Saturday, October 23, 2010

Negative Tides

It's negative tide season again! Negative tides that happen in the daylight hours, that is. November and December offer some nice afternoon negative tides. Check the tide tables and plan your trip to the cove. Bring kids and cameras. LEAVE THE WILDLIFE!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Small Beginnings

I managed to get some of my new native plants into the ground before the lovely rains came this week. Way in the back is the White Sage, Salvia apiana. Then come the two Black Sages, Salvia mellifera, 'Skylark,' an Ashyleaf Buckwheat, Eriogonum cinereum, and the Coast Buckwheat, Eriogonum parvifolium. The smallest plants are some California Poppies, Eschscholzia californica. (I accidentally stepped on one while I was putting down the mulch, but it doesn't seem to have minded.) The log rounds came from my tree that was removed last summer. I wanted to use a non-organic mulch, but there was not much of a selection at the garden centers I went to. The mulch made from old tires looked absolutely ghastly, and smelled awful, too. The Bush Lupine, Lupinus longifolius, is still waiting to be planted. It will go where the birch trees used to be. Those overhead sprinklers that you see have been turned off. For now I will hand water the new plants as needed and wait for more rain.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ready to Plant

I made it to the Native Plant Sale at the South Coast Botanical Garden on Friday evening and was able to find almost all of the plants on my list. Here's what I got:

Bush Lupine, Lupinus longifolius
Black Sage, Salvia Mellifera 'Skylark'
White Sage, Salvia apiana
Coast Buckwheat, Eriogonum parvifolium
Ashy-leaf Buckwheat, Eriogonum cinereum
Bush Monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus
California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
California Wild Rose, Rosa californica

I'm so thrilled to have my very own bush lupine. It's beautiful! I bought two of the 'Skylark' Melliferas, which have a deeper purple flower, and the apiana for its gray-green foliage and because it is such an interesting plant. The Coast Buckwheat is the plant that the El Segundo Blue Butterfly lays its eggs on. (I can hope, can't I?) The Monkeyflower was an afterthought to add some yellow color, along with the poppies. I bought the wild rose on a whim and now I don't know where to put it. The roots can be invasive I'm told.

What I didn't get were:

Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
California Gooseberry, Ribes Californicum
California Everlasting, Gnaphalium californicum

They had some gooseberries, but not this one and the ones they had did not suit my purpose. I was really surprised they didn't have the Gnaphalium, I thought it was rather common. But maybe you find it more in drier inland areas.

Along with all these lovely plants, I bought the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden book on the Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens by O'Brien, Landis, and Mackey, a treasure trove of information and well worth the $30 price. The book includes tips on planting, pruning, watering, pest control, just about everything you need to know but geared towards native plants. It's full of information you just can't find elsewhere. Rancho Santa Ana will be having their own plant sale in November (mostly natives), and their Grow Native Nursery will open November 10.

I am hoping that the really hot weather is over because I want to get these plants into the ground. I'll keep you posted on my progress.