DIL asked for suggestions about flowers for a hanging basket near their front door.
When I replied that I thought a fuchsia would be pretty, she snortlaughed and said, “Ring-ring-ring, 1980s calling, Grandma!”
I had never before thought that a purple-pink fuchsia dated me as being OLD, haha. It was a great joke…UNTIL she saw mine, asked what it was, and I was able to identify this amazing creation as a…fuchsia!
So NOW who’s laughing?
How could anyone not love this delicate ballerina of a flower?
Fuchsia is a dancer Dancing on her toes, Clad in red and purple, By a cottage wall; Sometimes in a greenhouse, In frilly white and rose, Dressed in her best for the fairies’ evening ball!
A May gray morning is the perfect weather for a walk.
My hydrangea is blooming and yes, I know I could turn the flowers blue with the correct fertilizer, but I decided to allow them to retain their natural hue without intervention.
At sundown, this is where I often see coyotes, but nothing right now.
Here’s the entrance to a lagoon path; how adorable is this community fairy village?
I’m not too sure what that big square thingy is on the shoreline, but I didn’t want to walk in the muck with my good walking shoes, so it’ll have to remain a mystery.
It’s rattlesnake season, so I diligently watched where I was going and spied a strange object. It’s not exactly a rock but feels heavy for its size and to me, it looks like a whale. Another treasure to bring home!
Join me as I raise a very happy glass of champs to all moms and May birthday girls.
I’m grateful that I had a mom who not only taught me to appreciate Chanel, beautiful flowers and diamonds, how to bake the world’s best cinnamon rolls and apple pie, but also how to make a bed with hospital corners, debride a wound, and nurse a sick loved one back to health. It’s all about balance, teehee. Miss you, Mommy!
Last year I attended the first ever North County Monarch Butterfly Festival. I’m glad to learn that it’s coming back again this Mother’s Day weekend.
The Festival highlights all aspects of the Monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating. Join discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, such as conservation and butterfly migration, habitat restoration and creation; talks on diseases and predators to gardening with native plants. It’s a great event for families with children’s activities and seed exchanges. (Event link below.)
In my garden, I thought my milkweed plants had died, but they miraculously returned and are doing well.
Planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for the Monarch. There are more than one hundred species of this wildflower native to North America. Here are just a dozen:
SymphonyinYellow An omnibus across the bridge Crawls like a yellow butterfly And, here and there, a passer-by Shows like a little restless midge.
Big barges full of yellow hay Are moored against the shadowy wharf, And, like a yellow silken scarf, The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade And flutter from the Temple elms, And at my feet the pale green Thames Lies like a rod of rippled jade. –Oscar Wilde
This Bush Poppy (Dendromecon rigida) is a California native shrub. It’s a tough and beautiful plant but only if planted in the right conditions. The Bush Poppy thrives on rocky clay slopes with excellent draining. If planted in sandier soils, it can handle supplementary water up to once a month. Prefers full sun. Flowers are beautiful, as are the long, thin, blue-green leaves.
Look at this lemony yellow azalea. I didn’t even know they came in yellow until I used the info app on my phone to identify this gorgeous girl. I think it’s actually called Rhododendron ‘Lemon Lights’.
From my native garden in the front yard, where we planted everything but a lawn. We have white and purple sages, buckwheat, coffeeberry, lemonade berry, ceanothus, and a sprawling wild Rock Rose.
I loved the way the sun was shining on these hot pink blooms. No filter, nothing but natural beauty.
The flower is used to make medicine and is commonly used in Bach flower remedies. Rock Rose is purported to treat panic, stress, extreme fright or fear, and anxiety; and for promoting calmness and relaxation.
The oleo-resin obtained from the leaves and stems is used as a commercial food flavoring in baked goods, ice cream, and chewing gum.
Leaves, flowers, and stems can all be harvested and used to make tea. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to do it soon.
When I was in college, we lived across the street from a wild place, an abandoned and untended avocado grove blanketed with nasturtiums. Their long tendrils would wind up and around the gnarled trunks.
After school, my friends and I would sit under the trees and pick tiny avocados from the low hanging branches and gorge on them until we were full, and then we’d lie back in the pillowy nasturtium leaves and pretend we were forest fairies.
We’d sometimes weave orange and yellow tiaras through our hair, and always pick a bouquet to bring home.
I love their tangy but sweet fragrance and often add the flowers to salads, but only the ones from my garden that I’m sure are pesticide-free.
All the rain birthed my own enchanted nasturtium forest this year.
I remember when rows upon rows of a colorful flowering ranunculus tapestry was only a quirky, delightful curiosity we’d point at as we drove north along the freeway. Back then it was an annual locals-only kind of attraction and now The Flower Fields enchants visitors from all over the world.
I can’t believe that it took me this long to visit The Flower Fields in all its glory, but it’s a definite recommended destination. It was a truly enjoyable day and best of all, it’s simply impossible to take a bad photo there!
The Flower Fields are located off the freeway at Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad. In addition to forty acres of beautiful ranunculus in peak bloom, there are tractor rides, wine tastings, food, yoga classes, a Mother’s Day picnic, and day-long educational and fun activities for children of all ages.
And a butterfly garden!
HISTORY: The Flower Fields today are a direct result of nearly eighty-five years of floral cultivation that began with Luther Gage, an early settler and horticulturist who settled here in the early 1920s. Mr. Gage brought ranunculus seeds to the area and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. In 1933 Frank Frazee also started growing ranunculus and introduced his son Edwin to the art of seeding, cultivating, and irrigating this beautiful flower.
This is what it used to look like — the fields of flowers grew close to the freeway:
INFO: Open daily from 9:00am-6:00pm until Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14th, 2023) Ongoing Specials (Starting March 6th) Mondays – With the purchase of one adult or one senior/military, you receive one child’s ticket free (ages 3-10)| Tuesdays & Wednesdays – Between 1:00pm-4:00pm, receive $2 off adults, seniors/military and children’s tickets. Buy tickets online at theflowerfields.com
(Excluding the vintage photo, all photo credit to Enchanted Seashells.com) @the_flower_fields
I’m referring to Pride of Madeira, the superstar of my garden!
This plant REALLY loves the environment here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells. I read that it’s becoming invasive in places along the coast and I can see how that could happen as it easily reseeds itself.
Native to Madeira Island, north of the Canary Islands, it’s a tough perennial and can survive all summer with little to no water. Since I think we’ve seen the last of our record-breaking rainfall here in SoCal, that’s exactly what they’ll have to do to survive.
And in a different part of the garden, a slightly different hue…It’s HUGE.
Bees love it too. So do hummingbirds and butterflies.
Pride of Madeira grows to about six feet tall and some of my specimens are twice as wide as they are tall.
I quite literally have dozens of baby Prides if anyone wants to plant them in their garden!