I’m joining Cathy and others for a Week of Flowers, 2021. Cathy is inviting all of us to share a bit of color/colour during these dark and difficult times. Today I’m featuring orange flowers from the garden.
These brilliant orange poppies are California’s State flower. The soft petals fold into a variety of shapes at the end of lacy green foliage.
Cathy is also growing California poppies in her garden, half way across the world. That makes me smile.
Nasturtiums come in a variety of colors, but the true standouts are the orange ones. They pop up in various areas of the garden twice a year, with foliage as beautiful as the flower. Aren’t they something?
I think a mollusk chewed this near-perfect hole in a California Poppy last spring. The fresh drops of rain and the teepee like shape always make me smile. I hope you’re smiling, too.
This orange nasturtium has a banana-yellow center and a lovely pair of eyelashes
Nature always wears the color of the spirit.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Unless you’re an allergy sufferer, you probably love spring. It’s a magical time in the garden when spring colors emerge from winter’s slumber while the birds sing their happy tune.
Red and Pink
Earthbox planted with red, white and red cyclamen and pink hyacinth
Red hot succulents
Dark pink cyclamen growing under a perennial
Hummingbird drinking nectar from an abutilon
After years of planting assorted bulbs and spring-mix seed packets, it’s fun to see the color assortment burst forth. Wrapped around the perennials, and sometimes hiding below, touches of spring color emerge. To be fair, many of the weeds are colorful too. You just have to decide what stays and what goes.
A cluster of California poppies growing near the curb
Hot orange nasturtium
California poppy about drop its petals
This orange nasturtium has a beautiful yellow center and a lovely pair of eyelashes
Different birds are attracted to different colors. Individual bird species may see the “best” colors as indicating a food source. Other birds may be more attracted to the colors of their own plumage as those could indicate a potential mate or another bird that is surviving well.
Most bright colors, however, can be used to attract birds, with certain bird species being more attracted to particular shades.
Red and Pink: Hummingbirds
Orange: Orioles, hummingbirds
Yellow: Goldfinches, warblers, hummingbirds
Sunday we honored the shortest day of our year. It’s winter solstice in San Jose.
Do you know what that means?
It means that spring is only three months away!
Seriously though, you have to look a bit harder for signs of winter in California. We’ve had a few weeks of back to back rain storms, a welcome break from the drought but temperatures remain mild. Most of the deciduous trees are bare of their leaves but others remain evergreen.
Here’s a peek into the winter garden. It asks for little and gives a lot. Nature is like that.
Cosmo buds, no sign of slowing down
Cosmo in bloom
Hummingbird in the Chinese Pistache tree
Stripped bare of its leaves, but covered in buds waiting for spring
I’m on the ‘every other season’ plan. All the seeds that forgot to come up last year are sending out little beacons of green delight. That’s a California Poppy on the right and to be determined seedlings on the left.
Statice in bloom
Zinnia. The plant looks shabby, but the flowers continue to bloom
Unidentified planted objects
The Mexican Sage reminds me of a purple caterpillar
Lemon scented holidays
Here is a shot of the little tomato that could, a self-sown seedling growing from a crack in the steps. Yep…tomato plants in December.
Self-sown tomato making a go of it out of the side of the concrete steps
During this hectic time of year, I hope you can find a few moments to enjoy what nature has to offer.
It’s a holiday in the US today, more specifically President’s Day. The boys are out of school, Mike’s home from work and the sun is shining.
We desperately, desperately, desperately need the rain and this is the month we get the most of it. That said, it’s hard not to enjoy such a clear, bright warm day.
We hiked at Almaden Quicksilver, and enjoyed the bits of green along the trails edge thanks to some recent rain. The California Poppies are up as well. We hiked mid-day, a terrible time for decent photos, but I hope to go back soon to snap some shots while the poppies are still in bloom.
In case you think I’m a complete deadbeat, I did a lot of digging, pruning, weeding and planning over the weekend and will share more with you later in the week.
Well I’m embarrassed! Yesterday I posted a photo thinking it was a carrot about to bloom. Imagine my surprise today to find this beautiful California poppy flowering away in the sun.
Yep! That's a Poppy
For starters, I’ve never planted poppies. It’s our state flower and we’re not supposed to pick them. I worried that if I planted poppies I would be tempted to snip a few blooms to bring indoors. I’m no law-breaker!
Closing Up Shop for the Night
We planted carrot seeds last summer. That they never grew is irrelevant. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that nature has her own schedule. When the foliage first appeared at the soil line, I dug down with a finger and discovered an orange-colored root. I was sure it was a carrot. I looked up “carrot foliage” today and it does resemble our fair flower.
Buds and Greens
It’s not that I’m disappointed to have our beautiful state flower in bloom, but that I was so convinced it was otherwise. I snapped a few photos late in the day, but the skies were clouding over so the lovely bloom was already closing up shop.