On Saturday Carole and I spent the morning at Garland Park enjoying the Wildflower Walk with naturalists from the Park District. The Park is 4,400 acres of trails, meadows and Oak forests. The photos below represent some of the flowers we viewed. It was fun to hear the subtle differences in the species and we encourage you to do this outing.

The California Poppy is one of the favorites. Selected in 1890 as the State Flower, its golden blooms were deemed a fitting representative of the Golden State. Bursting with color and optimism, this flower is a treasure and a visual delight to all.

Along the path we approached a striking Bush Lupine, one of the shrubby species of Lupine. This bush can grow quite large and its combination of colors with the California Poppy set the beautiful golden and purple palate associated with California Wildflowers.

As we entered an open meadow we came upon the diminutive and delicate Sky Lupine. Known for carpets of deep blue, the Sky Lupine gets its name from the white upper portion of the flower raised to the sky. As a member of the Pea Family, Lupine is a nitrogen fixer and can grow in poor soils where other plants would fail.

Making a discovery is the most exciting part of a wildflower outing. As we passed a grove of Buckeyes we opened up to a small clearing. Hidden in between a stand of Poison Hemlocks was the tiny but glorius Wine Cup Clarkia. Named in honor of the famous explorer William Clark, this flower though small in size is large in colors and delicacy.

Next time you are in Carmel Valley be sure to take a leisurely walk through the paths and trails at Garland Park. You too may hear the rustle of a flower saying “look at me, I’m beautiful.”