Entrance garden bed planting - Coyote mint, Lupines, Bladderpod, and Paintbrush

Today I planted the entrance garden bed. I also planted the old wheelbarrow. Photo from early evening.

It's been a while since I complained about the entrance garden. That's partly because it's starting to look a little better -- but still, it's just a few inches of sandy chaparral soil over something very close to hard-pan. The coffeeberry is barely clinging to life but the wart-leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus papillosus, while just two feet tall, is leafing out. The Artemisia californica is similarly dwarfed but looking much better now. A couple salvias I put in there are giving me cause for hope too.

But after today, all being well, or even 50% being well, I won't have cause to complain any more. With a ton of tough plants a-growing in the greenhouse, and today's slightly warmer temps (mid fifties Fahrenheit) -- and the promise of a bit of rain in the forecast -- I got busy.

Coyote mint, California fuchsia, etc. growing in the greenhouse.

I decided to put in:

  • Lavender bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus), maybe five plants, near the center, since it gets tall.
  • Coyote mint (Monardella villosa), planted several around the edge of the bed in three places.
  • Bladder pod (Peritoma arborea -- it's been renamed from Isomeris arborea), which I grew from seed Ms. Town Mouse kindly suggested I gather in her garden.  
  • Paintbrush (Castilleja affinis probably), along with its companion plants, here and there.

Except the bladder pod, they're all local natives grown from seed gathered one or two generations ago from nearby wild plants.

Paintbrush (slender leaves), with coyote mint. I've also grown it with bush lupine and Torrey's melic grass.

I have to say I'm very enthusiastic about the coyote mint. It grew really well in the south garden - just farther along the side of the house from the entrance garden.

Monardella villosa, coyote mint growing in June 2015 in the south garden. Parent of all the current young plants. I was lucky to find one wild plant I hope to find more wild ones so I can widen the gene pool!

I'm also excited about the bladderpod. A southern native, it can grow up to 5 feet tall. But I don't expect it to achieve such giddy heights in the entrance garden. Here's a picture of the flowers and interesting pods (Wikipedia):

Bladderpod, Cleome isomeris.jpg
"Bladderpod, Cleome isomeris" by Dawn Endico from Menlo Park, California - Bladderpod Uploaded by PDTillman. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.

Today I had help from a young gardener!

My granddaughter, 4, did a great job as my garden helper today.

She dug, planted, patted, and watered the coyote mint! And all in her special dress and fancy shoes!
All in all I'm pretty happy this evening. I finished off the planting by dousing all the plants in anti-deer spray -- cross fingers!

The bed is looking good! Though if these salvias take off, to say nothing of the little oak seedlings, I may have to transplant them! Too much of a good thing I can deal with.

Of course the big question is whether the paintbrush will survive transplanting. I hope at least a few of them will -- cross toes!


Diana Studer said…
looking forward to seeing this again as it blooms and fills in
Country Mouse said…
Thanks, Diana. We're having the promised rain - moderate and prolonged with a break in the middle is projected. We'll see! I hope the tiny paintbrush don't get washed away!
Brent Morgan said…
What a healthy bounty of plants you have in the greenhouse. I'm jealous.
Country Mouse said…
Thanks, Brent. It's been a good year. Finding more things that work!
Hello and Happy New Year! What a good early start! Well, maybe it's not early for California... Such a lovely helper you have there!
Our winter just started and we had a good freeze.
All the Best,
Country Mouse said…
Happy new year to you, Tatyana, and thanks for your visit. Early start? - not really -- late! Best planting time for us here is fall. But fall was dry, and we seldom freeze - so I'm keeping my fingers crossed we won't get frost till the plantings are established. They can take the local climate, being born and bred here!