Its always an amazing sight to see the poppy's bloom in late Winter at least here in SoCal. The last time they put on a spectacular display was 2019. I saw them and took the attached photos, I believe March 14th at the Walker Canyon Poppy Reserve. It's pretty amazing when you are driving the 15 and traffic comes to a dead stop....to view the endless carpet of flowers. It literally was like the poppy fields in the Wizard of OZ but Orange. ( these are not opium poppy's either, so there is that too) There were police trying to keep traffic moving but people were pulling off the road on an interstate. Jumping the fence, running to the poppy field like there was free money to be found, taking a selfie, walk back to their car and get back into the traffic. It was something I thought I would never see again.....on 3-18-19, the party was over as the city/county decided to save the poppy's they needed to close the park, and just get the interstate moving.
I can share I saw people being extremely thoughtless, walking through the fields trampling plants. There are many paths that meander the park. The poppy's needed a little TLC for sure. Closing the park was their answer. April came and the short lived display faded. The hillsides and valleys dried to a crisp drab golden brown and summer began. The Poppy issue was put to bed.
No Party in Walker Canyon this year. The park has been officially closed today 2-8-23, for the remainder of the Poppy Bloom. The city/county have decided to close the Poppy Reserve prior to any issues developing. The pictures I have included are from a few days prior to the abrupt closure in 2019. Where are the throngs of people destroying the poppy plants? Luckily it seemed the only areas with lots of people were within about 200 yards of the entrance area. A 10 minute walk up the main canyon and into the hills there was literally no one around.
Heading out to Anza Borrego Desert State Park, to see the wild flowers this next week. What I have seen online, looks like it going to be well worth it. Desert Lily ( Hesperocallis undulata) seem to be blooming across the park. always a good sign out there.
Eschscholzia califorica from 2019 Walker Canyon Poppy Reserve
I Have some friends that had a landscape designer add haemanthus to their shade garden..,planted deep and amongst Azaelea and camellia they were not blooming and frankly in decline. I shared with them we could easily correct, these are great bulbs for So.Cal. In removing them to redo the beds I found they are very prolific. I was following roots for several feet with many offsets along the way. We found the original invoice, they had 3 beds with 7 bulbs per bed. I removed 65 bulbs. Replanting now Iin 3 seperate areas around the house. Planting the bulbs properly and in slightly raised fast draining mix has made all the difference. See below.