First Views (on the Second of the Year)

As in previous months, we're continuing our tradition of sharing views of the garden (not just pretty close-ups of the plants) in the first week of the month. This being a casual meme, I forgot about it yesterday, but today's overcast sky made for better photos. Above, the view from the sunroom. Salvia spatacea (humminbird sage) in the front is lush and green and has a few blossoms. Yes, we have hummingbirds all year, and they also delight in the camelia and the Australian tea tree. You can also see the bright green poppies along the path, the banner photo (above) shows them covered with ice crystals after a hoarfrost night.

Turning to the right, we can see major clean-up has happened. The California fuchsia is gone, and I'm hoping it will be replaced by Aquilegia (columbine) in the spring. Meanwhile, the native currant (Ribes speciosum) adds a splash of color in the background on the right.

Around the corner in the side garden, the tea tree shows its first blossoms. In the back along the fence, Salvia 'Pacific Blue' has filled in nicely. I'm hoping for blue blossoms in the spring. And through the gate, we see the freshly pruned peach tree.

Turning toward the house, we see that Arctostophylos St. Helena, the manzanita I planted last year, is coming along nicely to the right of the fountain. The last blossoms of yarrow 'Paprika' are hanging in there, a nice contrast to the grey Cotyledon (South African succulent) and native Artemesia (hidden behind the post).

 As we walk past the redwood habitat, we notice the different lichen on the rocks and another Ribes in its final yellow glow. The area looks a little sad. It's the third dryest winter in recorded history (since 1862) so far, and the plants really need some rain. So far, nothing is in sight for the next ten days.

Still, my native garden fares better than most, with the blue-green Festuca Californica as a nice contrast to the dark green Ceanothus and some succulents and monkey flowers to the right of the path. This is the time to appreciate textures, shades of green, and the interplay of leaves of different size and shape. I'm glad I got professional help with the original design of the middle of the garden, it's too easy to have your garden suffer from little green leaf syndrome if you don't watch it.

Finally, we're getting to the front where Mr. Mouse and I have spent a goodly amount of time cleaning up the leaves of the Liquidambar tree. I like to wait until everything has dropped and then do a decent clean-up. Most of the native plants do not like to be smothered by leaves, which make them susceptible to fungal infections. Besides, the neighbors do look at my native front garden, and I'd like for them to enjoy the plants, not the cover of leaves. The street sweeper will make short work of the mounds of leaves along the street, and they drive by here anyway, so I won't worry about the sustainability aspect of removing the leaves.

Here's the front garden from the street, with the seedheads of Eriogonum arborescens still beautiful and the light grey Salvia leucophylla contrasting nicely with the green coyote brush.

Finally, we return to the front door, where the Aristolochia californica (dutchman's pipe) is showing off a final bit of fall color, with flowers most likely not far behind. 

And now it's your turn! Do you want to start the year by sharing the views of your garden with others? We'd love to see you on our Mr. Linky list and hope to visit your views through the year. 


Sue Langley said…
Hi Mouse. You are so right about depending on the grey greens and muted colors of CA natives. Fortunately I love all those colors and textures. I covet you hummingbird sage and hope mine grows as well as yours. Also love the Salvia leucophylla and that may be a good alternative to my non-native Helicrysum 'Moe's Silver, which has a similar look.

In my blog archive, I'll have to add a heading called 'First Views.' It will turn out to be a very good record of the year. I so wish I had taken more photos of my early garden.
Anonymous said…
I took the idea of your meme, and started a series with a picture of one side of my garden, made on the first day(s) of every month.
I invited other Dutch and Belgian Bloggers to do the same, and if you like I'll add there links to your Mr Linky widget too...