Local Color

Here in southern California, we didn’t have a winter. We had autumn, an extended spring, and now an early summer. In other words, we went from wildfire to pollen to smog season, skipping the mudslide/debris flow season this year.

They are subtle but we do have detectable differences from season to season. In the spring, the flowers have an intensity of color that they lose in summer, when it is too hot to be bright and everybody including flowers must fade and dim to survive the heat.

It is definitely still spring in the garden. The native sage is most brilliantly blue in the mornings before the sun hits:

Gray green leaves, purple-blue flowers, and a wondrous spicy fragrance - this sage has got it all!

Gray green leaves, purple-blue flowers, and a wondrous spicy fragrance – this sage has it all!

Spring is when this blue morning glory – a relentless, destructive weed – strengthens its hold on the neighborhood. The flowers are too lovely to remove:

Morning glory appears to encircle this aloe. By mid-summer, it will have strangled the aloe unless ripped away.

Morning glory appears to crown this aloe. By mid-summer, its vines will have strangled the aloe if allowed to remain.

No one knows where this morning glory begins, it snakes from yard to yard, along phone lines, across fences. I’ve even found runners in my dark, dry garage! It looks especially pretty with the bougainvillea, though, doesn’t it?:

Another year of morning glory invasion begins.

Another year of morning glory invasion begins.

As soon as the blooms wither, however, the vines must go, lest the rest of the garden vanish behind their twisting tendrils. Stylistically, the morning glory and kudzu have much in common.

Clearly my days as a plant nerd are over. I once knew the common and Latin names for this fellow, whose flowers glow even in brightest sunlight:

The ... er... purple one.

The … er… purple plant.

I don’t know what this flower is, either, but I have a better excuse. I discovered it in a neighbor’s yard today and have never seen one before. My guess is that it’s South African:

The... er... one with tall spikes of orange flowers.

The… er… one with tall spikes of orange flowers.

My Channel Island Bush Poppy is one of my favorite plants. It is not supposed to fare well in my hot inland location, yet mine is 15 feet high and wide. It blooms profusely and cheerfully every spring. Best of all, it requires neglect. If I water it, it will die. The plant made for me!:

Imagine these flowers filling your screen and your vision. That is the Spring experience near a Channel Island Bush Poppy.

Care for this one at its peril!

All this blogging about my garden makes me realize I am overdue to do some gardening… Well. Those that can, do. Those that don’t feel like it, blog.

The WP Weekly Photo Challenge wants to see “Spring”.

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7 thoughts on “Local Color

  1. The pictures of the Morning Glory make me want to be a fairy so I can live in the flowers. Or maybe it was the comment about the Sage being real estate…either way, I want to surround myself with those beautiful colors and swim in those soft petals.

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  2. The pictures are gorgeous, as usual. The captions in this post took center stage, though. I couldn’t help but picture the Sage as a new home, with you as the realtor, based on the description.
    I loved your articulate descriptions (color!) of the others, as well. Thank you for sharing your findings.

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    • Articulate? you mean the um purple one?

      Ha. I see what you mean about the sage description. Perhaps I should add that it is directly outside my front door. Location location location.

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  3. That sage looks other-worldly. I like it!

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