Remember a couple years back when you were scrambling to buy more milkweed for the droves of Monarch caterpillars that had recently showed up on your singular, pathetic tropical milkweed plant and stripped it bare of it's leaves in two hours? You found out that pretty tropical milkweed wasn't good for them so you went NATIVE, and also found out no one was really selling too much of that. You couldn't buy enough, and you got your name on waiting lists to be called when the milkweed shipment arrived. You were horrified to think of what would become of your pillars if you didn't feed them immediately. It was as if you had taken on the entire weight of the plight of the Monarch's, and you nearly lost your mind while doing it.
Why aren't you doing that this year? Why doesn't it seem so important only a couple years later? Is it assumed that you did all you could and this year you're going to rescue some other poor creature that's thoroughly struggling to navigate the world the way it is now? I had this conversation with myself again the other morning, so I'm not pointing fingers, I'm just asking you to ask yourself too...
We all see how the media is so, so very powerful, in the realm of politics these days especially, but also in the realm of the natural world. Why is everyone at Carrizo Plain, Anza-Borego, and not at Grass Mountain, not at Figueroa like last year? No one wrote about Figueroa, Carrizo was the place to be. Why don't the Monarchs matter as much this year? It's old news - no one's interested quite like they were before. It's certainly not because the Monarch butterflies are all better, their troubles have subsided, we did it, HOORAY! They're still hungry, and still feeding on the wrong stuff and they're still in trouble.
Nurseries responded to the mad rush of milkweed demand last year and are now heavily stocked with perfect little milkweed plants that no one's buying. It's time to get to the nursery and buy yourself a CA native milkweed plant, or 4.
*Asclepias fascicularis, California narrowleaf milkweed - GET SOME.
We shop at:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara Natives, Island Seed & Feed, Terra Sol, 7-Day Nursery
While Carrizo Plain and Anza-Borrego are apparently the places to be this spring, and we can't deny that we've ventured out there to take a look ourselves, I must admit that there is something truly lovely about pulling up to our maintenance houses every other week and seeing what's going on there.
Most of our clients are huge plant nerds, (which is probably why we get along so well), and some of their properties have the most interesting spring displays around. We've been working on some of these properties for a couple of years now and we've learned to look forward to the bulbs that will peak their heads up, or the wildflowers we know turn out every spring.
Even our local hiking trails boast some of the more spectacular diversity we've seen any where around. It's always a good reminder to us to get out more! Head for the hills, or just take a walk around your neighborhood - Now's the time because in just a couple more months we'll re-enter the Endless Summer until next spring...
I called my mom in Maui a couple weeks back to catch up. We always end up talking shop, and she told me about how she'd begun a blog. She told me, "I don't like the word 'BLOG'... it just sounds so strange, like you're standing there throwing wet socks at the wall." I have to agree. Maybe the word 'blog' is the thing about blogging that's been so unappealing to me. Maybe I just haven't had the proper platform to send a blog out from. Maybe I haven't felt the need to share the information I've got in this format before. In any case, mom writes blog posts now - she's good at it! And I'm inspired so I'm going to try to share with our small following any information I think could be of some value to some one.
It's entirely likely that I'll end up sharing random bits of information I collect day to day - I won't promise you'll want to read them all, and I won't promise to be totally and religiously committed to responding to comments. After all, my place is in the garden and not often behind the computer screen.