Luckily the plantings were done in 2004-2005 when we had a lot of rainfall and the plants were able to get established before this summer of drought started. There was no funding for an irrigation system. Everything looked extremely dry to me and it is only June. It will be a long time before any of these plants get any appreciable water. What amazes me about California natives is their ability to survive under these very harsh conditions. Like deciduous plants in more northern latitudes, these plants can look totally dead in the dry season and then "spring" back to life when the rains start again.
We equipped ourselves with maps and photos of the plants that the Conservancy had listed and of course, my trusty camera, and headed out for a very pleasant afternoon hike. Joan had made metal tags to put on certain plants to help her identify them again in the future. We looked and felt very professional and laughed at our inexperience.
For those who may want to know just which plants the Conservancy planted, which plants they consider to be native not only to the southern coast of California but to our little peninsula, here is the complete list. If you live in Southern California, you may want to consider these for your back yard. They are all extremely drought tolerant and some of the flowers are lovely and unusual. And several of them like the artemisia and sages have wonderful smells. These are the sorts of plants that my other friend Kathy grows in her yard.
The above photo on the right is of a lupine. Lupines are not on the list so this one was not planted by the Conservancy and has somehow managed to survive or seed itself in the canyon on its own. There are over 60 species of lupine in California and I have had no luck tracking this one down yet. I love lupines and have to stop and take photos of them whenever I find them usually along mountain roads. The photo above left is Salvia leucophylla or Purple Sage and the one below is Isomeris arborea or Bladderpod.