Gardening books are everywhere but occasionally you find one
that is like a handbook.
This is the case for me, with a book called:
Southern California Gardening;
a Month-by-Month Guide
By Pat Welsh.
Pats book was first published in 1992
and the revised edition was released in 2000.
Tens of thousands of copies have been sold.
The book covers everything from weather and climate,
to soil and pest problems and just about everything else in between.
The monthly "to do" list is invaluable and the
month by month format, makes this book really user friendly.
I think I have read it cover to cover a dozen times!
Pat has been an avid gardener all of her adult life
and she sees a new type of garden in the twenty-first century:
"I foresee the emergence of an entirely new garden style, a new and innovative formality of design that will provide cheerfulness, excitement , and a greater ease of upkeep"
She calls the new garden type:
"a more structured space,
with formality of design
and informality of planting"
I couldn't believe it when I read those words.
That is my garden!!!
The garden design is the structured foot print but...
the foot print is filled with plants that are allowed to grow freely, as they were intended, without much upkeep.
This is the key to sustainability, I think.
more enjoyable and interesting;
for everyone...including the critters, birds and valuable insects.
Pat included a great guide on how to grow wildflowers in the garden,
so I thought I would give this a try.
I started with California poppies because they seemed like they would be easy
re-seed year after year.
The seed packets came mixed with rice hulls which make them easier to see when you are scattering them.
I sowed the seeds back in October and
much to my surprise, I got tons of flowers.
I have used them in little bouquets with the sweet peas
and some other things like grape vine tendrils and celery stalks.
Something about that bright orange flower is so wonderful...
I guess that's why it's the California state flower!
If you ever travel up the coast this time of year there are acres of poppies and other beautiful native wildflowers, dotting the foot hills and coastline.
For me, the best thing about having a garden is enjoying what is gives back
after all of the hard work.
But I agree with Pat,
is really the goal.
Someone should combine the fragrance of
sweet peas and lavender into a perfume!
Or maybe they already have....
Next year I will be a bit more creative with the wildflower garden, I promise Pat!
But in the meantime I will enjoy my little poppies.
And if you love to garden, please pick up Pats book!