Flowers from this Morning's Walk

From my college professor: the time is always ripe for observing plants-- whether you are feeling happy, stressed, heartbroken, bored, etc., plants have an astounding impact on our moods and emotions.. While walking through the neighborhood this morning, I snapped a few pictures that I thought I'd share.
  1. Lavatera spp. [Shrub Mallow]
    There are many sub-species of this plant, offering a diverse range of conspicuous and colorful flowers such as these. Lavatera is grown as food for both critters and humans!
  2. Begonia semperflorens [Common Begonia]
    A ubiquitous suburban plant. There are many types of begonia, but these are popular because they are low, dense, and offer a bit of color.
  3. Gaura lindheimeri [Butterfly Bush]
    This smaller shrub has long vine-like extensions that grow upward as they flower. They grow with a nice, natural form, but can easily get out of hand!
  4. Lantana camara [Verbena]
    If you rub your finger under one of the leaves, or crunch one in your palm, you'll be rewarded with quite a nice scent. The flowers are tiny, clustered, and attract lots of honey bees (a very good thing!)
  5. Rhododendron spp. [Azalea or Rhododendron]
    These guys and gals are difficult to grow in the inland areas of Northern California, especially with the shifting climate and lack of water. If you can find that sweet spot in your garden, azaleas are a real beauty.
  6. Lavandula angustifolia [English Lavender]
    Everyone knows lavender, another attractant for our glorious bees. Lavender provides a nice aroma out in the yard and inside the house.
  7. Rosa floribunda [Rose]
    Roses have a very long line of cross-breeding and hybridizing-- google 'chimera' when you have the chance. Pretty much, there are two main groups of roses, Hybrid Tea (one flower per stem) and Floribunda (two or more flowers per stem).
  8. Please remember, plants are living things just like we are. Treat them with love and respect, and they will reciprocate.