Your article raised many memories...when I lived in Paris I used to got quite often in the Greek island, mostly in summer when it is hot and dry but you get all the juicy fruits to enjoy; water-melons, figs, grapes, pricky pear fruit etc...then I went once in spring and was amazed at all the wild orchids and many flowers all over the place, like a different world!
Kelli, what part of Calif are you from? We live in SW Riverside county and have had a week of over 100 degree temps - plants have become dormant or died. I laugh when I read things like Butterfly bushes started to bloom in July! Ha - all my flowers will be gone by then. Spring is Feb-March. Thank God for Lowes' & Home Depot's "Return with Receipt" for 1 year program! I see nice plants at good nurseries, but can't afford to have them die.