Garden Tour 3 Weeks After

Monkey Flowers

The garden tour is now 3 weeks in the past. The stunning ceanothus that was blooming then is done. Now's the peak time for monkey flower and different penstemon.

Foothill penstemon (left) and monkey flower (right)

I'm always pleasantly surprised how well the monkey flow and penstemon survive the benign neglect they get in the front garden. I have no irrigation there and handwater every 3 weeks. Or not. Things sometimes look a little grim in August and September. But this is what natives like, and they reward me with fresh blooms every spring. The penstemon, started from two plants, has spread and I've given seedlings away. Great fun!

Desert penstemon
Another star of the front garden is desert penstemon, which I got mail order from Annie's. The luminous color is eyecatching and the photo doesn't do it justice. It's in an unfortunate spot (afternoon sun, no water) but comes back every spring.

Wooly blue curl
The wooly blue curl has now started blooming (the white sage is still just in bud). I'm a little disappointed I was not able to share the miraculous blooms. But I understand the restrictions on tour date planning well...

Blue flax

Let's leave the front with a glance at the blue flax, interleaved with purple sage. A dainty little flower that's a joyful surprise each spring.

Poppies and one-leaf onion

In the back, we really have great poppies this year! Still big, enough room for a large bumble bee to land. Poppies are temperamental in my garden, but it's worked out! The one-leaf onion bulbs have also opened, after weeks of anticipation. Each year I think they're spreading too much, but then they bloom, and I know I won't thin them just yet... Hummingbird sage is also doing better this year than last, and hummingbirds visit regularly. They must have a nest close by - I see them pick spiderweb from the windows. Good thing we're not obsessive about window cleaning in this house...

Chinese houses
The Chinese houses, which are annuals, only just opened and I'm hoping they'll be there when I have a pot luck at the house in a week. In my garden, they reseed reliably - all I do is pull the poppies and other weeds that try to grow there. 

Checkerbloom & penstemon
Let's finish the walk through the post-tour garden with a view of the checkerbloom, which had just started to look good on harden tour day. It's now at it's prime, or maybe a little over. And some company is there; different penstemons including some seedlings of the foothill penstemon from the front. More about all that in the next post.