...brought to you by the CNPS San Diego Chapter's Native Gardening Committee.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Anybody know anything about Red Flaky Wheat Bran?

Vincent Lozaneo is looking for information about the safe use of Red Flaky Wheat Bran on native plants. Here is its chemical composition:

He is looking to use it as a treatment for brown snails.

Any anecdotal or published information about the product, its effect on native plants, its runoff dangers, etc. Would be great! Post here or email me at gardening@cnpssd.org

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I was preparing a test of photo transfers using Dropbox and noticed this image from the 2012 Garden Tour - it is so beautiful. I love that poppy color - one of my favorites on the whole planet, so I thought you all might be interested in seeing it.

Cindy Burrascano is putting together a gallery of photos for posting at the web site and we hope to be publishing the link to it very soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fire and Flora

The most recent email from The Chaparralian had a link to this fun resource: Fire and Fauna - an educational game for ages twelve and up.

They are building a game that will be fun and is designed to share and promote an understanding and an appreciation of nature.

The site says, "...the game plays like a cross between Pokémon and Settlers of Catan. It's a casual, resource-management game, where the goal is to build healthy and beautiful landscapes."

I had no idea what either of those terms really meant - I vaguely remember my nephew going through a Pokémon phase....but what is "Settlers of Catan"?

Enlightenment comes from Google: "Picture yourself in the era of discoveries: after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island. Its name shall be Catan! But you are not the only discoverer. Other fearless seafarers have also landed on the shores of Catan: the race to settle the island has begun!" So, it must be some sort of role-playing game.

Fine, I am looking forward to seeing Fire and Flora come to life.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

An old list

Cindy Burrascano was cleaning out our CNPS storage space at the Balboa Park meeting place - and she handed me a stack of stuff from the 90s. It has been fun glancing through it all and I plan to do more - maybe tonight since it is a rainy day. Perfect for a cup of tea and a stack of cool old stuff.

I did come across one nice artifact: a 1990s Rare Plant List for San Diego County. I scanned it and sent it to Frank Landis, our Rare Plants guy.

Here is a sample of the data:

If you would like a PDF of this, please send me an email at gardening@cnpssd.org

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Propagation Space

Propagating native plants is a great learning experience. It is also something that I am not very adept at. Connie Mack is one key resource - she runs the Propagation Committee for the San Diego Chapter. She is so knowledgeable - no matter how many times I hear her present, I want more!

The first problem I've always had with propagating is: finding the space to do it in anything other than a casual, luckless way. The second things is: consistency.

Since I am on the go a lot, I don't always manage to take care of my small, easily damaged cuttings.

So, a solution like this greenhouse would make things a lot easier.

This one, in particular, has some benefits that home-made and other solutions can't provide easily.

It is a totally self-contained, self-tending greenhouse that requires no additional power supply to maintain temperature and watering systems. This is great for households like mine where there isn't a gardener home all the time.

The automatic ventilation is controlled by a thermostat. One side of roof lifts off the frame, drawing the cooler air in, while hot air escapes through the roof peak.

They control this with one 12v battery and a solar charger. Isn't that great! Even, controlled ventilation is crucial to keeping the cuttings and seedlings moist but not soaked.

That was always my biggest challenge: the constant, daily adjustments to ventilation and moisture.

Now, back to challenge #1 - where could I put this?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Growing a Tecate Cypress in a pot

I love Tecate Cypress trees. Cupressus forbesii. Beautiful scent. Beautiful shape. Fast-growing. Architectural. Fits so many situations and conditions.

And I am growing a bunch of them in pots. I have about a dozen in pots ranging from clay to glazed ceramic. The Cupressus plants are about eighteen months old and came from a batch I bought from a restoration effort overstock at the University of Idaho.

To get some height into a formal layout in my back garden, I put four Cupressus into four Thai copper-glazed rectangular, tall pots. The soil is a mix of a bit of the native soil (mostly clay), some compost, some decomposed granite and perlite. It was an experimental mix and seems to be working quite well. The pots are about 18 inches across. The Cupressus started as seedlings and they are now about three feet tall.

Eventually, I will replant them into the soil directly - nothing like this can live forever in a pot. I have tons of space, so finding new homes for them will not be a problem!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Famosa Slough Native Habitat Talk

Here's the announcement for next week's session -  about Native Plants and Habitat:
Tuesday, December 11th, 7:00 PM
“ Native Plant Gardening for
Beauty & Habitat “
Speaker: Susan Krzywicki
Susan Krzywicki, Native Plant Landscape
Consultant, will discuss the role of native plants in
environmental stewardship. Native plants provide aesthetic
pleasure while enhancing habitat for use by birds and other
animals. Home gardens are watershed habitats that can
establish benefits through decreased chemical and water
use. They show a deep respect for our natural heritage.
Susan will introduce concepts that homeowners and
gardeners can implement to improve our local habitat.
Jim Peugh, Chairman of FFS Board of Directors,
will give an update on the latest developments at Famosa
The public is invited.
Light refreshments will be provided.
Location — Loma Riviera Condominium
Clubhouse, 3115 Loma Riviera Drive

Monday, December 3, 2012

Riparian Cleanup Opportunity

Lots of events coming up!

I received this through Surfrider Foundation. I can't figure out how to embed PDF's in here, so if you want the PDF, please email me at gardening@cnpssd.org.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Attached please find a brochure and agenda for the Subject Riparian Clean-up Event and Program (“Event”) scheduled for December 7, 2012 at the Rancho California Water District in Temecula, California.  The Event is a joint public service effort between the ABA Water Quality and Wetlands Committee (which I co-chair),  the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), and the Rancho California Water District.  The clean-up and tree planting event, and the education program/lunch that will proceed it, will be held in Temecula, California at the Rancho California Water District Boardroom (and subsequently the Temecula Gorge) on Friday, December 7, 2012, from 11:30 to 3:00.    A write up about the Event is also provided on page 7 of the attached brochure for ACWA’s Fall Conference in San Diego.
As you can see from the attached, not only is this event a great way to give back to the environment in one of Southern California’s beautiful riparian locations, but it is also an excellent way to learn about Southern California watersheds and their policy, legal and technical challenges.  In addition to a free lunch, we will be offering up to one hour of free Continuing Legal Education Credit (CLE) for California attorneys in attendance,  and free transportation, between San Diego and Temecula (on a first come, first served basis), and from the Rancho California Water District to/from the cleanup site at the Temecula Gorge.  For those of you who coordinate large organizations (e.g., County Bar Association leadership; Environmental Group leaders; IRWM coordinators; GMs/Utility Directors, Watermasters, etc.), please pass this invitation on to anyone that you may think have an interest in attending within your respective organization(s).  Individuals interested in participating should RSVP to me directly so that I can get a consolidated count and ensure we have sufficient transportation resources and food available.  Please RSVP as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 P.M. on December 5, to jjungreis@rutan.com or at (714) 338-1882.  RSVPs should include information on whether you will require transportation from the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego (details in the attached brochure), and whether you will require CLE credit.
            This will be a fun event, rain or shine, that brings people who care about watersheds together from all sides of the political and interest spectrum to do something good for the environment (and to learn about our shared SoCal watersheds).  I hope you can join us.
Jeremy Jungreis
Co-Chair, ABA Water Quality and Wetlands Committee

Jeremy N. Jungreis
Rutan & Tucker, LLP
611 Anton Boulevard, 14th Floor
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714-338-1882 Direct
714-546-9035 Fax
760-277-4690 Mobile

Sunset Cliffs Native Plant Garden Planting Day

David Kimball sent out this message: 

"We will have the first of three planned work parties at the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park garden area on Saturday from 9 am to noon.  There are about 350 native plants that we'll be getting into the ground along the east side of our garden area.  We'll be working near the Ladera Street parking lot (see map below).   

I'll be there before 8 am if you'd like to start early.  We've got gloves and tools but extra shovels would be welcome.  Bring drinking water and sunscreen.   We'll work unless there is really heavy rain

Another 300 native plants are on order that we will plant on Saturday January 19th.  We'll be there again on February 9th to weed and plant a few remaining plants."

If you are interested, just show up! If you have questions, email me at susankrzywicki@mac.com