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Native Plant Garden Melody

by Lorraine on May 5, 2010

Well, that’s how I tend to think of my garden, a melody or maybe a concerto.   Not only is there the wonderful smells and textures of the plants but there is most definitely a melody; a melody of tranquility and peace.

Something that everyone seeks and needs in their lives.

And it is an entire orchestra made  up of nature’s instruments that plays their arias throughout the day that consists of many different tunes and songs, wending their lovely melodies into our hearts and minds.

Obviously the birds lend their voices and lately there has been quite a number of visiting musicians to the garden.   Humming Birds, House Finches, Lessor Goldfinches, Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, the return of the Hooded Orioles and others.

And there are the bees….they have so many choices to collect pollen.   I wonder where their homecomb stash is?

The “Hummers” have a favorite perch on a bend stem on the Channel Island poppy bush and although the stem looks a bit unattractive, I wouldn’t dream of removing their throne, since they love overseeing the garden from it and chasing off any unwanted interlopers.

Bush Anemone Starting to Bloom

In the last few days the Bush Anemone has begin to bloom and has the most beautiful, white flowers on it that look like small Camillas and I am sure that the Hummingbirds and bees will be visiting it for its nectar as it is quite alluring in its appearance.

The Bees and Hummingbirds will love this!

The melody raises and falls, there is a variation in the tune and each day the rhythm of the melody of wind, temperature and song changes to reflect the nuances of nature and life goes on…

And that’s one reason for having a native garden.   I become part of it too and lend my melody of love to it’s pages.

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A Garden Tour

by Lorraine on April 26, 2010

Two weeks ago my garden was part of a Spring garden tour for the Simi Valley – Moorpark Republican Women’s Club.   There were a total of five featured properties but mine was the only one dedicated to California Native plants.

The members were all surprised to see what a native garden looks like and how beautiful one can be and they had quite a few questions about it.

The press release didn’t say that one of the gardens on the tour would be a native one and I am betting that if it had, there would have been even a larger amount of visitors on the tour, although I am guessing that there was probably about 200 or so that came to my home.

The Garden before the Tour Arrived

I had a table with several selected books about native plants and landscaping with them, plus several handouts as to where to find them and other resources as well.   My two hostess from the “Club” said that most of the time when they do these tours, the owners aren’t home and they expected to be very bored but I kept them busy!

Looking at the plants

Soon they were saying to the visitors that “This is a 100% California native plant garden”…and they had a blast mingling with the visitors and hanging out with me and at the end of the day, they both said it was the most fun they have ever had hosting!

Most people wanted to know how often I watered the garden and needless to say thay had many questions about the plants.   Where could they get them?   What’s it called? (Even though I had tags next to most of them) and how much work is it to take care of?

I felt like it was some sort of celebrity all day long.   The questions kept coming and I rarely sat down for a break.   But it was fun and I felt really happy about all the interest the garden got and also how thrilled and excited people were to mingle in it.   The smells, the textures, the colors and birds all lended magic to each visitor’s experience.

At the end of the day, I was quite tired after answering so many questions but at the same time, excited by all the interest.   I think my garden made a huge impact on the visitors and changed their conception of what a garden can look like using only natives.   Later I poured myself a glass of wine and sat back under my new umbrella to relax and enjoy the twilight of the evening.

And believe it or not, some people still dropped by, bringing their spouses to see the “wildness”…and admire it just a little bit more.

California native Iris in my garden.


Cats, Wild Radish & Spring

by Lorraine on February 13, 2010

It’s been a lazy, warm day filled with hints of Spring.   I had truly intended to write something here earlier in the day and also to add some new pictures to the site since the garden has so many things developing at this time.   So much is going and it’s positively bursting with life and energy.   Winter has passed and with the recent rain everything looks revived, green , succulent and pregnant with possibilities.

Bees Bliss Sage with a Bee!

It was probably 80 degrees here today and I just couldn’t spend it inside.   The cats and I have been either in the backyard or the garden for most of the day.   Concentrating on anything proved to be impossible, as I was lulled by the sweet smells of plants and the songs of birds drifting over my senses making me feel dreamy and sleepy.

I spent part of the day in the backyard, pulling weeds that threatened to choke out the wildflowers that are coming up.   There are lots of California poppies of course but there are many other things sprouting that I am clueless as to what they may be.   It’s a bit like Christmas, wondering what is in the packages as I look at all of the new sprouts coming up in my backyard.

The cats have been in and out most of the day with the exception of Theo who never seems to nap the way most cats do.   It’s as though he can’t miss anything going on outside and he revels in being in the garden, checking things out and sometimes, dozing in the sun.

Its been a beautiful day and as I am writing this, the sun has set behind the low hills to the west of my house.   Twilight is beginning to fall and the birds are seeking their spots for the night.   A very slight chill has begin to descend and I’m sorry to see the day come to a close.

There is always more to say and typically I struggle to express the feelings that well up in my life when I am looking at the beauty of nature.  My native plants are just a little oasis of happiness for me and helps me to keep my connection with the universe and all things wild.