I love the contrasting foliage colors, the drought tolerance, and year-round dependability of succulents. But with their rigid water-filled stems and leaves, a succulent garden can appear somewhat static. California native wildflowers scattered throughout, besides providing nectar for insect pollinators and seed for birds, animate the garden when they sway in the breeze. With the start of our rainy season, now is the time to sow seeds of these native annuals. California Botanic Garden in Claremont has just opened their Grow Native Nursery and has a good selection. I especially like Dudley’s Clarkia (Clarkia dudleyana) for movement because the leaves are small and the lavender-pink flowers are large. After your wildflowers finish their spring bloom, let some of the seed fall and hopefully the plants will “naturalize,” that is, come up again next year without you having to plant them.
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