Current Attractions – Earth Day, 2014

 

Smith School 3Smith School Discovers the Granada Native Garden!                                                            Recently, a class of 5th Graders from Emma C. Smith School stumbled upon the Granada Native Garden when they stopped to have lunch during a mini-field trip:  “We never knew it was here!“.  There they learned some things about the importance of plants to the native people who lived in California before the Europeans arrived – such as how gumplant (Grindelia sp.) had many medicinal uses, in addition to being a cheap substitute for chewing gum, owing to the sticky substance that collects in its young flowers and coats its leaves.  And many of those plants are growing at the Granada Native Garden, waiting to be discovered.

Speaking of Discovering …                                                                                                        William Rasor, a biology teacher at Granada High School, recently visited the Granada Native Garden with his camera, and found these attractions which are currently in bloom there.  He generously shared his photos with us.  They speak for themselvesBut the Garden is constantly changing, so they might not be there for long.  (Hint:  To enlarge a photo, just click on it.)          

Rasor 1

Early buckwheat flowers

Buckeye flowers, just before they open

Immature buckeye blossoms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late-season California poppies

Late-season California poppies

Poppies with lupine

Poppies with lupine

 

Redbud flowers

Redbud flowers

Flannelbush blossom

Flannelbush blossom

 

Bush poppy

Bush poppy

Yarrow, first of the season

First yarrow of the season

 

Smith School 2

Thanks for the memories, William And thanks to the students and teachers at Smith School — come again soon, and bring friends!

 

 

 

A Reminder to Visitors to the Granada Native Garden …                                                                              Holly-Leafed Cherry ID

         You might find some white tubes next to some of the plants at the Garden.  No, they are not sprinkler heads – they are identification markers that tell you what the plant is and why it is important.  You may lift the tube off its support to read it, then put it back when you are done.

 

 

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The Colors of Spring

 

Poppies & Lupine 1

We weren’t planning on posting an article so soon after the previous one (on “Precocious Poppies”, archived in February, 2014), but a visit to the Granada Native Garden impressed us so much with the different colors that are currently on display made it imperative that we share them with our Followers.  So this post is mostly an album of photos (with very little added commentary) of the many colors that are on display as April begins.                          The field of poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and a couple of purple companion lupines (Lupinus sp.) are, of course, the first to meet the eye when you arrive.  But a casual stroll around the Garden will reveal many more details that are more or less obvious, but equally striking.  Some of these plants have already been written up in detail in earlier posts (see the Index to learn which ones), and others will be added in the coming months (or years).  EnjoyAnd visit the Granada Native Garden before they transition to the next seasonal generation!

Bush poppy-Flannelbush

Bush poppy, in front. Flannel bush in the rear.

At the north end of the GNG, along the chaparral birm, the bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida, above, in front) and one of many flannel bushes (Fremontodendron sp., behind the bush poppy) are in full bloom.  You can’t miss them!  (Hint:  To enlarge a photo, just click on it.)

Cercis

Western redbud

Snowdrop

Snowdrop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Near the same part of the Garden, the snowdrop (Styrax officinalis) has cute little white pixie-like blossoms that last only for a couple of weeks before they fall off like a light dusting of snow on the ground.  Catch them before it’s too lateMore attractive but only from a distance, the mauve flowers of the western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) might seem to conflict with last year’s brown seed pods, but,  hey!  brown is a color too!

Lupine 1

Arroyo lupine

'Dark Star' ceanothus with a worker bee

‘Dark Star’ lilac with a worker bee

 

 

 

 

 

 

California buckeye, with immature blossoms

California buckeye, with immature blossoms

 

There are more than 50 shades of green.  Explore the Garden and see how many you can find.  Here are three of them.  (Sorry, but we’re not sure which of the native bunch-grasses this one is! )

Sagebrush, with new foliage

Sagebrush, with new foliage

Grass

Native California Bunchgrass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Surprise Appearances!                                                                                                  

Five-Spot (Nemophila maculata)

Five-Spot (Nemophila maculata)

This spring three new flowers appeared at the Granada Native Garden.  They weren’t planted or seeded by anyone other than, perhaps, birds or the wind, and you have to know where to look.  But they are welcome arrivals, and hopefully they will re-seed themselves so we will see them again next year, and become permanent wildflowers at the Garden.  Here they are; again, click on each photo in order to enlarge it and get a better look.

 

Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menzeii)

Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menzeii)

Scorpionweed (Phacelia ciliata)

Scorpionweed (Phacelia ciliata

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two New Worker Bees!                                                                                                              Mike and Linda have joined the staff at the Granada Native Garden.  Mike is on sabbatical leave from Las Positas College, and Linda is a new Livermore resident.  Whenever their time and schedules allow, they join Jim, Mary Ann, Kerry, Dave, Malvika and Kirpa to keep the Garden looking good as the seasons change and work needs to be done.

LindaMike

 

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