in other parts of the country (and the world). 


LOL - come on, it's California, of course there's something in bloom. 'Autumn Joy' Sedum looks like it grows differently in your garden than in gardens in the Midwest. Here, the bloom heads are much larger and flatter. You've done a great job with xeriscaping your garden, it looks lovely.
My first thought was like the one above... really teacher, California? I wonder if all she can do is draw and not garden. I love fall because there is so much in flower and all the hot colors.
Love the sedums. They really take the front and centre at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing.
I think the art teacher needs to learn more about plants, you garden looks wonderful. Happy GBBD.
Kimberly said…
I'm a little surprised at your art teacher...there's always something going on in the garden, regardless of bloom. Yours looks very the buckwheat and salvia! Great contrast! And sedum is always a winner with me. Happy GBBD and good luck with your drawing! It sounds like fun!
biobabbler said…
Hee. Nice work. I went to the San Joaquin Valley yesterday desperate for a nature hit (before my errands) and there WERE things blooming, butterflies visiting, etc. The landscape was not a riot of blooms, but blooms there were. =) Any plans to share your drawings?
Kate said…
Good for you! I've always wanted to take an art class but I'm too chicken. Everything is so pretty - I suppose you get flowers 12 months out of the year in sunny CA. Love that monkey flower!
Fred Hoffman said…
You sold me on the buckwheat! I thought it was taller and more gangly. Nothing in bloom? Maybe in Antarctica.
Christine said…
Well, if everyone realized that gardening was so incredibly rewarding and beautiful we'd have tons of competition on nursery excursions and hikes!
I love your play on words with "Christmas fountain and green Toyon", but not as much as I love how gorgeous your garden is looking!
noel said…

what a beautiful natives and other blooms, I'm a real fan of autumn joy, it really shines at this time of the year...good luck with the drawing class, you garden will inspire you for this i'm sure.
Gail said…
She's going to be very surprised at how very much there is for you to draw! I am loving the California fuchsia~it's a really pretty plant. have fun in the drawing class! gail
For being quite late in the season you do have a lovely selection of plants in bloom. I just tried to find some Zauschneria californica seeds, but came up empty handed. I may have to cast a wider net to find some, or perhaps I'll just invest in a potted plant if Annie's gets them next year, especially if this plant has a tendency to self sow.
Town Mouse said…
Thanks everyone for visiting. Yeah, we'll see whether I can educate that art teacher... It was a great class, though, for homework I have to draw an egg lit by a single light source...
Farmer Fred, that Eriogonum arborescens does get bigger, I'm actually planning on trying some pruning in winter.
jeansgarden said…
I wouldn't mind having this much nothing blooming in my garden!
And I never get tired of looking at agapanthus. -Jean
Queer by Choice said…
I'm so impressed by all your buckwheats and California fuchsias! All I've got out of mine so far are a couple of buds on one of the buckwheats - and not even a bud from the California fuchsia.
Carol said…
Gorgeous plantings... I love the texture and colors... Are you sure that is Autumn Joy? I want mine to look like that... the stems are a different color. Lovely agapanthus! Hummers sure do like it too. ;>)
Dreamybee said…
You certainly have a good base for your drawing class-have fun! Love that water lily.