Southern California’s deserts are in a super bloom. I just came from there. Ironically, we are having just the opposite experience in Northern California. It’s been so wet and so unseasonably cold that it’s looking like we are going to have a very disappointing wildflower experience up here.

In a semi-arid environment, it’s never just about the rain. It’s about the rain coming at just the right time, with a gentle warming trend happening after the rain and before we get our scorching summers, which start just about April. So far, it’s been far colder than usual all winter long. Here it is on the cusp of April and we’ve still had winter temperatures, loads of rain and not many wildflowers so far. When usually we are are inundated with wildflowers by this time.

While our big poppy blooms happen later in the summer, I expect to see evidence that the bloom is coming. So far, it’s looking like there will be few poppies.

We always have plenty of Monkey Flowers. Not so much this year so far.

Normally, I’d expect the vineyard path to be filled with poppies and lupines.

We have bud break. Hopefully, we won’t have hard enough rains that it will knock those delicate buds off the vines.

But for every moment of sun, we’ve had more days like this. Looking over Sonoma Valley. Which you can’t see because of the rain and fog.

Some succulents seem to be doing okay, but others are actually rotting from too much water.

Sadly, our invasive plants seem to be doing better than our natives with all the rain and cold weather. I’m seeing a lot of vetch and crimson clover that we’ll have to rip out.

Then there is this: Belladonna. Every part of this Mediterranean plant is poisonous.

At least my oaks seem to be coming through.

We have five different types of oaks on the property. This one is putting out long pollen tassels.

Hopefully, we’ll see a gentle warming and an end to the rain. If the rain suddenly stops, then we get a sudden ramp up to what temps would normally be about this time of year, that’s not going to be good for our blooms.

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