A honeybee pollinates a nectarine blossom at Rancho Pillow.

Another bee pollinating away.

After a wet winter, spring has arrived, and not a moment too soon. The smell of flowers and freshly cut grass are in the air, and you can almost taste the coming cornucopia of fruit.

Now is a good time to plant annuals, hardy perennials and cool season veggies. It’s also a good time to cut back ornamental grasses, and do rejuvenation pruning on old shrubs (such as butterfly bush and lavatera).

It’s also an excellent time to get out and enjoy the Sonoma County wildflower show. I find nothing inspires my garden designs more than a spring wildflower hike. With a long dry summer ahead, the next couple of months offer the only chance most native wildflowers will get to bloom and reproduce.

Indian Warrior at the base of a Manzanita. This photo was taken on Oat Hill Mine Road.

Foothill Penstemon

Western Columbine

Here is an example of a shrub that needed rejuvenation pruning (a loropetalum). It's foliage used to stretch beyond the asphalt, but I limbed it up, and the clients were happy with the result. Now we can put some plants underneath and and can enjoy the shrub's gnarly branch structure.

A pot of yellow violas, one of my favorite container flowers.