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More first blooms of the year

It's always so exciting to see the first blooms on a plant, especially when you've been battling voracious slugs throughout the late winter.

For example, here is our first Tidy Tips Layia platyglossa blossom of the year.

It is the product of the third Tidy Tips seedling I planted in the winter.

The first two seedlings were immediately gobbled up down to the nubs, by slugs.

The third Tidy Tips survived the slug onslaught because, in an attempt to discourage slugs, I tried something different. I cut around the top of a plastic flower pot, so that the end result resembled a two inch tall ring. I stuck the ring in the soil around a hole I dug in the soil to accommodate the seedling, with an inch of the ring above the ground, knowing that slugs don't as readily crawl over plastic. And it worked!

This Tidy Tips plant is twelve inches tall, much taller than other Tidy Tips I've planted in the past two years.

The lovely Margarita Bop Penstemon Margarita BOP is starting to bloom again.

Originally I planted two of these plants, near each other.

Unfortunately one of the plants completely dried up last summer.

It's always puzzling in these situations - the soil is the same, the plants received the same amount of water. Yet one will thrive, the other doesn't.

Ah, the lovely Cream Cups Platystemon californicus are thriving in a separate plant bed that is lined with bricks.

Their velvet soft leaves were a favorite with the slugs as long as we had early spring rains.

Every morning for two months, my routine was to pick off the slugs and toss them in the green bin to munch on other vegetation.

I started the slug routine one morning, after I discovered FORTY slugs on the leaves.

Gradually the slug population dwindled, with me hunting them down.

As you can see, in spite of the slug sieges the blossoms look great.

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