This week the Tule River Native Plant Demonstration Gardens are bursting with a variety of flowers. These are just five of the plants which you can see blooming in a quarter mile walk along the Tule River Parkway between Jaye Street and Parkway Drive.
1. White California Poppy * (Eschscholzia californica – selection)
2. Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. Caerulea)
3. Foothill Penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus)
4. Showy Penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis)
5. Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus)
The White California Poppy which is growing in the Roman Solorio Garden is a natural genetic variant. This genetic change occurs infrequently in the California Poppies planted from seed. You can grow White California Poppy from white seed available for purchase on several websites. Poppies are an annual in our climate and flower in spring. Poppies are quite a low maintenance plant and very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners! Plant in full sun in average to poor, well-draining soil. Sow the seeds shallowly (1/16-inch deep) in fall or early spring. Seeds will germinate after the first fall rains or when the soil warms in the spring. They need very little water unless there is a lack of winter and spring rain. Poppies are deer resistant and are used in bird, butterfly, and bee gardens.
Companion plants include Lupines, Phacelia, Clarkia, Buckwheat, Sage, and California Fuschia.
Maintenance is super easy, when this plant finishes blooming either leave it to drop its seed or remove it immediately to neaten the garden and reduce new volunteer plants next winter. Poppies rarely live through the heat of our summers and since they germinate easily from seed it makes sense to remove this year’s plant after blooming.
More information on this plant can be found at calscape.org by searching for the plant by name. Each of the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens is featured on the website tuleriverparkwayassociation.org
The Tule River Parkway is a City of Porterville public park which features a three-mile paved walking and bicycle path. The gardens were planted and are being maintained by volunteers with project management by the Tule River Parkway Association. We have three volunteer garden days each month. Follow Tule River Parkway Association on Facebook for announcements. May events are 14, 19, 21 in the morning.