• 04/01/2015

    really good post. thanks...
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    Really enjoyed your real-life chat about native plants and getting rid...
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    As a post script to our blog on the relocation of those pesky rabbits;...
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Moosa Creek Blog

Planting for Winter Color

Creekside Chat

 Planting for Winter Color

When the rains begin California natives enjoy a second spring. Many flower over winter; others retain colorful berries. Here are some gems that will provide you with color when skies are gray.

Most manzanitas are covered in delicate bell-shaped flowers in the winter, and their lovely smooth reddish trunks make them stunning additions to any garden. John Dourley Manzanita is a sprawling, low-growing handsome bush that is excellent on slopes.  One of the faster  growing mazanitas with a small tree form that makes a focal point is ‘Dr. Hurd’.  A lovely light pink bloom is on the Austin Griffiths variety which is a moderately sized shrub with dark bark.

Baja Fairy Duster flowers sport red stamens like Mohawk haircuts providing a burst of red in the garden through much of the year.  They are hummingbird favorites as well, as are the tubular red flowers of Boca Rosa Island Snapdragon , a tough small shrub that survives many conditions and blooms most of the year. For more red you can’t beat the berries that adorn the bushy evergreen Toyon which gave Hollywood its name. Mockingbirds, jays and many other birds rely on these for winter food.

The cheerful aster-like flowers of Blue Eyed Grass are perfect along your walkway or tucked in a mix of low-growing natives. Bushrue is a small shrub with lovely white fragrant citrus-like flowers, and it doesn’t like much water throughout the year. A rare, thorny unusual plant used for restoration projects is Spineshrub, which is covered in small waxy flowers in winter. It’s thorns would make a good barrier for areas that need protection from visiting dogs or other unwanted visitors!  Many of the California Lilacs burst into bloom in late winter, such as the white flowered Snowball Ceanothus or the early blooming Hoaryleaf Ceanothus.  If the more traditional blue flowers inspire you consider the low-growing tough Valley Violet variety with its profusion of violet blue flowers upon which beneficial native insect thrive.

Native plants can deliver enjoyment and food for the wildlife year-round and with very little care. Pepper your landscape with winter-color varieties and you’ll enjoy a show of blooms and wildlife before spring.

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