Visitor

I had a little visitor today in my home office. Not something I expected to see so I pretty much jumped out of my skin. Either he got in while I had the door open for a few hours yesterday (and spent the night in my living room!) or he snuck under the front door (he is pretty tiny – about 14 inches long).

When I first moved here 3 years ago there was really no wildlife. Now that I transformed the entire yard into a garden it is full of birds, butterflies, bees, lizards, and now this little snake. Apparently he is a harmless gopher snake but I still did not want to risk getting bit so I used a box top and ruler to take him out of the house and back into the garden. I hope he gets nice and big and eats lots of gophers.

 

California Poppies

Over the past few years I’ve grown several different color varieties of California poppies. Cream, yellow, white, red, double orange, and purple. This year I haven’t added any new ones but it is interesting to see the different colors and shades the seedlings take on. Some revert back to the typical yellows and oranges of the species but there are subtle differences between them.

Which is your favorite?

 

 

 

 

Finally Rain!

We have had a really awful winter here in California. Only 3 days of rain (if that) in the fall. No rain at all in January. Unusually cold freezes in early December followed by unusually hot weather in late December and January (it got into the upper 80’s here in Los Osos and at one point in January San Luis Obispo was clocking the warmest weather in the entire country at 91 degrees!).

So I am definitely celebrating the inch or so of rain on Sunday and the rain again today. Of course it would probably have to rain like this every day until April to help us out with the three years of drought we have had since I moved here but I’ll take whatever I can get.

Aside from the fact that my video shows you what the front of your house looks like in a rain storm when you don’t have gutters you can also make out the blooms of Cuphea ‘Minnie Mouse’, Chrysanthemum paludosum, Salvia confertiflora, Clarkia rubicunda ssp. blasdalei, and Fuchsia galveziana in the background. And beyond the white fence there is a newly planted California native garden that still needs to be mulched but is very appreciative of this rain.

Video!

I haven’t ever uploaded any videos on my site. My newest iPhone shoots decent video so maybe I should from time to time.  With the new blog name it is time to try something new.

Here are some honeybees enjoying California native annual, Mentzelia lindleyi, in my garden recently. The warmer it is the more honeybees there are (sometimes it seems there are over a hundred of them). Be sure to watch the video in HD with the volume turned up.

Leucadendrons in Morro Bay

Morro Bay has the perfect cool coastal conditions for growing Proteaceae.  I would say that they are almost as popular here as Rhododendrons and Hosta back in my native northern New Jersey. I’ve been wanting to go around town and take pictures of all of them but just haven’t had the time.

There is one house in particular right in the middle of Morro Bay Heights that has such an amazing display of Leucadendrons that it was worth stopping the car and taking a few pictures. I believe they are the fairly common cultivars ‘Safari Goldstrike’, ‘Safari Sunset’, and ‘Wilson’s Wonder’ and from these photos you will see what makes them so popular.

Leucadendron ‘Safari Goldstrike’

Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’

Leucadendron ‘Wilson’s Wonder’