Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Here's the Triangle Planter, an area near my workplace that I created with the help of friends/supervisors at work and Sara. (I have 2 bosses, it is complicated). All of these plants are native to California, although a few are not native to Ventura County. The planter gets some water on its edges from small sprinklers, but most of this part does not get extra water... the rain brought these flowers up. Some of the plants you can see in this picture include deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens), California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), arroyo lupine (Lupinus succulentus), and bush sunflower (Encelia californica). I am too lazy to italicize the Latin names right now. There are about 40 different native plant species in this planter.
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica, whew!) is one of the easiest plants to grow in this climate, blooms for months, and the petals are the second softest thing ever. (feel them next time you see this plant!) Also, despite popular belief, it isn't illegal to pick these flowers... but it is a bad idea, because who wants to kill a poppy?
This pitcher sage (Lepechinia fragrans) plant, after getting a slow start, looks amazing right now. The flowers are beautiful, the plant smells amazing, and the little fuzzy hairs on the leaves make it look like it has a glowing aura around it.
I never see this planted in native plant gardens... but I can't imagine why! I really hope it makes viable seed so I can grow more.
The gophers are going to town in the flowers. This is not an entirely bad thing as they are mixing the extremely compacted soil and adding organic matter. I also noticed that areas they dug up last year had good wildflowers. However, they are getting a bit out of control so we will probably have to trap and smite some of them, before they eat everything. (Before we do that, I hope they get that filaree to the left of the hole)
Huge arroyo lupine patch (Lupinus succulentus) that popped up on the street end of the planter. I am pretty sure these came from a few seeds I grabbed across the ditch and tossed on the ground in the fall... This plant is doing a good job of adding nutrients to the crappy soil it lives in, although the plants under it are probably being smothered.
it smells great, too.
This is a little patch of bunchgrasses (Nassella pulchra, N. lepdia) I planted in a bare patch of soil where nothing else would grow. The grasses are doing great and are even blooming, less than 6 months after I planted them. I hope to put more in this Fall.
Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) growing in a big clump. This originated from about 5 plants I divided out of a couple of pots, and mostly from 1 plant Sara had growing at her house in Santa Barbara when she lived there. It hated Santa Barbara but loves its new home.. however it has a bit of mildew, so I think I will cut down the water this year and let it dry out for the summer.