Monday, April 15, 2019

Cistus and Sage in a Wildlife Garden

rock rose (Cistus salviifolius)
For years the rock rose (Cistus salviifolius) was a lush green plant with no flowers. It grew in dappled shade under an ornamental plum tree. For the past year, the tree has been gone and the rock rose has received more sunlight. This spring it is blooming for the first time in fifteen years. I had forgotten it's blooms were white.

Sometimes, you just have to be in the right place at the right time. You can survive and even do well, but one small change can transform existing to thriving. It is an important lesson to keep in the back of my mind. A moment in the garden always brings enlightenment and a new perspective. 

'hot lips' sage (Salvia microphylla)
While Cistus are not natives, as Mediterranean plants they are well suited to California's typical Mediterranean climate. There's another lesson: not every plant in the garden has to be a California native.  

The 'hot lips' sage (Salvia microphylla) is stunning this year. It's a North American native frequently visited by both our Allen's hummingbirds and valley carpenter bees.

The California natives continue to bring waves of beautiful blooms. The redbud has transformed to green leaves. It has passed the flower baton to the Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana). These native California iris have really rebounded with the winter rains. The garden speaks clearly if you listen: change is constant.

 I found three new Allen's hummingbird nests this weekend. More hummingbird stories to come.

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