Les over at A Tidewater Gardener is hosting his annual “Winter Walk-Off Challenge”. Since I have been so busy working on installing my gardens I haven’t had much time to explore town the past month so I thought participating would be a good excuse to get out and go for a walk. I’ve done blog posts about walks to the north, south, and west so I thought for this one I would head east towards the more rural part of town.
I ended up taking tons of pictures and chose fifty to share which is a bit much so feel free to just scroll through and click on any that catch your eye for a bigger view.
Ceanothus is still in bloom.
There is this cute little honor system honey stand of honey on a busy street in the middle of town. Apparently it is all local honey.
Echium candicans starts blooming in winter and will continue into spring.
Nice little water wise garden in front of this house with natives, mediterraneans, and succulents.
Cotyledon orbiculata is in bloom.
Cistus X purpureus
Acacia have been in bloom for the past month. This species is quite common though I am not sure what it is. Maybe Acacia longifolia. If anyone knows feel free to correct me.
Close up of the Acacia.
The further east you go the larger the lots get. I’m not sure what is going on in this front yard but I am totally imaging gardens here. I would kill for a yard this big.
Leucadendrons are still looking magnificent. Like this yellow one…
and this orange one.
It looks like they are getting read to do some work in this gated yard on the east side of town. I love their view of Hollister Peak in the background.
Not all ice plant are evil invasives. This one is quite lovely.
I wanted to get a closer look at this garden room and what appears to be a small field of lavender but there were two loud and aggressive dogs guarding that were not happy to see me.
This large front yard has a coastal dunes planting theme going on.
And heading back towards the west end of town this yard had a Japanese inspired collection of bonsai and an ornamental lathe house for Cymbidums to shade them from the sun.
Another species of Acacia.
LOVE this. What a welcome entrance with a Cantua scrambling up an arbor.
California poppies have been in bloom since our last (brief) rain storm.
LOVE everything about this. It is a canary aviary, with a green roof, featuring daffodils, decorated with a metal sculpture.
Their yard is also protected by some alien artwork.
They should seriously win an award for awesomeness!
More Leucadendrons. They are almost as common here as Rhododendrons and Azaleas are back east.
This Leucadendron ‘Jester’ goes nicely with the red garage in the background.
Love these houses! The one on the right is for sale.
Linaria which goes by the common names of toadflax or baby snap dragons is a common escaped weed in California. I loved the color combination of this one.
This house had native plantings including this Salvia spathacea or hummingbird sage.
Close up of their flowery coolness.
Pretty sure this little chuckle patch is Leucanthemum hosmariense. I love any type of daisy flower. I probably should add some to my garden.
I made my way back to my neighborhood and the bay. I believe this is a female northern shoveler. Look at how crazy her beak is!
Dutch Iris by the bay. The north-western part of town is called Baywood or Baywood Park. This is one of the few areas that actually has some shops and restaurants and bed and breakfasts (and the laundromat where I do my laundry). We are a “bedroom community” for San Luis Obispo so most of the rest of town is just houses without a real downtown.
A very fragrant Psoralea pinnata. Some people say it smells like Kool-Aid. It is definitely fragrant but I’m not sure if I even know what Kool-Aid smells like so I don’t know if that description is accurate (I was more of a Hawaiian Punch kid growing up).
Close up of the little pea flowers.
Geranium madarense are in full bloom now. These monocarpic plants die quite spectacularly after they finish blooming and reseed quite a bit. There were tons of seedlings around this plant.
Close up of the exquisite detailing of the flowers.
Looking back south over this little arm of the bay. My neighborhood is beyond the break in the trees toward the left.
Calla lilies are lovely but are also a pernicious, nearly impossible to remove, weed. I’m glad I don’t have any in my yard.
Before I headed home I decided to stop at the Audobon Societies Sweet Springs Nature Preserve which is just a few blocks from my house. This is the spring running into the bay with Morro Rock in the background.
This is the doomed Eucalyptus grove that makes up the preserve. There are over one hundred trees here and they are planning on chopping them down so they can add more natives. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand they are established trees hosting communities of wildlife (hummingbirds and monarch butterflies to name a few) and provide some windscreen. I can see this grove from my house where it is already very windy. I imagine it will be worse without them. On the other hand it will open up the view of the bay (which again I will be able to see from my house) and the addition of more native plants might be quite lovely over time. Of course there is a bitter debate raging and there are people trying to stop the destruction of the trees.
View of Morro Rock from the preserve.
Lots of different birds make this area of the bay their home or use it as a resting place during their migration. I believe these are cinnamon teals.
And I believe this is a group of green-winged teals.
This is a view from the north of the field near my house. See those three palm trees over on the left? I live right across the street from them. I think it is because of this field that we have bluebirds. I have seen him several more times since the first time (and I never have my camera handy!).
Mimulus aurantiacus in an empty lot.
Chickens at my neighbors house! Lots of my neighbors have chickens. I can hear them clucking sometimes as they lay their eggs in the mornings. No one in my part of town seems to have roosters but I did hear some crowing on the east side of town this morning.
More ice plants in bloom.
There are lots of empty lots in town because there is a building moratorium due to a lengthy (over 30 year) battle over the switch over from septic to sewers. This lot has a nice little vegetable garden at the far end.
Finally home sweet home. I took this shot to show the view of Montana de Oro in the background. I can’t actually see it from inside my house by it is nice to know it is there.
Hope you enjoyed this (rather long) walking tour of Los Osos. And be sure to check out A Tidewater Gardener on the 19th of March to see the rest of the tours that people have taken around their neighborhoods.