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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Point Loma Native Garden

Remember the Point Loma Native Garden? Patrick Montgomery from Recon helped to plant a large boxed area with natives several weeks ago. I wanted to thank him publicly and show you where to go look for the new installation.

This garden is maintained by the San Diego River Park Foundation - so stop by and check it out. There will be more volunteer opportunities here in the future.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Swale!

Green Gardens Group has done some great work to help us all garden in a much more sustainable way.   We can use California native plants to create these rain gardens - they are perfect. Green Gardens Group will be here in San Diego next week to do some training - if you would like to learn some great techniques, please check out this program: G3 Professional Training.

The program alos includes a one-day Core Concepts Class that covers the math and science underlying sustainable landscaping principles, emphasizes confidence-building communication techniques for spreading the word, and provides an in-field site evaluation experience to reinforce and apply the theories.

Check it out!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Jeffrey Caldwell writes in an email: 

"The first native plant I ever grew in a container was a Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea...
I got the blue elderberry seed from a tree growing in cattle range on the west side of Cupertino in 1967. At the time I was interested in growing plants for birds. I happened to go up into the hills when the fruit was fully ripe and was being feasted upon by the birds. Many birds in great diversity, including California quail and woodpeckers! No type of berry is known to be eaten by more birds than elderberry. It seems to be their favorite and I think the birds are on to something ... the elderberry seems to be a particularly healthful fruit.

Elderberry is a popular botanical remedy for easing the symptoms of colds and flu. Myself, family and friends have been using it for years -- syrup and lozenges are readily available at such stores as Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc. I understand it has been clinically proven to ease symptoms and shorten the duration of such sickness -- and the experience of people I know confirms its efficacy."

And I'd like to know - do any of you make your own elderberry syrup? From what variety? Any experiences you want to share?

Photo courtesy Las Pilitas Nursery. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oceanside area Garden Tour - 11th annual!

Joan Bockman wrote me an email the other day - confirming the 11th annual Buena Vista Tour:

Seaside Native Plant Garden Tour 
~ 11th Annual ~
Sunday April 21st at 2pm

Come see over 18 Native Plant Gardens in the historic
Seaside Neighborhood of Downtown Oceanside! Plant experts
and neighborhood locals lead an informative 1.5 mile walking tour to see these wonderful front yard gardens. Meet at 2pm Sunday,
April 21st at St. Mary's School parking lot at 515
Wisconsin Avenue. The guided walk is free. Donation requested for map and plant list. Local kids sell lemonade and cookies along the route. St. Mary's School is one block east of the 101 Cafe at Coast Highway and Wisconsin Ave. This annual event is sponsored by the Buena Vista Native Plant Club and the Oceanside Coastal
Neighborhood Association. Go to BVAudubon.org or OCNA.info
or call the Buena Vista Nature Center at 760-439-2473 for
more information.

Friday, January 18, 2013

San Diego County Planning and Land Use

Larry Smith sent me this:

If interested in San Diego County’s Planning & Land Use meetings that are recorded and can be seen on
or cut and paste the link in a web browser like Bing or Google.
Along the left edge and half way down the page, there is a “Recorded” button which will show you a
list of recent meetings. I found parts of the CPG Training conducted on 1/4/2013 to have some good
information but very long.

Oceanside Ocean Friendly Garden

Morgan Vondrak just sent along these photos of the garden in Oceanside that the Surfrider Foundation installed as part of the Ocean Friendly Gardens program...mostly native plants!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Greg and Lucy's book is coming soon!

Greg Rubin and Lucy Warren have written what appears to be a great book. I can hardly wait for its arrival. Here is what Lucy says about availability:

Hi Susan,

Here's the official word from Timber:
We're scheduling events now and I will be talking to Timber later today. As I understand it, from the release date it takes several weeks for the books to get into bookstores because they go through distributors.

Greg and I have scheduled an official book launch at San Diego Botanic Garden on March 23. They will be charging $10 for the event (plus admission if not a member). We will be talking about the process of writing the book, a little about the content and will also be selling and signing books.

We're both very excited about it all and so appreciate your support!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Southern California Permaculture Convergence

At our very successful Surfrider Garden Assistance Party in OB this weekend, one of our volunteers, Michelle, gave me info about an upcoming event that may be of interest: The 2013 Permaculture Convergence. It is scheduled for March 9 and 10 at the Sky Mountain Institute in Escondido. Michelle said there were tons of classes to take and the price is reasonable: before January 31, the tix are only $50. Beekeeping, rainwater collection and other topics, including "planting with natives" will be covered.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Surfrider Garden Assistance Party this Sunday!

Surfrider to Hold Garden Assistance Party in Ocean Beach this Sunday Jan. 13

WHEN: Sunday, January 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

4895 Orchard Avenue, San Diego, CA 92107 (At the end of Cable Street)

WHAT: As part of Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens campaign, the San Diego Chapter will be holding a Garden Assistance Party (GAP). Lead by garden experts, Surfrider volunteers will get hands-on experience reworking a home’s landscaping to apply the guiding CPR criteria of the Ocean Friendly Garden program – Conservation, Permeability and Retention. Anyone who enjoys the beach in San Diego is familiar with warnings of toxic storm drain runoff after a rain. Participants in Sunday’s GAP will learn how to create a landscape which conserves water (and money!) and prevents ocean-polluting runoff

The location of this particular Garden Assistance Party has special significance as well. The home belongs to the wife of the late Mike Dormer, a well-known cartoonist and creator of the surf-themed Hot Curl comic strip. The series was named for the famous 6-foot statue Dormer and a friend erected at Windandsea beach in 1963, depicting a paunch-bellied surfer looking out at the ocean. 

VISUALS: Volunteers will be planting native species from one-gallon pots, laying down mulch, installing a decomposed granite walkway, creating a dry stream bed with cobblestones and fine-tuning the irrigation system. The day will provide the perfect hands-on training for any San Diegan wishing to learn how to landscape with the ocean in mind and willing to get a little dirty! Media are invited to interview Surfrider San Diego’s Ocean Friendly Garden Committee Chair Susan Krzywicki as well as participating volunteers.

WHY: In Southern California's semi-arid climate, pesticides and fertilizers can build up on lawns and gardens only to be washed down streets and storm drains into the ocean as toxic runoff during infrequent rains. By opting for plants native to Southern California's Mediterranean climate, capturing and reusing rainwater, and incorporating permeable paving and mulch so water can soak into the ground, Ocean Friendly Gardens restore balance to the water cycle and provide natural habitat for local wildlife. 

WHO: Surfrider volunteers, conservationists, garden enthusiasts, beach-lovers – all are welcome to participate in this hands-on, educational event designed to keep the San Diego coastline clean and healthy for all who enjoy it. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gardening Committee Meeting last night

Last night the Gardening Committee met at Clayton Tschudy's home. This photo represents our core group: Clayton Tschudy, Jake Sibley, Susan Krzywicki (in front), Dave Flietner and Will Johnson.

We had a long discussion about Gardens In Public Places - how to do them, why to do them and how we might go about creating one under Dave'd leadership.

If you have any ideas or suggestions and comments, please comment.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yikes! The "eats anything beetle"

Carrie Schneider sent out this warning:


This should probably be of concern to all of us.  Please keep your eyes peeled, and try to avoid moving dead wood from one site to another in order to stop the spread of this new little invasive beetle, where you can. 
Feel free to forward and promote to others and local listserves as you see fit.
Clare Billett
Environmental Biologist // City of SD, P&R Dept, Open Space Division, Brush Mgmt // 619.685.1302 // Cell 619.980.8196

This beetle is the size of a sesame seed and has been spotted in Coast Live Oaks, as well as Sycamores...please let authorities know if you see evidence of activity in your area. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Field Guides - NEW!

This is soooo cool. From the CNPS announcement:

Take nature journaling to the next level by compiling drawings and written observations of plants and or animals into a field guide to a local habitat such as parks, open space, gardens, creeks, or school grounds. You can then scan and post your field guide on our new website to share with other field guide makers. You will be able to compare field guides and habitats of other places.

People have downloaded the CNPS curriculum, Opening the World through Nature Journaling, all over the world and we are hoping that we will receive field guides worldwide! You may also print your field guide and share it with others in your school and community. These guides have the potential to become a teaching tool that builds momentum over a period of years.

There is a Google map that will show the locations of all the field guides posted (this is a brand new program and we have just two field guides posted at the moment but they are both wonderful). There are instructions in the 2nd Edition of Opening the World through Nature Journaling and on the website.

This is a great way to start journaling about your own garden, too. The "field" may be your own! I do small pencil sketches, watercolors and line drawings to record fun stuff in my garden - not very professional level but I sure enjoy looking back on them, in the evenings when I can't be gardening. 

Try it!

Happy New Year and...

After a looooong holiday, we are back. And there are some interesting things going on:

January 19th, RECON will be holding a planting at the Pt. Loma Native Garden. Patrick Montgomery will be coordinating and Joel Kalmonson from the San Diego River Park Foundation will host.

For this planting the team will be focusing on landscaping wih native plants, and subsequent plantings will have other themes, so join the series and stay tuned for the next couple of events as well.

We can volunteer by sending a note to Patrick: patrick@reconnativeplants.com

Plants and refreshments will be provided...bring closed-toe shoes.