From the monthly archives:

March 2009

Palm Springs

by Lorraine on March 27, 2009

I’m not familiar with the names of the plants in the desert communities and as I mentioned in the previous post,  I was visiting friends that live in Palm Desert and I was looking forward not only to our visit, but seeing the desert in the Spring.

My visit with my friends was great and we had a wonderful time but their were very few flowers in the area and that was disappointing. There has just not been enough rain to support a good wildflower bloom and the usual displays that generally can even be seen along the freeways, were missing too.  The desert was very bare and there wasn’t much to see other than Cresote bushes.   I didn’t even see any Sand Verbena this year and usually you can count on them as well as Desert Dandelions.   But not a flower in sight.

Now I know that you’re thinking that a desert doesn’t have rain anyway, but that’s not true.  Depending on a number of factors of the particular “desert”, some do receive quite a bit of rain and when they do, they can have colossal flower blooms that can take your breath away.  And that happened just a few years ago when we had a great deal of rain during the Winter and that in turned caused what was referred to as the “Bloom of the Century”.   Even Death Valley was covered in flowers and was so spectacular that people by the thousands went there to see this amazing display of wildflowers!

On the Trail.

I believe that the area where Palm Springs is located is considered to be the Lower Colorado Desert.   My friend and I took a couple of hours to hike early in the morning to the top of a low peak with views of the desert looking to the east and it was so beautiful and it felt so good to be outside.

The trail w/Brittle Bush & Asters.

Brittle Bush & Asters

There were some plants here and there that were blooming but not too much.   Mainly what I saw was Brittle Bush which is a type of daisy and I think some Asters  along the edge of the trail.   A few Lupins and some low growing purple flowers that I recognized but  couldn’t recall their name and other than that, nothing else.

Beavertail Cactus

Beaver Tail Cactus

It was a beautiful morning for a short hike and although there weren’t too many flowers, it was still an enjoyable experience being outside and on a trail.   Putting on my hiking boots and heading out to experience nature always makes me happy.

Next up, my own garden.   I’ve got some new pictures to share and comments to make as well.


Spring in Southern California

by Lorraine on March 17, 2009

I guess I should say, “what Spring”?   Spring may have arrived but it’s a dud this year.   Kaput, nada, uninspiring and nonexistent.   So, what happened?

No rain, that’s what happened.   Yeah we did have some but not enough and if I didn’t water my garden a couple of times a month, it wouldn’t be doing so well.   I have many plants that have started to bloom and it seems to me that each day when I check to see what’s happening, there’s another surprise.

Naturally the Poppies (Arrggg) are quite abundant and beginning to bloom next to the Baby Blue Eyes but I’m not ready to update the blog with pictures just yet , as I want to wait a bit longer until there are more flowers.

I’ve had a bit of a problem with aphids on some of the Sages, which surprises me!   I would have thought that Salvias wouldn’t be bothered by such a little pest.   Where are the Lady Bugs when you need them?

So, Spring is a bust.   There’s barely anything blooming on the hillsides other than grass and tyically we see flowers on the shoulders of the freeway.   All I’ve seen are a few Lupin plants and not much else.

And remember all the seed I scattered in my backyard and along the shoulder of the street in my neighborhood?  Nothing, not much, disappointing to say the least.  However, it was a good workout!

Just not enough rain.   I was in Palm Springs over the weekend, same conditions there.   But I do have a few pictures that I will add in the next blog when I discuss my visit there.


Wildflower Hotline

by Lorraine on March 11, 2009

My garden is looking beautiful but as far as any new blooms go, there’s not too much yet.   Of course, the darn Poppies are going to explode and a couple of the Monkey Flowers are blooming too and a few other things.

It should really be amazing within the next month or so and then I will take some pictures of how everything is looking.   I expect it to be spectacular of course.   After all, it is MY garden that is smothered in LOVE!

The Theodore Payne Foundation’s newsletter lists  a phone number to find out where the wildflowers are blooming across southern California.   You may want to check it out at 818-768-3533.   They are also having their Native Plant Garden tour on the weekend of April 4th and 5th.   If you want to know more about it call them at 818-768-1802.

It came up really quickly it seems to me and “no” I’m not on the tour.   I guess that I will have to let them know that I’d like my garden to be part of next year’s tour.   I will probably go to it on Sunday, as I already have plans to be in Ventura on Saturday to hear a group of touring Slack Key guitarists from Hawaii!

I’m looking forward to hearing them and I know that I will love it.   More on the garden and my Forest Service volunteer events, later.