by Charlene Burgi
Without a doubt, spring is my favorite season. Nature comes out of a long winter rest and awakens with an amazing show of color. At the moment, the dogwoods and western redbuds are the highlights as I drive to the ranch in Lassen. California poppies flood the meadows with their intense orange flowers, and phlox line the roadways in various shades of pink.
The best part of this show is this beauty requires no maintenance, as these plants did not need to be pruned, fertilized or watered.
Native plants are sometimes an afterthought in our gardens, yet the red bark of the manzanitas, intense blue flowers of Ceanothus
and the display of Pacific Coast iris can take a person's breath away.
How often do we drive by these plants flaunting their beauty and are too busy to see them? Have you ever noticed the naturalized Centranthus
growing in the steep hillside as you approach the Golden Gate Bridge? Okay, I will give you that one if you are driving, but how about the bright reds and oranges of Mimulus
growing along the pathways to Alpine Lake?
There are so many sizes, colors, textures and varieties to choose from if you plant natives in the garden. Or, perhaps you might just enjoy nature's beauty in its natural state but are unsure where to find the best showing.
Marin is fortunate to have an excellent chapter of the California Native Plant Society, which has a schedule of hikes listed on their website
and Marin County Parks
are other great resources for getting out into nature and seeing local color. Tours and events are sure to fill your calendar and take you to some awesome sites.
Do yourself a favor, check out their websites and join in on the fresh air and good company, get in some exercise, and soak in the beauty around you. Then check back in and let me know your findings!