Echium Season in Mendocino

 Travel has always been a season marker for me -the late winter business trip to Florida, my annual spring road trip, usually to Socal or the Central Coast,  Garden Bloggers Fling in summer and every couple of years a horticulture related trip to 'somewhere' with my east coast garden peeps.Add in an August business trip to Chicago, September business trip to Washington and a fall road trip to wrap up the year. Some years more business trips , some years more personal trips. In 2020 I took one brief August road trip to the coast during what turned out to be a temporary post surge loosening of Covid restrictions. It's pretty easy to avoid other humans on the Mendocino coast.  Other than that the year was one long exercise in life as a homebody -which was not necessarily a bad thing. I didn't miss the business travel at all-after 30+ years I don't care if I ever take another business trip. I missed my personal travel, but I was able to make some home repairs with the $$ I didn't use on hotels, flights etc. and the plant budget expanded as well. So once I was fully vaccinated and beyond my two week waiting period I high-tailed it out to the Mendocino coast for a  few days mostly just to hang out in my little cottage and look at the ocean. I bought 7 plants, I made bacon and eggs for breakfast every day and went to the botanical garden twice.

 On Saturday morning I had breakfast early and drove down to the village with my camera before tourists were out and about  as is my custom. As I expected , the many volunteer Echiums were blooming so that was my primary focus.

  They appear randomly , mostly in the blocks closer to the headlands where buildings are further apart .


 



 

 Echium candicans planted purposely in this garden with the E. pininana as the background.




 

 Many of the plants were looking a bit thin , which I suppose could be lack of rain- average for Mendocino is 41" , they look to be between 20 and 25 at this point with only sunny days ahead in the forecast.


 With Fremontodendron californicum.

 

 This was the only photo I took of the dozens of blooming Aeoniums around the village.

 

Looks like the Centrathus got away.



 

And across the street ..


Comments

  1. Woohoo. Love love the Dr. Seuss plants I've only ever seen in Mendocino. Brings back lots of memories, Kathy. And I like the block of centranthus, it obviously loves that spot and makes for low maintenance.looks like not too much change in Mendo or were a lot of business and restaurants gone for good? Here's hoping 2021 is a good year for us all.
    --Cindy

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    1. I think Mendo is still recovering from the recession ! That town pretty much lives and dies by tourism, so 2020 had to be pretty rough. It looked like inn occupancy was good so hopefully all is on the road t recovery.

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  2. Fantastic! I've got two Echium wildpretii blooming in my garden but surely would love a few E. pininana as well...

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    1. My wildpretii is still in it's 4" pot waiting for a spot to open up. Third try so we shall see.

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  3. What a lovely place for a get-away. The Echiums are kind of other-worldly. So unlike most flowers. I am with you about not missing travelling but for me it's not having to drive everywhere. Staying home and puttering is very pleasant.

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    1. Yes lot's of puttering in 2020 ! It was a productive year on the homefront.

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  4. Beautiful scenery! I'm glad you were able to make another trip to Mendocino as planned. I never see Echium pininana here but E. candicans seems to self-seed freely and can be found everywhere. In fact, it's just about the only thing growing in the front yard of a neighbor up the street. They spent years and gobs of money renovating the house when they purchased it but landscaping doesn't seem to be part of their plan. Centranthus is a weed here too but it's pretty.

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    1. It was so nice to get away if only for a few days. I eradicated the Centranthus many years ago-it definitely got away from me too.

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  5. Enjoyed your Echium tour of Mendocino. Am trying the gentianoides 'Tajinaste' from Annies as a replacement for the meh Nepeta tuberosa--arrived tiny, the plant is already getting big and burly, so maybe flowers this year.

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    1. I'm glad someone else had an underwhelming experience with Nepeta tuberosa. In addition to the underwhelm, every Nepeta I've ever grown gets spider mites . I hate those damn things-once you get them you may as well just pull up the plant and be done with it. I've grown 'Tajinaste too-really liked it and would still have it if not for a hardscaping project that required it's removal. I'll add it back in again one of these days.

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  6. Echium and flannel bush for the win! So glad you got away! I found a Centranthus lecoqui at a Huntington plant sale, more lilac in color, and it has been less of a furious reseeder too.

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    1. I like the color on C. lecoqui much better than the colors one usually sees-and I like the white too. That Echium/flannel bush photo was taken at the Mendocino Hotel and what sad shell of the former self for those grounds. I can only hope they benefit from people breaking out if Covid bondage and getting back on the road.

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