Is Devon Skies Blue-eyed Grass native?

 Maybe.  Probably not.

That's completely unhelpful, so I'll try to elaborate.  I'm not a plant professional, so I'll welcome corrections.

Right off the bat, the 'Devon Skies' part of the name indicates a selection or hybrid.

A little Googleing says that Blue-eyed grass 'Devon Skies' is in the genus Sisyrinchium, which is promising since many species of Sysyrinchium are native to western states.  All are new world, but Sisyrinchium from midwest states or the east are not unheard of. I wasn't able to find a species name, suggesting that it's a hybrid.  If I'd found something like "Sysrinchium bellum 'Devon Skies'" then the bellum part of the name would indicate a species native to California and I'd know this was a native plant selection.

A little more Googleing finds this blurb on Plantlust.com

"Super in the rock garden or front of the border. (It's sterile too!) We just learned that S. 'Devon Skies' was found in Edmund and Rita Heaton's UK garden (the National Collection Holders for Sisyrinchium)."  Ahh. So that's why it's Devon Skies and not Lake County Skies. 

This all suggests that its parents are not known and in a Sisyrinchium collection of national significance I would think the parents could be from anywhere.  So that's why I say maybe.  But the real answer is probably not.

If you really want a native, I'd buy one of the species known to be California natives.  There's many, though in my neck of the woods the optimum time to plant and grow these has passed for this year.  Sisyrinchium bellum (blue eyed grass, western blue eyed grass) is widespread in California, so it's probably native near you.  There are dwarf selections if you like cute and compact: my girlfriend picked up one that's fantastically florific right now.  I think it was Sisyrinchium bellum 'Fort Bragg'.

From a question on my native plant list.


Garden blooms

Onion, gilia, penstemon

Pch iris

More pch iris

Douglas Meadowfoam. Limnanthes

Limnanthes isn't as big as it appears in the previous picture. See below. Massed as it was earlier in the season and elsewhere in the garden it looks quite nice. I like the frog, a find at Tuesday Morning, I think.

Checkerbloom or checkermallow. Sidalcea or some such from memory. I've always thought that this is sort of a garden underdog perhaps because it is a bit fragile and easily overwhelmed by plants around it.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Margaret's mallow update

My friend Margaret writes,
After we had the heavy rains in December, my mallow just seemed to stop thriving. This photo was taken today. Note that this year the seedlings started growing.
Part one of my pruning is evident in the photo. Part two will occur after the trash is picked up. I do hope my mallow can make a comeback.
I have collected the seeds from the cut branches.

I wrote back,

You have really well-draining soil, if I recall correctly. However, you may want to transplant a seedling or two to a slight mound that will provide better water shedding from the trunk in case that is the problem.

If you follow the label link to Margaret's mallow you'll see that this was an early 2009 transplant from a 1 gallon pot, so it's had a two+ year run. Maybe that's all you get from Lavatera assurgentiflora. The main native plant web sites that I surveyed didn't call out a specific life expectancy, but this web site says that it is short-lived:


so perhaps it's run its course.

Back to my blog vacation.  See ya.


Bee road?

An astute observer on my native plant garden list suggests that this is a concept useful in the U.S.

'Bee road' plans to save key pollinators

Co-operative's Plan Bee scheme will set up corridors of wildflowers as a food-rich habitat for honeybees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths.

Back to my blog vacation.


Before and After

It's for sale now and I doubt it will ever look better.  Let's see how I started and how I ended up.


In between


After (same area shown at right with French door)


End of March blooms

I'm still taking a break but these were too easy to pass up.
I liked the structure of this Phacelia tenacetifolia much better the night before when the background wasn't so distracting.

Its flower:

Bay and Douglas's Meadowfoam. There's a single Meadowfoam in the Tenacetifolia pot if you look carefully.

Ceanothus and Western Redbud.

Heuchera 'Wendy'

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone