|Enjoying wildflowers in Mother Nature's Backyard garden|
Spring and early summer is the season of flowers in Southern California. Nature preserves, wild lands and even native plant gardens often look their best this time of year. Consider scheduling a visit to the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve in the next few months. You’ll be glad you did!
The main wildflower show begins in March with the earliest wildflowers. The annual wildflowers are at their peak in April and May, providing a riot of color from yellow and orange to pink, red and blue. Mother Nature’s Backyard is awash with color now. Place of honor goes to our California state flower, the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), which is blooming in several areas of the Preserve.
In May, the annual wildflowers are gradually replaced by the native Sages (Salvia) species. Their purple, pink and white flowers – and spicy aroma – are worth a visit to the ‘Coastal Sage Scrub’ area on the South side of the Preserve. Be sure to watch for hummingbirds and butterflies that are attracted to the flowers.
In late May and June the Salvias are joined by the native Buckwheats (Eriogonum species). With their masses of pink flowers, the Buckwheats are visited by many species of butterflies and native pollinator insects. Plan a trip to the Preserve and Garden before the flower show is over for the year. Be sure to bring your camera or sketchpad to capture the spring beauty.