Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Riot of Flowers

Side pathway in my garden with bearded irises, alliums, Scilla peruviana, and California poppies

View of that area from another direction with unknown species peony in the foreground

Closer view of Scilla peruvianas and California poppies
     There is an area in my garden which comes into view soon after you enter the main garden gate.  It is accessed by a couple of pathways, including the pink pathway you see in the first picture above.  In the last few years I have completely changed the planting in this area, primarily because it used to be much shadier due to an arbor which has since been removed and due to the removal of a large native willow. 
     One of these beds contains a large Trachycarpus, and I have underplanted that tree with a lot of Scilla peruvianas which I moved from the front border to protect them from the deer.  Last year I planted a few California poppies around these scillas, thinking that they would make a good contrast to the scillas, and sure enough, they do!  I like the straight orange California poppies the best because that bright clear orange makes everything else in the garden pop.  I often hear people say that they do not like orange in the garden, but they are missing out if they do not use it.  There is nothing like orange to make other colors sing.
     One thing about California poppies is that you only have to plant one or two and let them go to seed to have mass quantities of them the following years!
     The first picture above also shows some of the bearded irises I bought from Schreiner's Iris Gardens last year.  I will have a future post with some closeups of these irises, but suffice it to say they are all wonderful.
     These pictures are a good illustration of how my planting style has changed over the years.  I used to plant in blocks of plants of one kind.  I no longer like to do that.  Instead, I like to have lots of plants that I like, but spread out and mingled with other compatible plants to make a more naturalistic look.  I want the garden to look like it just naturally sprang up, even though it did no such thing.


  1. How beautiful! lots of color to feast one's eyes on. I like orange in the garden too but mostly keep it in my container gardens

  2. I love to see people's styles change over's one of the most appealing aspects of gardens to me, that they are never static. I've started doing something similar, still grouping some plants, and then scattering like plants throughout the borders.

  3. pure mst enjoy it so much

  4. Gorgeous! I agree completely about orange--I don't understand people who won't use it.