Meadow rising redux

The California native plant front yard meadow was looking a bit bad. Its recent haircut by string trimmer left the brown stubs of the wildflowers behind. Despite my public assurances, the yarrow hadn't had enough light to grow in fully, and consequently the whole thing had an overall raw and bruised look to it that was a bit disagreeable. I saw the potential, I thought, but I was really being a bit optimistic when I said it was OK. It was only OK considering its recent shearing. That's all fading into history now.

The dead flower stalks, once punji stick-like eyesores, have now rotted and dried to the point that they are easy to pull up or break off at the base with a footstep. With watering, the yarrow has greened and grown considerably, covering the remaining flower stalks. There has been a resurgence of scattered flowers: poppies, white yarrow, blue (gilia capitata?) and a few others that has softened it up quite a bit. The festuca rubra (red fescue) native grass has seen some growth among the yarrow and the juncus mexicanus (Mexican rush) is recovering from being shaded out by wildflowers. At this point the only MIA plant from the original seed inventory is Nasella pulchra.

One unwanted plant I have in abundance is spurge, and I pull it up when I can. The St. Augustine grass is trying to make a come back as well. That too gets pulled. I'm having a much worse time controlling those weeds than in the adjacent large plant area, which had grass originally as well. There are several factors at work 1: The meadow area had more spurge to begin with. I know this because I used to pull it from the grass in that area. 2. The meadow area absorbs the brunt of the wind-blown seeds, since it's on the windward side of the yard. 3. The meadow area didn't get a wood chip mulch to shade out the bad actors. This was by choice - who's heard of a meadow with wood mulch?

Behind the meadow, the buckwheat is in full bloom and the mimulus seems to throw up another cascade of blossoms just when you think it's done for the year. Coyote mint has bloomed and faded, but (non-native) Mexican sage is settling in for a long blooming season.

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