Wildflowers Are Easy to Grow!

wild flowers

California Wild Flower from seed

When I first moved to California I thought it was wonderful to have flowers year-round.  Of course, the flowers I saw were in parks, landscaping and freeway medians.   When I married the Avocado Farmer and moved to the ranch in 1982,  I thought it would be easy to have beautiful gardens.  Wrong.  I bought plants and flowers every year and have watched them die.   Although I still have a few roses and shrubs,   I decided last year to try wild flower seeds.

wild flowers growing near avocado trees

Flowers growing near the avocado trees

I bought a few bags of seed and had some envelopes of seed that were given to me. I just  threw them out on the bank between our house and the avocado trees.  We had planted a ground cover years ago, but it had died in some places.  Nothing grew last summer, but right now the flowers are spectacular!  I love seeing  them from the kitchen window.

purple geranium

This purple geranium has naturalized

There are purple geraniums that reseed themselves every year.  Here is one up close.  It reminds me of the “spring beauties” that come up in Vermont as the snow is melting.


Spring Beauties in Vermont

Spring Beauties in Vermont woods

I took this photo in Vermont last May.  The flowers come up through the dead leaves after the snow has melted.   I love springtime in  Vermont,  so it’s  nice to have some flowers growing “wild”  near the avocado trees.   The flowers here in California are  not the same as my beloved Vermont woodlands, but flowers are flowers!  Beautiful!

purple geraniums

Purple Geraniums


wildflowers in California

Seed thrown on the bank have become a beautiful garden!

Wild Peony: The Flowers

I went out for another walk today and found a bonanza of wild peony in bloom!  This week I can show you the actual flowers!

Flowers of Wild Peony

Full Bloom!

The petals are a dark red to scarlet color, with yellow pistils and green-to-yellow stamen.   The peony is actually a perrenial herb. Want to know more about Wild Peony?  Here’s a site with all the information:   Wild Peony

The blooms are fascinating! The flower never really opens all the way.  This is the best that it gets!

peony bloom

Wild Peony in Bloom


It starts with a tightly closed bud.

Peony Bud

Wild Peony Bud


Here is the coolest thing about these wild peony flowers:  the seed pod looks like a huge multi-pronged nose, which continues to grow  while the pistils and the petals fall off!

marturing peony flower

The seed pod is growing!


Here is a seed pod without the petals and pistils!

peony seed pod

Wild Peony Seed Pod

These are nothing like the peony plants that grew in my mother’s yard in Vermont.  Can we grow those here in California?   I tried, but the plants never bloom.    They come up every year with beautiful foliage, but no flowers.

Have you seen the Wild Peony plants?  They grow from the central coast of California all the way to San Diego!  More Wild Peony here.

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