Plant Your Own Sustainable Superbloom with a Parmesan Cheese Shaker
Get in on the guerrilla gardening movement.
A lot of not-so-great stuff happens when California suffers a drought, followed by a winter full of pounding storms, including deadly flooding, mudslides, and evacuations. But some pretty great stuff also happens, the biggest of which is obviously the end of a catastrophic drought, and the prettiest of which is dazzling Superblooms that cover our previously brown landscapes with swaths of colorful wildflowers that are so vibrant, many can be seen from space.
Dry conditions followed by endless rain have created fields of bright orange California poppies, purple lupine towering along the sides of highways, and brilliant spheres of fiddlenecks, Western blue-eyed grass, larkspur, daisies, and more. Of course, we’re not telling you anything you don’t know already because if you follow even one influencer on Instagram, you’ve seen the pics by now and likely also stumbled across a couple of comments or articles begging people not to trample them on their quest for the perfect picture. Unfortunately, you’ve undoubtedly seen plenty of examples of people doing it anyway.
And while the Superbloom is an excellent reminder of how gorgeous California’s wildflowers are, Phoenix and Shalaco McGee, the guerrilla gardeners over at @SFinBloom on Instagram and @SFBloom on TikTok, are here to remind their nearly 500K followers that non-invasive native wildflowers are beautiful all of the time and in the most unexpected places, which is why they’re all about “normalizing” planting them in neglected areas, responsibly and legally, of course, to create local biodiversity that supports pollinators while also making public spots a little more beautiful. They do it all over San Francisco, and they’re making it very easy for anyone who wants to to join them across the US.
Whether you want to plant native seeds in your own garden or sprinkle them around your town, you can shop for a blend appropriate to your region on their site, along with a wildflower seed shaker in a Parmesan cheese shaker size for longer journeys or a mini size that fits in your pocket for maximum Johnny Appleseed gardening-on-the-go vibes. Want to take your seed spreading up a notch? It turns out that pink plastic guns also get the job done—even more efficiently if you’re simultaneously skateboarding.
It’s a fun way for anyone to get into gardening, especially people without a patch of land to call their own or those on the more low-maintenance side who don’t want the responsibility of watering, etc. It may take a while to see the fruits of your labor, but you’ll have something fun to keep an eye out for when you’re cruising around your neighborhood, and when your non-invasive wildflowers do finally bloom, there’s a chance you’ll see new pollinators that don’t usually call your neighborhood home. Basically, you’ll be doing something beautiful for your area and the environment. Superbloom pics are cool and all, but how much cooler will it be when the pic is of a bloom that you helped create?