Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
San Bruno Mountain
You don't have to go any further than the peninsula to get far from the madding crowd. San Bruno Mountain is easily accessible, lying between the San Francisco Airport and Candlestick (or whatever it's called these days) Ball Park. The San Bruno Watch Web site has info about the mountain, its spectacular views, wildflowers, and native fauna. Endangered species including the Mission Blue butterfly, the San Francisco Elfin butterfly, the Silverspot butterfly and the San Francisco garter snake are all proud to call Mt. San Bruno home. Wildflower walks and work parties are scheduled every month and meet in downtown Brisbane.
Favorite or New Plant
Pronounced as if you have a lisp, California native ceanothus (also called wild lilac) is blooming in profusion now. They range in color from pale sky blue to deep violet, and in size from a low-growing ground covers to full-sized trees.
The only requirement these hardy plants have is full sun and very little water during the summer months. If possible, provide fast-draining soil, but it's not necessary. Most native plants, including the ceanothus, don't respond well to pruning.