Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Going Native

Striking. Close up, stunning enough that the portrait of twin Matilija Poppy flowers snuggling makes California Gardener's Guide, Volume II an object of desire.Is a shrub worth having a love affair with? Matilija can be difficult to find. Needs her space. Insists on sunbathing. Will leave you if you don't do things her way. And absolutely worth the patience it takes for her to take over her own care.
Imagine this scene without the the shrub in the distance? A space visitor might describe it as looking like bushels of ostrich eggs served sunny side up on the ends of skewers whose leaves were not stripped before displaying.

A neighbor higher up our hill was shocked: our "outback" view is "better "than his. It isn't. It is simply the illusion created by the California Native posing at the property line. It gives the landscape a focal point for the eye to travel to, then beyond.

No room for the shrub? Already own Nan Sterman's book- an extra copy in the trunk? Feed your fix for this summertime fashionista with a set of Portmeirion style placemats by Jason.

Matilija Poppy is a super-sized shrub native to our chaparral. Also known as Romneya coulteri, ask your favorite nursery when they will have some in stock. Plan on planting in fall or winter for best chance of success.

The placemats are found at DB Home Mart, 21076 Golden Springs Drive, Diamond Bar, CA (between Market World and JoAnn Fabrics)

Nan Sterman's classic reference book, California Gardener's Guide, Vol II is available through your favorite bookseller.


  1. Lydia,
    Thanks for reminding us of the "natives" we have to choose from in So. Calif. Those of us who live along ridge lines have plenty of space for these beauties and great resources via the books you've listed in your blog pieces. Thanks. E.


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