The normal car-filled neighborhood streets of Fullerton are practically empty, except for the occasional delivery truck or postal service vehicle. This means that everyone is doing their part to stop the spread of the Coronavirus by staying inside their homes. However, I still see people walking, some with cloth face masks to cover their faces. They stroll through the neighborhoods with dogs and kids, getting out of the house.
One silver lining to this crisis is the fact that people’s lives are slowing down. They’re taking the time to get reacquainted with their neighborhoods. Spring is also in full bloom, bringing with it rain and blossoms, as if to remind residents that the cycle of life is resilient. So, even though Fullerton Beautiful has disbanded, it doesn’t mean that we should stop admiring the flowers of other people’s yards. As long as you can see what’s growing in someone’s flower garden from a safe distance on the public sidewalk without trespassing on their property, you can create your own garden tour, sort of.
Walking through my neighborhood, I’ve seen quite a few houses with drought resistant plants. Drought-resistant plants are tolerant of low-water conditions. However, there are a few important features to keep in mind when choosing a plant for drought-tolerance, whether it’s a tree, a shrub, a ground cover, or a perennial. First, think about soil type. According to David Beaulieu’s article on the Spruce website, “something that qualifies as a drought-resistant plant in a wonderfully loamy soil may struggle during a dry spell if it’s growing in sandy soil (through which water pours quickly as if running through a sieve).” Next, consider competition for resources. For example, when you plant underneath a tree, the available resources become scarce since the tree blocks out sunlight and rainfall, and takes a lot of the water for itself. Also, be sure to pay attention to sunshine requirements or tolerance when planting. I’m assuming that when you think of drought-resistant plants, you generally think of full-sun plants. However, not all sun-loving plants endure excessive dryness (there are varying degrees of how much the plant can actually tolerate).
Some neighbors around Fullerton are even giving away plants. For instance, my mom recently picked up a succulent next to a sign that read, “Free” and planted it in her garden. Walking around, it appears that gardeners are still working, while other homeowners are taking the time to care for their own yards, which means that the landscaping around some neighborhoods of Fullerton looks absolutely beautiful.
Since spring is here, annuals have arrived. I’ve spotted many marigolds, pansies and petunias outside. In case you’re unfamiliar, marigolds are the ones that fill the flower beds with hot colors such as orange and yellow, while pansies come in both warm and cool colors such as red, pink, orange, yellow, blue, purple, and white. Petunias grow well in flower beds and containers with red, pink, yellow, purple and white trumpet-shaped blossoms. All of these annuals typically begin blooming in the spring and last until they’re killed off by extreme hot or cold weather. Interestingly enough, some of the earliest springtime flowers are bulbs, which are normally planted in autumn. Daffodils are rather common for this time of year and they come in yellows, whites, pinks, or they’re multi-colored. Many people also have rose bushes, which come in reds, pinks and other colors.
Since most subdivisions around Fullerton are made up of homes with a limited number of models and identically sized yards, it’s interesting to look at how they’re different and what people have done with them to make them unique. Around Easter time, I saw that some subdivisions focused on giving their kids something to do while out of school and sheltering-in-place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I saw little kids drawing flowers on the sidewalks in chalk to keep themselves occupied. I also saw some real purple and white wildflowers as well.
If you’d prefer not to risk going outside, then maybe you can admire the flowers growing in your own yard or take up gardening with what you have at home. In fact, it’s always interesting to see what’s blooming in your own backyard. I know that my mom’s garden has a lot of parsley, several tomato plants, and some lettuce. My pet rabbit likes to eat lettuce, which my family feeds to him at night.
By walking around, people are able to reconnect with their neighbors, chatting with them at a distance about the current Coronavirus situation and how they’re coping. It’s a time for coming together and helping one another, so if you do plan to go outside, remember to stay safe. If you do plan on hiking on any of the trails that I mentioned before this column, please only visit if the trails are not narrow. Whether it’s a sidewalk or a trail, make sure you have enough room to keep your distance from other people.
See video below of some of the flowers I’ve spotted while walking around Fullerton.
Categories: Local News