Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Colors: Yellow

Yellow is the most common color that we think of when we consider the colors of Spring. Daffodils are the ubiquitous flower of choice in Spring gardens.

There are many other yellow Spring flowers. We find them everywhere along the Southern California coastal areas in February and March. Some of the plants are domesticated and some are still living out in the wild hills and along the beaches.

These yellow blossoms of spring grow on vines and we can see them in front gardens as we walk along the sidewalks in Old Town Camarillo.

The Bush Sunflower, a California native, grows on the slopes and in the valleys of the Santa Monica Mountains. Everywhere.

Wild Mustard pops up on road sides, along paths, in front and back gardens posing as weeds.

In February, when The Professor and I hiked in Camarillo Regional Park , we noticed these very odd plants blooming all over the hillsides of the mountains surrounding the park. The thick brown stalks looked more like tree trunks than flower stems. And yet the leaves reminded us of ferns or cultivated garden plants. A little investigation provided the answer. This is giant Coreopsis (aha, no wonder they looked like garden plants gone hugely bad!).
The giant Coreopsis remains dormant during the dry season. But after the winter rains moisten the soil, it "explodes with green foliage and bright yellow flowers. The flowers may last several weeks, depending on the amount of rain that has fallen. [Quite a bit this year.] After it blooms and disperses seeds, giant Coreopsis returns to dormancy in anticipation of the summer drought."*

That's why I had not noticed them before. They've been dormant. Now they're blooming all over the hills and mountains. The specimen above is blooming on the mountain behind Willow's Cottage along with hundreds of its seedling buddies.

*Native Plant Garden, Guide to Island Plant Adaptations by Bill McCawley, Western National Parks Association.


Bethany said...

I know I've had coreopsis in previous gardens and have always loved it's yellow color!! They are pretty hardy plants around here!

Thank you for your congrats today!!! I couldn't wait to tell you!!! I'm pretty exhausted but I wanted to post photos of it all. I'm sooo proud of those kids. It makes me really hopeful about future generations.

ellen b. said...

Fun post Willow! I took a walk around my yard to see what was still alive and I'm pleased and will be posting soon. :)

Anonymous said...

By the way, do you know the name of the trees that bloom little purple flowers in the spring? I love them.

As for the ESL thing, we haven't talked to their teachers yet, but one of the girls in my small group is going to be joining me in working with them once we get it organized, and she IS an ESL teacher for kindergarten in the Dallas school system. She said that her curriculum is made to be taught when you have no common language (although she is from Venezuela, which I'm sure is handy with the local population). Do you work from a specific curriculum or have any suggestions?

Barb said...

Barbara from Kansas
Willow, I loved your flower pictures. Today I visited my former home and there in my flower bed was my Lentin Rose that I planted last fall. I failed to have my camera with me to take a picture though. Ju is encouraging me to try blogging. This is all new to me!

Anonymous said...

lovely flowers

Anonymous said...

Top o the Mornin! A very Happy Birthday to you!!

roxie said...

Yellow! wheee! What happy pictures.