The wildflowers are popping with color

Summer is here and the wildflowers are going strong in the front yard (formerly a lawn) of a house in Davis, CA!

Lupines, bluebells and poppies have been dazzling us since March, but now it’s time for the real show. As the days become longer and warmer and the sun beats down more directly, all those other little seedlings start to become proper plants and fill in.

And some seeds are just germinating now, which blows my mind. Turkey mullein, a pale-green mound-forming plant that supports beneficial insects like minute pirate bugs and big-eyed bugs, is one of these late-germinators. Most CA native seeds germinate in the fall when the rain starts. This always made intuitive sense to me. But some indeed wait until the warm, dry end of spring to germinate. And yet they make it. Amazing. 

For now many of these late-sprouters lay in wait as small but growing seedlings, biding their time until the lupines die and they can emerge in full colorful glory.

Anyways, back to the show of colors embracing us this time of year.

The California and lacey phacelias are blooming, the fuzzy purple flowers looking like balloons floating around.

Lawn replacement with wildflowers. A honeybee drinks nectar from an elegant clarkia flower, just one of many choices for it.

Lawn replacement with wildflowers. A honeybee drinks nectar from an elegant clarkia flower, just one of many choices for it.

Elegant clarkia’s intricate flowers look like they come from a different planet.

Yellow and purple lupines continue their show along with the poppies and bluebells.

Turf removal can add so many colors and textures to your front yard. These wildflowers don't need any water, provide habitat and food for bees, butterflies and birds, and don't need any fertilizer, mowing or pesticides.

Turf removal can add so many colors and textures to your front yard. These wildflowers don't need any water, provide habitat and food for bees, butterflies and birds, and don't need any fertilizer, mowing or pesticides.

This all used to be a lawn. Short, green grass, the same all year. No bees, no butterflies, no benefits. Now it's full of color, needs very little water, and supports a variety of lovely bees, butterflies and birds.