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Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

by Carolyn Longstreth

Mimulus aurantiacus (Monkeyflower)

Mimulus aurantiacus (Monkeyflower). Photo by Laura Camp.

Like many California homeowners, we have a steep slope on our property. When we bought the place in Northern California in 2006, I was baffled how to create a garden there. It’s an informal area but too steep for a cottage-style mix of roses and perennials.  But the area turned out to be the sunniest part of our yard, despite its northwestern exposure and some large trees growing near the top. The gardener in me was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. We terraced the steepest spots and continued to ponder the challenge. (more…)

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Triteleia laxa

Ithuriel's Spear (Triteleia laxa) in a San Jose garden

Some of the most reliable plants in my garden are California native bulbs. They bring seasonal color and variety to the garden, and give it a sense of place (“This is California!”) and a sense of time: they are the markers of spring glory.

Native bulbs are especially appealing to lazy gardeners like me. They need minimal effort at planting time (no need to dig big holes) and no effort thereafter, ever! They come up with the winter rains, and flower in spring. They disappear during summer and return in winter, year after year. To me they are the ultimate in low maintenance gardening!

To succeed with California bulbs, follow these simple rules:

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Wildflowers are such a rewarding feature in a native garden.  Your neighbors and friends will be amazed by the color and variety.  If last year’s flowers were allowed to go to seed, and followed by good winter/spring rains, the flowers will delight us by coming out in great numbers and all corners of the garden.

Tidy tips and California poppy (Layia platyglossa and Eschscholtzia californica), Photo: Laura Camp

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