At this time of year in Northern California, nature spills color of such brilliance in such abundance that it a hardly seems feasible that these plants are real. Recently, I was driving up the coast and passed a palm tree that seemed to have had its roots wrapped in a blanket so shockingly pink that it could have only been dyed with the most artificial of aniline dyes. Positively fluorescent. The kind of pink that years ago was used to dye rabbit fur pom-poms on ice skates and now serves as hair dye for the those who are too young (or too old) to be afraid of cancer and just want to stand out from the crowd.
But surely this lone palm, soaring above surrounding shrubbery, had no overt desire to be noticed.
What was I seeing?
I had my question answered a few days later when walking by the shore. I came upon a front yard, not quite as pink as the palm tree skirt but pink enough, and these flowers were close enough to see and even touch. The feathery flowers with their bright yellow centers grew on a creeping succulent with thick green leaves, not quite an ice plant but perhaps related. As the blooms were packed so closely on the plant that no green sneaked through, I wondered how that enthusiastic bloomer managed photosynthesis on these newly sunny days. . .
This photo doesn't really do the plant justice, but you get the idea. Such exuberance is summer not spring but by summer they too will be gone.
My own garden is also blooming pink but rather more modestly. The foxgloves have begun their annual display, always a delight, just as the early stocks are going to seed. One day my garden will be a lovely cottage garden, alive with flowers and herbs, but first I need to convince my little dog, my pal Earnest, to let the flowers grow.
We're making progress.
Now, when he tosses his ball in the air and it lands in the flower bed, he comes and gets me. He used to just tramp right in and over. The Columbine and several poppies disappeared in those forays, but c'est la vie. He lives here, too.
We're working it out. :-) I respect his paths (I keep them relatively plant free), and he respects my planting beds . . . seems to work out nicely. Maybe because we take long walks together; maybe because I know the best spots to play ball. Maybe because he loves me, and I love him.