Wild, Flowers

Guess I should not have made such a big fuss about growing sunflowers (last week’s post), but I like the utilitarian factor—a beautiful flower that also produces edible seeds for me and the birds. Unfortunately the birds sometimes pick them all off before the plant reaches maturity.

But there are flowers that grow around here with no bidding whatsoever. The place came with some antique rose bushes that flower with large fragrant blooms several times a year, especially now.

Irises love it here. It quickly becomes a matter of thinning back the plants. Irises don’t care if they are planted in rocky, sandy soil or rich humus, well drained or damp, sun or shade. They do well in any location here in the foothills.

My apple tree is blooming. Looks like it will be a light crop this year as there are not so many blossoms. Last year the crop was so heavy I froze all I could then bought a food dryer to dry the rest of the apples, a healthy and tasty snack, much more flavorful than dried apples available in grocery stores.

Scotch Broom is not a native plant so members of the native plant society would probably frown on its use in my landscape. But it produces a gorgeous mass of yellow blossoms for a brief period every spring. It also makes a great thick bush for privacy and a favorite landing place for birds.

I planted the whole side yard in wildflowers a few years ago. I have not reseeded it so get fewer wildflowers each year, but they attracted what has become a healthy habitat for ladybugs and butterflies. Unfortunately gophers are also keen to burrow among the tall blooms. I’m frankly sick to death of gophers, cheeky little buggers, a lot more than my feral cat can keep in check.

California is generally considered to be a place of no seasons, a place of perpetual sunshine. We do get a lot of sunshine, and in the mountains we also get a sweet taste of the seasons. Fall, winter and spring are brief, but so gorgeous before the long hot summer.

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