Garden Tour - Rain or Shine!

50% Native Trout Lily & Friends

This year, I'm very happy to be part of the Going Native Garden Tour again! Both Ms. Country Mouse and I are planning a talk, and it's promising to be a very interesting year. Here's why:

1. Everything is blooming late. 

Ceanothus Tilden Park, Monkey Flower, and Bladderpod in Foreground

Nobody knows why - it hasn't really been such a cold year (or has it?). Maybe it's the lack of moisture - we've barely had 50% of normal so far. Or maybe no rain early in the season and clouds and cool weather late in the season are the cause.

The fun part is that garden visitors who come here often will see things bloom that are usually spent. Ribes, ceanothus - and the iris have barely started. On the other hand, some plants that are usually in full bloom, such as foothill penstemon, aren't as impressive as they are in other years.

Pitcher Sage with Deer Grass in Background

2. The Tour is Early This Year

It's always difficult for the organizers to find the right date: There's Easter, the Master Gardener garden market, and the wildflower show. This year they picked an early tour date, which will mean sunny gardens in San Jose or Hollister will be at their peak. My fairly shady garden will most likely peak in several weeks, when the Chinese houses and Clarkia are in bloom.

And yet - isn't it wonderful to enjoy the yellow iris and Heuchera "Limelight" at their bright green best?

Yellow Iris and Heurera "Limelight"

3. A Rainstorm is Forecast for Friday

I'm usually a bit of a weather nerd and enjoy reading the text discussion from the National Weather Service. The enjoyment hasn't been quite as great in the last few days, as the weather guys have told me that the models agree there will be an atmospheric river bringing much needed rain to the area.

Non-native Maple, Heuchera maxima, and a Canyon Sunflower blossom

That means two things: I will no longer spend Friday cleaning up the garden because it will rain. And on Saturday, it will be chilly and showery, so we'll have fewer accidental tourists and more dedicated garden enthusiasts. In 2016, when my garden was on tour last, I had the best time (and blogged about it). The visitors had interesting questions about the plants and were fun to meet. It was also easy to chat with everyone - and share the joy of gardening with natives!

Checkerbloom, with Jones' mallow (gray leaves) in background

If you're not registered yet, go to and register. You will then get access to the addresses of all gardens on tour. Pick a few and enjoy the magic of a native plant garden in the rain (fingers crossed!)


Jen said…
The trout Lily and the maple are especially stunning.
Country Mouse said…
The garden is looking lovely none-the-less! I think blooming may be a bit late this year because of all the spring rain, myself. Just a hunch based on no expertise!