Thursday, April 4, 2013

purple haze

I was trotting the canal trail, and came around the corner, and saw something that took my breath away. Fields of lupine, a purple carpet lining the trail.

Purple lupine carpet
Right now the blooms are amazing, and everything is purple! There are a few exceptions, but the hotter colors seem to come in later in the season as the grasses dry up. For these of you still buried in snow, or just waiting for spring, or stuck at your desk, here's a little photo collection.


Lupine (bush type)
Brodiaea (aka Blue DIcks)


wild iris (and poison oak)
ornamental iris (and bamboo, in my yard)

little tiny purple flowers

this is actually a whole carpet of those little flowers (looked purple in person!)

western redbud


(also available in white)

vinca major (periwinkle)

(vinca also available in variegated)

At home I continue the theme:

(also available in red and yellow)

ranuncula (a little sad, also past the season)

There are few other lovely flowers, I don't want them to feel left out:

Columbine (available in purple, but they all naturalized to yellow)

early roses (forgot to prune this plant in January!)

And just some eye candy:

this area is filled with vernal pools
sculptural skeleton

oaks busting with new leaves (and pollen)

Do you have similar plants? Exactly the same, totally different? What is your color palette? Most of the green and wildflowers will be gone by the beginning of June. Until then, I'll be soaking up this purple (and green). It will be a long, dry summer.


  1. We have a completely different wildflower collection where I ride. They are forest flowers--most stunning are the bluebells. We also have white trilliums, wild blue phlox, multicolored dame's rockets, white anenomes, white bloodroot, green skunk cabbage and green jack-in-the pulpits--and that's just in April.

    We have had a very cold spring, so right now, we have nothing. They are sprouting, and in a few weeks, it will be magnificent.

    Thanks for sharing your flowers. I love looking at wildflowers when I ride.

    1. Sounds lovely! We have trillium and skunk cabbage in our wetter forests, and I've seen photos of the bluebells, amazing! I hope you see flowers soon!

  2. Our daffodils are starting to emerge. In a month the redbuds will be in full bloom - which means my driveway will be a purple tunnel - and then the lavender, white, maroon, and deep purple lilacs will bloom, peonies, and then as June settles in we'll get our red beeboms and cardinal flowers amongst other hot colors.

    1. That sounds lovely. Our daffodils finished about a month ago, I love their cheery yellow faces as one of the first signs of spring.

  3. oh wow.Just lovely.. makes me smile.. such beautiful colors..

  4. What are Vernal Pools?
    and Purple and Green together is my all time favorite color combo! Just love it.. so pretty..

    1. Vernal pools are these little amazing ecosystems. They are usually in meadows and open spaces, where water collects in a small depressions. Very specialized plants and animals will live there, just for the fraction of time there is water. Right now you can look across some meadows here and see circles of bright yellow, some little flower that only lives in that specialized place for a tiny amount of time. There are little fairy shrimp that hatch when the pool fills with water, and then lay eggs that lay in the mud (later dry) pool bottom until the next spring, or even for many years waiting.

      I think they are absolutely fascinating. Many people might looks at a big grassy meadow and (around here at least) think it's a great place for a housing development, no trees to worry about cutting down, etc. But nature abhors a vacuum, and has filled every niche with something special. I bet you have them in your area (they are worldwide, each type filled with different things).

  5. At the moment we're doing Carolina jasmine (yellow), wild plum (white) and wild blueberry (pink) in the woods.

    Indian Hawthorne shrubs (pink) are blooming and wild wisteria (purple and white) + dogwood (white) will be here soon.

    Also getting vetch, but here it's considered a nuisance. (I'm a landscaper and have to hand weed all that pesky vetch out).