Yesterday Stephen joined me for a joint Horticulture/Biology field trip to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, just outside Escondido. Egads, it was hot. At one point I thought an insect had gone down the back of my shirt, but when I reached back to get it away, I realized it was just rivulets of sweat pouring down my skin. Eccch. September is by far the worst month here.
The horticulture lecture focused on the California native garden that the Wild Animal Park maintains. I have been very interested in putting California natives and other climate-appropriate plants in my garden, so despite the heat I did enjoy the tour. But afterward, trying to do a Biology scavenger hunt in the main park, I was miserable. I did what I could, but the heat was finally getting to me and so we left. I will have to do some online research to fill out the rest of the paper for the Bio class.
On the way home, we stopped at the Tree Of Life nursery outside of San Juan Capistrano. Tree of Life features all California and Baja California natives, plus seeds for native wildflowers and grasses. I bought four plants and a packet of native grass seeds. San Miguel Coral Bells is a vine that grows big clusters of showy pink flowers - the one they had growing there was stunning and I bought two one-gallon pots to plant next to the patio cover in the backyard. By next summer we'll be eating under a canopy of flowers. I bought a fucshia-flowering sage and Mexican Marigold. The sample plants they had in their garden were so beautiful I just had to have them. I wanted an Indian Mallow, which had beautiful grey-green foliage and orange cuplike flowers, but they said it will be another month before the seedlings are ready to be sold. The nursery is a really lovely place and I am looking forward to going again.
Stephen and I laughed at ourselves and what plant geeks we have turned out to be. I wanted to buy every book they had on native edibles, and the had a prickly pear cookbook I was sorely tempted by. There is a huge cluster of prickly pears across the creek from us, and I really should go harvest the fruit. leather gloves, tongs, and a big burlap sack!