Baileya multiradiata, our desert marigold, has been such a wonderful plant in our Hemet landscape I just had to write about it and post some photos. Several years ago I cast out seed in our front yard and I have found that our plants absolutely thrive in our sandy soil and inland valley climate.
Baileya is a short-lived perennial living about three years in our garden. They do respond happily to occasional water during our long dry season but too much water in the summer will likely lead to root rot. Desert marigold grows natively in our Mojave Desert and thrives on heat and is naturally drought tolerant. Our plants do not require any maintenance aside from a once or twice a year trimming to remove spent flowers. Being impatient and a bit lazy I admit that I actually use my electric string trimmer to accomplish this task. They do look a bit haggard after this rough treatment but with a little TLC watering they bounce right back and in a couple weeks look as charming as ever.
Our plants bloom almost year round and thus are a ready source for cut flowers to bring into the home or to use in cheerful bouquets for friends and special events.
Of course being spring there is so much else happening in our gardens. Our Calliandra which has struggled for three years is now looking happy and in full bloom. I have one of my native onions blooming for the first time as are my redbuds which I grew from seed collected along the Salt Creek near our Three Rivers home. I am excited to have a red flowering milkvetch (Astragalus coccineus) looking healthy and I look forward to lots of seed from my spider lupines grown from seed which we collected from the Three Rivers area. And then there are the poppies, the most photogenic of all our native plants. It is hard to get chores done when your garden is bursting in bloom and so full of life. Here is a sampling of my garden this March 2016. If you click on the photo a larger and full image will pop up. Enjoy :-)
Michael Wall - Hemet, CA