In the garden now
The garden is full of surprises and plants grow lusher, attracting all kinds of insects and birds.
The lambs' ears Stachys byzantina plants are growing taller, gradually spreading out more and more every year. I just prune down the tall flower spikes that shoot up in the summer months, after they have dried up. Bees, especially honey bees and wool carder bees, visit the flower spikes throughout the season for nectar.
I haven't seen wool carder bees yet, but the females scrape the hairs off the leaves of these plants to use in constructing their nests.
The little lavender colored flowers in the background are Birds Eye or Tri-colored Gilia, which are native to California.
Here are from left to right in the foreground, Borage Borago officinalis (the purple bluish blossoms), Golden California poppies Eschscholzia californica, Lambs' Ears Stachys byzantina.
Directly behind them, from left to right are Birds Eye Gilias (very small lavender blossoms in color), Mexican Hyssop Sangria Agastache Mexicana and Coastal Tidy Tips Layia platyglossa.
Behind these are California Thai Silk poppies Eschscholzia californica, ‘Ella Nelson’s Yellow’ Eriogonum nudum ‘Ella Nelson’s Yellow’ buckwheat (tall stalks with groups of tiny yellow flowers), and 'Margarita BOP' Penstemon heterophyllus.
And further behind, from left to right are lavender lavandula, Ray Hartman ceanothus (the large shrub in the back with little blue flower clusters), Berzerkeley salvia Salvia microphylla 'Berzerkeley' (with magenta blossoms), and Mexican bush sage Salvia leucantha (directly behind the Berzerkeley, with purple blossoms).
You can imagine that the bees and butterflies are visiting these plants throughout the day.
Birds are poking around in there too, mostly in the early morning hours and just before sunset.