I'd heard there was a nice garden of California native plants growing behind the public library in Woodside.
This is Arctostaphylos pajaroensis (Pajaro Manzanita). I have this in my garden and I've pinned all my hopes to it; this is the key specimen planting in my small garden.
Manzanitas flower in winter and this one flowers pink and white. The red bark on the contorted trunk exfoliates in long strips, and the foliage changes color all year long. This plant has a small native range in Monterey County (a place I love) which has a climate very similar to San Francisco's.
I have a lot of this blue Festuca idahoensis too.
Here's Muhlenbergia rigens again. Deer Grass. We just saw it at Stanford.
I don't have this, but I would like to. I can spend a long time gazing at the picture on page 210 of this book which shows blue elderberry growing with salvia and what could be deer grass. (It's like porn to me. I get lusty.)
A long shot.
I have no trouble at all enjoying the seasonality of dead plants. This is Epilobium canum. It would have just finished flowering a couple months ago. When the rest of the garden is shutting down at the end of summer, this one kicks in with small, fluttery reddish flowers that welcome the fall. Then it leaves this golden dead stuff to contrast with evergreen ceanothus and manzanita.
It spreads unbelievably. Last year, it steamrolled the other plants growing in the same bed and I had to remove it before I could enjoy the flowers. Things will be different this year.
Horses next door.
And dragons inside the library.