Monday, June 27, 2005

"Gardening" in the Canyon

Spring color drips over rocks and crowns the hillsides. A couple of months ago, the Pride of Madeira (Echium fastuosum) was gorgeous. It covered the rise behind our house, defying the hunger of ground squirrels and rabbits, by growing faster and higher than they could reach. When the show is over, its seeds do a bit of a wander and then pop up early each spring in the most unlikely of places.

In our garden, there is much that surprises us each year and much that is really frustrating. Thousands of California Poppy seeds have been lovingly sown, strewn and dumped and not one has ever grown, inspite of the fact that they are the state flower and can be found growing out of sidewalk cracks and trash-strewn verges almost anywhere in Southern California. I have poked hundreds of nasturtium seeds the requisite inch down in the requisite poor soil and gentle spring rains have softened them but they don't germinate and I don't know why. There are banks of nasturtiums crowding the bluffs above short stretches of the Pacific Coast Hwy between Topanga and Santa Monica. No idea where they're from, but I'm thinking perhaps my yard.


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