Friday, October 31, 2008

Raindrops on Salvia Flowers

I'm enjoying the rain right now as a series of showers are moving through. It's a pretty warm rain - temperatures are in the 60s F range. And I'm also in the midst of a frenzy of Salvia blooming! As of this morning there are at least 13 different species in bloom. And that's not counting all the ones with flower spikes that should be blooming in the next week or so. I've had a lot of hummingbird activity (as you might imagine.) Of course there's a lot of other happy bloomers out there outside of the Lamiaceae. Abutilon palmeri and A. striatum (more on this one next post), Eccremocarpus scaber, Cuphea, Jasmine, and Datura are just a few examples. All in all the garden right now is a happy one, growing moist with Fall rains as I type! In other garden news I once again made a foray to Annie's. I mostly just picked up a few cool-season annuals, but I did make a new acquisition with which I had been previously unfamiliar. It's Moussonia elegans, a fuzzy little Gesneriad from Central America. It looks like a hummingbird drawer, since the picture showed tubular orangeish flowers. I'm hoping mine will soon bloom, as there was one there with some buds just on the verge of opening. So that's the news, as I happily watch a big dark gray cloud move toward me!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Well, we decided to come back. It's very different back here at home with all the people and traffic. But it's nice to have conveniently located stores. Though we miss all the fields and farming. Anyway we visited two missions, the Pinnacles, and the Big Sur region coast. At the San Antonio mission there were Trichostema lanceolatum plants in bloom - a lovely aromatic native with pale blue flowers. From the mission grounds one has an impressive view of Sta'yokale - a peak sacred to the Salinan people. At the Pinnacles it was all buckwheat (Eriogonum sp.) and hummingbird fuchsia (Epilobium sp.) with their Autumnal flower hues bedecking the tumult of igneous boulders. Here we briefly explored the caves (I saw a bat) and spent some quality time sitting under and upon some very large rocks. At the mission dedicated to Our Lady of Solitude (Soledad) we paused in the quiet little chapel and enjoyed the shade under the corridor. There are a lot of vineyards in Monterey County and they looked lovely with Autumn color just beginning to creep into the vines, which were heavy with their harvest of grapes. Our return trip was quite an adventure with the very windy roads and the Chalk Fire doing its fire thing. But this stretch of the California coast is fantasticly scenic and the hummingbird fuchsia here was radiant against the cliffs. I also glimpsed a late-blooming lupine! We also stopped to make our way down a steep trail to Jade Cove. Despite the name the cobble beaches and cliffs seemed to be mostly of serpentine - but it doesn't matter because I just love shiny green stones! There was a lot of seaweed and it was quite refreshing. So hopefully you can match the pictures to locale based on my descriptions!

Monday, October 13, 2008

An Excursion!

This is just a brief post to inform my faithful readers that I won't be posting for a few days. John and I are going on an exciting honeymoon excursion! Our destination is rural Monterey County - Salinas Valley and environs. When we return I will no doubt have much garden/plant adventuring to relate. I will also, of course, have pictures! Await them excitedly!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


The first rain of the season just came last night! The last rain we had was at about the middle of May, and it was very light. And of course the previous rainy season was a drought year. We may have another dry year but for now I'm just happy to see everything all wet and shiny! Oh the joy of the lovely-smelling damp soil! Summer's dusty leaves are rain-washed and glowing! I'd write more but I really need to go back outside and smell the rain again!