Late Bloom Day for March!

I can't help but give pride of place to the photo above because it caught such a tender moment of unfolding and emergence -- though of course agapanthus is not a native. This plant is one of a few that were here before we arrived, and has persisted through my garden changes. It doesn't spread anything but pleasure.

Mid-March is when things really start to pick up in the California native plant garden, so though I missed Carol's  Garden Blogger's Bloom Day deadline of the 15th of the month (over at May Dreams Gardens), I'd like to show you what's blooming here.

This is a huge set of photos... I hope it will be useful for those who are wondering what blooms in a Central Coast California ridgetop wildish garden! - some are planted and a lot are locally native, as noted.

Natives: Sunny - Low irrigation needs

Eschscholzia californica - California poppy above and below. Growing like weeds. Not locally native, as it happens, not that I've seen.

Viola adunca, western dog violet - local wild volunteer in my garden.

Caterpillar of variable checkerspot - they are all over the place right now, especially on bee plant (Scrophularia californica) - sort of shown above - and sticky monkeyflower bush (Diplacus aurantiacus) which grow wild here. Today I saw my first butterfly of this ilk.

Man it is hard to get photos of a buttercup! Ranunculus californica
I planted these - not locally native that I've seen.

Frangula californica, coffeeberry - local wild native, about 8' tall and 6' wide - volunteered in my garden. Just marvelous!

Stipa cernua, nodding needlegrass - local native I've got growing all over the place!

Tiny local lupine - lupinus nanus? lupinus bicolor? I'm not sure. Growing amid grasses.

Melica torreyana, Torrey's melic. Local native. When I run my hands over this melic grass, I can feel the compact inflorescences - or seeds in time - in my mouth. This grass does appreciate a little shade.

Encelia californica, bush sunflower - a Southern California native.

Sisyrinchium bellum, blue eyed grass. Not growing locally - planted.

Above and below: Tiny local lupines - lupinus nanuslupinus bicolor? I'm not sure.

Rhus ovata, Sugar bush - budding out. Seems to bud for ever, and be gone in a flash! Southern native Drought tolerant, slow growing, lovely evergreen foliage.

Salvia 'Bee's Bliss' - a long lived plant in my garden this one is. I love to watch the sun rise behind it most mornings. Gets no additional water. Has a tiny bit of shade - mostly in full sun.

Arctostaphylos crustacea ssp crustacea or ssp crinita - not sure how to tell - they look similar. I'll have to try keying this one out.  The manzanitas are pretty much done blooming.

Ribes malvaceum, chaparral currant. Sun to part shade. Planted. All my ribes are planted ones. There is a local one, probably sanguineum, but none on my property that I know of - lots of volunteers from the planted R. malvaceum though. Too bad in a way - I'll never know if I'm getting local wild ones popping up!

Solanum umbelliferum, blue witch - I stuck cuttings of this plant earlier this week. Fingers crossed! Seeds never seem to come up - once in a blue moon. Lovely chaparral plant, local wild.

(Though the above flowers look like the below ones - the above ones are about an inch or less and the below ones are like 3 or maybe 4 inches across.)

Fremontodendron californicum - Flannel bush, planted - so amazing! Huge flowers like teacups. And this year it's REALLY taken off - it's about 12 feet tall! Far from our house - it's flammable. Supposedly native in our county and a lot of other places but I haven't seen it growing wild.

Ceanothus papillosus - Wart leaf ceanothus - wild local plant, blooming like crazy and all abuzz with beezz. And below - growing together with the flannel bush - wow! Makes me happy!

Natives: Dry part shade to shade - some also take sun

Ooh - what is this (above) - Could it be a volunteer bluedick budding out? - Dichelostemma capitatum. Just popped up in a partly shady part of the garden, front beds. Common wildflower in California.

Salvia spathacea, hummingbird sage. Planted in some shade - likes water but does OK without too. Spreads to give a lovely solid green mat of large leaves with these magenta spikes. Native along the coast all along from south to north of here - but not here! If you look on Calflora you'll see that Santa Cruz County has no recorded instances.

Dicentra formosa, Pacific bleeding heart. Native to our county but not in dry areas. However, it does OK in dryish shade, and even with quite a bit of sun if given some water. Disappears totally after it's done for the year, early summer I think.

Cercis occidentalis, western redbud, planted, not locally native. A garden beauty. Slow growing shrub that can get very large in time.

Ribes speciosum, fuchsia flowering currant. Not a local native. For me, growing in part shade - I hear that it grows in sun too. Can be killed with summer water I think.

Ribes viburnifolium, Catalina currant - Channel Islands native. Everyone is noticing how their plants are covered with its tiny wine-colored flowers this year.

Claytonia perfoliata -  Indian lettuce, aka miner's lettuce. Above and below. Edible. See the different shaped leaves? And I love how the inflorescences are surrounded by that round leaf thingy like a posy. I'm sure there are technical terms that I could be abusing here to describe how it grows! And it grows all over the place on our property - weedy you might say, but I wouldn't.

Iris fernaldii, Fernald's iris. One of my favorites - likes high shade. Local native. I'm excited today - I noticed some seeds of this are sprouting in the greenhouse!

Ribes indecorum - actually a tough ribes that can probably take full sun. It's in a fairly sunny spot and grows huge - but doesn't seem to reseed.

Lepichinia calycina, California pitcher sage - widespread native or Lepechinia fragrans, fragrant pitcher sage - southern only - I'm not sure. Planted in partial shade.

Not the best picture of the dutchman's pipeline, Aristolochia californica - quite a lot of blooms this year - parts of the vine are totally bare and other parts are leafing out abundantly. I may be mismanaging it in the garden. Larvae of the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly feed exclusively on this plant's leaves.

Natives: shade or part shade, with some moisture

Ribes sanguineum I think - pink flowering currant. Could be locally native but this one isn't.

Petasites frigidus var. palmatus, coltsfoot.  Wild riparian plant - some sites say it can be invasive. An invasion I'd welcome. It's in my wetland bed, a small much irrigated part of the garden. Budding above, then blooming below. Leaves not shown - it's growing up through other plants. It does have nice leaves. I'll show you another time.

Oxalis oregana, Redwood sorrel - also in that irrigated and shaded bed, growing some local wild

Dad's Garden and other Non-Natives
Photos from in and around My dad's garden beds - Australians, hummingbird feeders, and cheerful color. Sorry - I'm not going to bother with names so much. These are just complementary to the natives and I'm not so interested in them.

Purplish euphorbia

Cistus - still surviving after many years - from Town Mouse's garden.

ya you know what this is, right? Eaten by nothing at all.

The only bit of rosemary left from the rosemary - engulfed garden beds around my dad's cottage front.

White which I was told is good to add to the flower bed.

A fun grevillea - good for hummers.

A colorful daisy type flower

Oh, flowering fruit tree blossoms - lovely! They were here before us too.

Kangaroo paws

Some kind of succulent I bought from a young boy selling plants in front of his house.

Some other kind of succulent.

Yup. Succulent. Not sure I can live with this color - we'll see!

This succulent has nicer pink flowers IMO
Hope you enjoyed the tour of what's blooming!


Jason said…
Great post! I had no idea there were so many California spring wildflowers, although of course there's no reason there wouldn't be. The California poppy is of course a beautiful classic. The Viola and Ceanothus are wonderful as well. Can you pick out a few of these as favorites?
Country Mouse said…
I'd have to say that my favorites are the locally native ones - it's like loving your own children more than someone else's! Not based on any other criteria. I guess favorite depends on what criteria you use - the coffeeberry and ceanothus are wonderful for pollinators and the flannelbush is simply stunning. I love the Fernald's Iris because of its delicacy but also for the memory I have of finding it growing locally which was an amazement to me. It's a very personal thing I guess. Thanks for checking us out. And there are many more California spring wildflowers - many many more. We have an amazingly varied flora here and spring is when I'd say most of them do their thing because of the dry summers. There are quite a few summer bloomers too, but spring is the cornucopia time.
Brent said…
What an extensive post - it just kept going and going with beautiful spring flowers.
Linnae said…
Thanks for visiting my blog!
Wow, what a variety of blooms you have! I liked your small lupines. We have the big ones that grow wild on our back slope. As they are some of the few that will grow in clay soil without intervention, I'm happy to let them reseed at will up there.
Country Mouse said…
Thanks for dropping by and checking out my spring blooms! It's been fun looking at other blooming posts too -- even the winter ones with scarce a bloom - makes me realize that the world is much much bigger than this little plot I tend, to be sure!