Sunday, May 15, 2011

Heaven and Earth

Salvia apiana, Sacred White sage

It's a glorious day in the woodland, the native sages in the garden are the top bloomers at the moment. All the rain in the autumn and winter helped them to get well established. I'm in awe at how big some of the plants have gotten and inspired to plant many more. Autumn is the ideal time to plant California natives because after flowering in the Spring they move into their "dormant" sleep cycle. This is opposite from all the typical non native plants sold at the nurseries.

Quercus agrifolia

The three of us were in the kitchen when I looked out the window and noticed two red tail hawks circling in the cerulean sky. The amazing color deep blue shade of the celestial heavens beckoned me outside as I remembered to take a look at the Matilija Poppies. The large papier-mache flowers of these native poppies look a bit like fried eggs, they are quite spectacular. This will be the first time they bloom since I planted them about two years ago. I am so excited I can barely stand it.

Matilija Poppy, Romneya coulteri

The garden is now starting to look like an authentic, native, sagebrush yard. Every time I go out there I am filled with joy. The aroma is woody and sagey and the most prominent sound is the hum of the honey bees along with birdsong.

Salvia clevelandii, Musk Sage or Salvia leucophylla Purple Sage (?)

Artemesia californica

Some of the early blooming natives, like the Ceanothus are starting to shift from flowering to the berry/seed phase. The flowers provide nectar and pollen while the seeds are food for the birds.

Salvia mellifera, Black Sage, Salvia clevelandii, Musk Sage or Salvia leucophylla Purple Sage (?)

I have planted so many different sages in the garden that I can't quite tell from these photos which is which. If you take a stroll in the garden with me I can tell you which one it is. The Salvia clevelandii has an amazing musky odor. I love the smell of all of them but that clevelandii is really interesting. After I've been meandering amongst the plants I waft the most beautiful natural sage perfume, which lasts through out the day. The honey bee botanical perfume I've been working on has a thread of sage in it sticthed with wood and honey notes.

As soon as the Matilija poppies bloom I'll be back with more photos, perhaps as early as tomorrow!

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