Refined gardens are interesting. They are pretty also. Many are impressively colorful. It is easy to understand why refined gardens are as popular as they are. However, they innately lack quite a bit. Furthermore, they demand more attention that what would naturally grow wild. We are very fortunate here, that the refined components of our landscapes are rather minimal, and must conform to the unrefined components of the surrounding forests. We occasionally add a few new plants, including annuals. Much of what grows here now was once refined, but has gone wild. They are the plebian of horticulture.

1. Zinnia were just recently planted for summer. They are some of the most refined flowers now. There are not many annual bedding plants here, and none live in big beds. These are in a row.

2. Alyssum were planted as summer annuals sometime in the past. These were likely planted about a year ago, and survived through winter. They would likely be white if they grew from seed.

3. Alstroemeria are too aggressively perennial. They were planted intentionally, but overwhelmed the mixed perennial bed they were in. We tried to remove them, but a few continue to bloom.

4. Geranium, or zonal geranium, which is just a rather mundane Pelargonium, was plugged as cuttings and left to go wild. It happens to be one of my favorites because I have always grown it.

5. Calla must have been planted intentionally somewhere and sometime in the distant past, but was dug up and dumped with what became fill dirt here. It now blooms on the side of the road.

6. Poppy, or more specifically, California poppy, which is the Official State flower of California, grows wild, of course. They are some of the least refined flowers now, but also, among the best!

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


19 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Plebian

    1. The natural landscape here is what guests expect to see, so the landscapes must be compliant with that. We add a bit of form, texture and color, but in a rather unrefined manner.

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    1. Zinnia were not my choice. I have not done well with them. The gentleman who plants with them has been growing them annually for a long time now. The climate here is quite different from my home garden just a short distance away.
      The geranium is one of the simpler sorts, and may even be a straight species. Those that are available in nurseries are much more colorful, but not as easy to grow.

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    1. Alstroemeria was the first cut flower crop I ever worked with while I was in school. Those that grow here are the same sorts that are such great cut flowers. However, those that are available in nurseries are ‘garden varieties’. They stay low and mounding, and support themselves better without staking. However, their stems are of inferior quality for cutting. The ‘eggy’ poppy is the Matilija poppy. These are the common California poppy, with bright orange bloom. Do you mean that they are ‘edgy’?

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    1. There were so many by the time we dug ours up that we gave clumps of them away to anyone who commented on how pretty they were. This was right next door to the Post Office, so there was quite a bit of traffic. Now I feel badly that we may have spread the infestation all over town!

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  1. I have an old fashioned Alstroemeria passalong – having a difficult time growing it! Didn’t like the sand, so I put it in a pot doesn’t like that either! My garden is mostly unrefined and planted for butterflies. Breaks most design rules I have read…

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    1. Alstroemeria should adapt to sand more easily than confinement to a pot. Once it gets established, you may regret it. I like to give ours plenty of space, so I can dig the up around the edges without other plants in the way.


      1. I am not sure. I tried a couple in the sand expected to be overrun and they died. This is pure sand that doesn’t hold water very long..I rescued the last one and put it in a pot
        Super amended sand may be the answer.

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    1. I am surprised by how popular California poppies are in other regions, and that so many people really like them. I like them because I am a Californian. I do not think I would want them in a refined garden though. They can get sloppy.

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    1. First?! Those in my picture are some of the last, and are gone now. They are a spring flower, or more correctly, a late winter flower. They bloom just as the rain ends and the weather warms at the end of winter. That is how they survive in the deserts. They do what the must before the weather gets too dry. Their season is extended by irrigation of course.
      Those old geraniums get quite big, but with open structure. I have grown two types since I was kid, but only recently encountered this one. I will add it to my garden too. They work well as cover crops, but only their roots stay in the soil as the stems and foliage gets composted.

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