Monday, May 12, 2014

Nature Study Outing :: Back to our Blooms at the Coast

About a month ago we took a trip to the coast to spend the day on the wharf and explore some small gardens there.  We decided to take another day trip there before baby arrives, with pretty much the same goals in mind.  Lovely, relaxing morning.  And my girls and I had a chance to take another peek at the same gardens to see the changes--and there already were quite a few, in just a few weeks' time!  The wisteria that had been so gorgeous was almost completely gone.  In its place were lots of lilies and irises, and a host of other less-common plants that had bloomed during interim.

Mexican sage
And this time, when we got home, I actually did have time to sit down and try to identify them, which I was happily successful in doing--love when that happens.  Some of my favorites:

Yellow leucadendron, commonly called cone-bush
Protea pincushion -- so striking!
Fire lily -- these are actually pretty common in our town, but I didn't know their name.
Borage -- one of the oddest-looking plants I've seen.  I had no idea it was so common--and edible!
In the course of my Googling, I also discovered that the garden society that manages these little oases offers tours throughout the year, including not only the gardens themselves but also the historical significance of the buildings the gardens decorate.  I'm adding that to my list for outings in the future.  But for now, it really was nice to explore them with just my little ones at our own pace.  My oldest daughter was surprised by the spiky stems of the borage, which looked like they would be soft and fuzzy, and 2yo Bridget loved feeling the pokes of the "pincushion" against her chubby fingers.  Usually I focus on learning about the native plants in our region, but it was fun for all of us to see such a great variety of colorful specimens all in one place!  I can't wait to make a trip there in the fall to see how the gardens look during the off-season.


  1. I love the protea pincushion. In our part of the world, the daffodils are blooming, and not much else yet. Spring is coming slowly this year.

    1. Yes, we had a very mild winter and a slightly early spring here. In fact, I was sad but also excited to see that on our nature outing last week, the spring wildflowers we had seen just a few weeks before were almost entirely replaced by the late spring-early summer varieties. This year is just zipping along!