Birds & My Native Plant Garden

by Lorraine on April 18, 2009

With the warmer weather and the arrival of Spring, there is quite a bit of activity in my garden these days.   Not only is everything blooming but I’m seeing more birds returning to my garden.   There have been a number of Anna’s Hummingbirds but the other day I saw two that looked different.

I referred to my book on birds in the S. CA region to find out what kind of Hummingbirds they were.  They coloring was beautiful and instead of being green, they were bronze and creamy.   My book said that they were either Allen’s or Rufous Hummingbirds.   I certainly wouldn’t know the difference but I loved seeing them and I hope that they come back soon.

I’m beginning to pull some of the Poppies out, as the foliage is turning a drab gray and they are not blooming as much as they were previously.   They look messy and I decided to pull them out just a few at a time when they begin to look bad.   Not an easy task.   Boy, of boy…do they ever have deep roots and actually look quite a bit like a carrot root.   But I don’t think that I’ll be eating some anytime soon.  

Here is a photo of a hybrid Douglas Iris that is a light shade of purple with a pale yellow stipe down the pettle.   I thought that I had saved the I.D. on the two that I bought last year at the Theo. Payne Foundation, but of course…I can’t find it.   That means I can’t give you the name of it, all that I recall is that it is some sort of hybrid.

This next photo is of a Royal Penstemon, Penstemon spectabilis.   They can grow to be very tall and I have three in the garden.   One of them toppled over a bit and at first I was thinking that I should have staked it sooner but having it flopped over worked out fine.   It’s in front of another one and it fills in the space below the taller one and looks quite good.

Last year when I was visiting the nursery at Theo. Payne, I noticed that they had pulled panty hose over the longs stems and it certainly looked funny.   Then I realized why they had done that.   They were collecting seeds from the plant.   Pretty clever, huh?   Another way to recycle your old hosiery!

Here’s an additional photo of a low growing Penstemon that is a hybrid known as Margarita BOP.   I believe that the story behind the name, is that someone had a Penstemon growing on their back porch and it happened to get cozy with another variety that was in the same area.   And the result?   BOP!

Chico brought in a Grasshopper a moment ago (thank goodness it’s not a lizard, I’d be running around the house trying to catch it) and Biscuit confiscated it from him and needless to say, has been having a great time torturing it.  

Here is a photo of Biscuit from last Summer when the Fuschias were blooming and it looks like he sniffing at it, but it’s just the way I shot the photo.   I ‘ve noticed that the Fuschias are getting quite large and when they start to bloom later this Summer, I’m expecting quite a show.

Soon I’ll be following up with some pictures that I took a week ago in the Sespe.   I took so many, that it will be difficult for me to choose which ones to post and I’ll probably do it over several days.

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