Showy Milkweed

Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). Herbaceous perennial. Monarch butterfly food plant. Showy milkweed is bolder and more structural in the garden than its narrow-leafed cousin. It also benefits from fall planting, and might perhaps like a bit more water than narrowleaf milkweed. These photos were taken in April and May – the shots with the caterpillar…

Salvia 'Pozo Blue'

Grey Musk Sage

Pozo Blue Hybrid┬áMusk Sage (Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’). Evergreen shrub. Hummingbirds and carpenter bees love these plants. The hummingbirds arrive early in the morning before the bees are up, then move on to other flowers during the day. The foliage is as the name suggests – pungent. Water very sparingly in summer, if at all. These…

Pacific coast iris

Pacific Coast Iris

Pacific Coast Iris. Perennial. These plants tend to be hybrids between several species. Ours have been unpredictable, growing well in some spots and dying in others. They come in a range of colors from brownish to gold to blue to white. In our garden, only the gold plants survived.

Calycanthus occidentalis

Western Spice Bush

Western Spice Bush (Calycanthus occidentalis). Deciduous shrub. This is not a drought tolerant plant, but with regular water it will grow in open shade inland if it gets morning sun. It gets fairly large – up to 12 feet – but can be kept in check by careful pruning. The flowers smell like old wine…