Intense, dark rosy pink outer petals contrast beautifully with white centers on 2” wide, long-spurred blooms. Makes a great cut flower! Its vigorous upright, airy habit make it a nice addition to woodland gardens, sunny rock gardens, and cottage gardens. 2’x2’ when in bloom, with flowers borne on tall branching stems held about 1’ above showy, lacy foliage. Like its …

Read More »


A blast of dense, vertical spikes that bloom for months in our mild climate – & then blooms again! Veronica longfolia “Vernique” is a hybrid version of this essential cottage perennial. It rises to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide across bearing rich, purple, 6” spikes from late Spring to July, attracting mobs of butterflies, bees & hummers! Cut …

Read More »


Phlox subulata is a short plant, and its stature is reflected in its common names: “creeping phlox,” “moss phlox,” “moss pinks,” “ground pink,” and “ground phlox.” Don’t let the “pink” label fool you: This perennial does come in other colors. Not surprisingly, Phlox subulata functions primarily as a flowering ground cover. You’ll often see this spring bloomer blanketing banks with …

Read More »


Ixia are grown from corms native to South Africa (which has the same Mediterranean climate as California). They have grass-like leaves and stellar flowers of blue, purple, red or white. They come into bloom from spring into summer. Some of the common names for Ixia are Corn lily, African Iris, Wand flower, and African Corn lily. They make excellent cut …

Read More »

Frida Kahlo Rose

There couldn’t have been a better rose to name after the painter Frida Kahlo, known for her use of bold color and floral elements. This is a vigorous floribunda, so it’ll produce 5-6 roses per cluster and bloom all the way from late spring to early fall. Each petal is its own unique blend of yellow, orange and red hues, …

Read More »

Sunol Wilderness

Sunol wilderness

Forty minutes from Sunnyvale is the Sunol Wilderness. The Sunol Wilderness is one in a chain of regional widerness parks in southern Alameda County. This remote and beautiful land is the domain of abundant wildlife, including eagels, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, deer, coyote, bobcats, and mountain lions. The land is studded with oak and bay, carpeted with springtime wildflowers, and …

Read More »

Bloomerang Lilac

Bloomerang Purple lilac (Syringa x) is a reblooming lilac. It blooms in spring along with other lilacs, takes a brief rest to put on new growth, then blooms again from mid-summer through fall. A bit smaller than other lilacs, Bloomerang also has a nice, rounded shape that looks great anywhere you plant it in the landscape. Star-like flowers are a …

Read More »

Oak Titmouse

As plain as a bird can be, marked only by a short crest, the Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) nonetheless has personality. Pairs or family parties travel about the woods together, exploring the twigs for insects and calling to each other frequently. Before Sunnyvale was Sunnyvale, the community was known as Encinal, the spanish word for Coast Live Oak. There are …

Read More »

African Plants

Gloriosa lily

Sunnyvale has a Mediterrean climate. This type of climate is defined by mild, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. It is the rainfall pattern that makes the Mediterranean climate distinct. Very often, places with warm summers and mild winters receive large amounts of precipitation during the summer months. Summers in Mediterranean climates are distinctively dry. The Mediterranean climate …

Read More »