The garden is ever-changing. On this day, after a nice rainfall, the garden looked spectacular. The colors after a rain intrigue me, and somehow they are richer and more vibrant. I took many pictures on March 13, 2020, my whole yard was beautiful. This was the calm after the storm. This area faces west. The lower part of the photo is spot watered with the hose unless it rains; the upper part of the photo receives only rain. Plants shown: lower part, Agave lophantha, sedum, aloe, Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’, portularcaria, bromeliad. Upper part: Aeonium kiwi, Cleveland sage, Agave americana, Coulter bush, Aeonium zwartkop, aloe, and various fruit trees and hibiscus. The soil is a mixture of clay and decomposed granite.
I love the color and texture of this photo. The Echeveria frilly hybrid is peaking out from under the spikes of Furcraea selloa and surrounded by the lovely Aeonium kiwi, all nestled behind the rocks and gravel. The exposure is southern and protected from the harsh summer sun. This area of my garden gets watered only when it rains. The plants ”rest” in the summer and can look quite dreadful, but when the rains come they put on quite a show. The soil is composed of clay and decomposed granite. This photo was taken March 13, 2020.
This photo taken on May 17, 2020 shows how lovely a native, narrow leaf milkweed (Asclepius fascicularis) can be. It was planted earlier and grew quickly. I planted it in my butterfly garden which gets full sun. The soil in my yard was neglected for many years. Since my husband and I moved here we have been adding compost yearly. The compact clay and decomposed granite soil can be easy to dig in the rainy season but hard as concrete when it’s dry. I’m happy to report that I’ve attracted many monarchs as well as cloudless sulphurs and black swallowtails. I’ve seen a few weidemeyers admirals too. My young granddaughter and I like to sit on the butterfly bench and watch them.
I found these critters the other day. The first one sat on the screen for a couple a days. I don’t know what he was doing, he didn’t seem to be hunting. The other showed up when I was watering my urn with annuals. I was careful not to hose him. I haven’t seen him since, maybe he’s living under a plant. I wonder why they are different colors, they both are shaped the same and about 3-4 inches long. I’d call them praying mantis.