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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

More Tree of Life Pix

Salvia clevelandii Arroyo Azul

Dudleya edulis

Aquliegia formosa

Kristen sent me photos from Laura Camp. These were so attractive...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New updates on Tree of Life Sale March 16

The day will be a special celebration for members. Members receive a 10% discount on plant purchases, and will receive a free plant or seed pack with any plant purchase. Renew your membership at the plant sale!

Special plant available on plant sale day only! Tree of Life is releasing a special crop of Delphinium cardinale – Scarlet Larkspur - in D-40 pots only for plant sale day. This special beauty of the chaparral, with 4' tall spikes of red flowers, is seldom available in the nursery trade, and has been growing for three years in the pots. The plants bloomed last year and will be expected to bloom again! They will be sold for $15 each, and $5 from each purchase will be contributed to CNPS. Limit 3 per person.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New York City has native plants?

Keith Malone passed along this information re: New York City's law to support their native plant heritage:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed into law on Monday three “green” bills, one intended to increase the city’s native biodiversity.
The biodiversity measure will actually decrease the city’s overall biodiversity in favor of nurturing native plants. It mandates that the parks department adopt a policy favoring plants native to New York over exotic plants, which can out-compete native species and drive animals dependent on them into extinction, on all city-owned property. Dozens of species of native grass, flower and tree are in decline throughout the city.
Botanical gardens and institutions that house plants for educational or scientific use will be exempt from the law.
One of the other laws similarly restricts the city’s planting policy. The parks department will have to start choosing more stormwater-tolerant plants for the city’s green spaces, in order to sponge up runoff and decrease flooding and pollution. Every year, the law states, more than 27 billion gallons of sewage and dirty rainwater are discharged into New York Harbor when sewers overflow during storms.
Finally, New Yorkers will have access to a renewable energy portal on the city’s Web site, states a law that goes into effect in November. The portal will encourage the public to install solar, wind and other renewable energy systems and will provide a cost-benefit analysis that factors in government incentives, the law says. It will also aim to teach people how to install them.


 photo credit: http://www.nyc.gov

Saturday, February 23, 2013


NOAA's latest map on expected drought conditions across the US shows that the Southern California coastline, as well as the Northern California region, is developing into a drought area, while much of the rest of the state and the west is in a persisting drought state.

This should continue through the spring. Of course, the weather can and will alter to suit its won complex needs.

I hadn't felt that conditions were this "drought-like" so this came as a bit of a surprise to me.

Does it feel like we are headed into more drought conditions?

Don Wood passed this link along, from KPBS.

Friday, February 22, 2013

TOLN plant Sale

The spring plant sale and membership day will be held on March 16 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Tree of Life Nursery.

There will be speakers from the San Diego and Orange County CNPS chapters, including Connie Beck, Amy Huie, Rob Moore, and Greg Rubin, and me! (I'll be at the info booth, offering advice and membership info).

Topics and times to be announced soon. Check the CNPS San Diego website for updates.

CNPS members (able to join or renew at the CNPS booth at the nursery) will receive a 10% discount on plant purchases.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Volunteer at The Elephant Cage

At last night's Chapter Meeting, Fred Sproul told us about an upcoming volunteer opportunity. Camp Surf is looking for volunteers to help pull iceplant away from the sensitive dunes. They are working on this restoration project over the upcoming months and sure could use your help.

You'll see rare plants like Nemacladus and Chloropyron. Sounds like fun!

This is at the southern end of Silver Strand State Beach - near the area called the Elephant Cage. That's the old circular antenna array structure at the military base. If you'd like to help, call him at 619 423 5858.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ceanothus inspires poetry - catch all the taxa puns?

Betsy Cory, long-time CNPS member was inspired by our recent post to write this:

O lovely Ceanothus, how your blooms inspire me,
In pristine white and glowing blue you bloom most gracefully.

But seventeen taxa, really!  That for me’s too great a strain.
I’m a gardener, not a botanist, and it taxes my brain

Call a taxi, hail a tugboat, bring a gurney out for me
For I must leave before suffering a nerve cataxtrophe.

One taxon I can handle, maybe two or even three.
But attacks-on my memory won’t help me learn much botany.

I’ll just look upon the landscape, at all the taxa I don’t know.
But of this I’m sure, all native plants are fantaxtic to grow! 

Betsy put some nice puns in there - did you find them all? Post comments with your count of how many....

Monday, February 18, 2013


It's Ceanothus time. For all you ceanothus lovers out there, we have put together a couple of events that reinforce each other:

Natives for Novices

"How to choose the Ceanothus that's right for you and how to take care of it when you get it home."

  • Speaker - Debbie Creassy of Tree of Life Nursery
  • 6:30pm to 7:00pm
  • Casa Del Prado, Room 104. 


This year we are opening our Sunday "advanced plant lovers' field trips" to anyone, CNPS member or not, who wants to participate in the pleasures of identifying CA native plants found around San Diego County. We will try to identify everything we see on each trip! A bonus this year, is we hope to visit enough places so we will also view every one of the 17 native Ceanothus taxa (species or subspecies) in our county. We may add some locations to this tentative list, so we can be sure to reach that goal:

  • February 24: Carmel Mountain Preserve and Torrey Pines Extension (Dave Flietner)
  • March 3: Tecolote Canyon South-Facing Slopes (Jim Roberts)
  • March 10: Torrey Highlands and Crest Canyon (Fred Roberts)
  • March 24: Wrights Field, Alpine
  • April 7: Cedar Creek Gorge via Ant Mountain and McGee Flats (Cindy Buxton)
  • April 14: Ramona Grasslands or other site, tba
  • April 28: San Elijo Lagoon (David Varner)
  • May 5: Crestridge Ecological Preserve
  • May 12: Cottonwood Creek (Neil Bouscaren)
  • May 19: McCain Valley (Tim Cass)
  • August/September date tba: Plants of Lake Henshaw & Warner Springs vicinity (Fred Roberts)

RSVP to fieldtrips@cnpssd.org

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Do you have an ant control problem?

Master Gardeners just might have the answer to your problem. 

UCCE San Diego and the Healthy Garden-Healthy Home program are offering a FREE workshop on Controlling Ants the Healthy Way!  

This workshop intended for the general public will be held at the Lakeside Community Center, 9841 Vine Street, in Lakeside from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 23, 2013. No registration is required and there will be a free gift to the first 50 attendees.  

For more information call Scott Parker at 858-822-6932.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is this the book that started the cement river?

I was talking with Nicole Salem from the City of Chula Vista this morning. She told me that the textbook by Ven Te Chow, from the 1950s, is the groundbreaker (excuse the pun) theory source for channeling rivers into cement sluices.

I immediately ordered "Open-Channel Hydraulics" from my local library and look forward to reading it. The text itself is supposed to be a model for clarity and teaching complex principles, so that will be of interest.

But more-so will be why Chow thought that cementing in our riverways was the way to go.

Have any of you background in this, read this book or have comments? I'd love to learn from you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Got Farmland?

Here is a program I just heard about. This isn't strictly about native plants, though. The goals seem very worthwhile and I hope you'll review this and see if it sparks any potential solutions in your mind. If so, please see the contact info below. 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving refugees and underserved communities in San Diego. 

The IRC Land Bank is working to connect socially disadvantaged farmers with farmable land in nearby communities. These farmers have participated in IRC training programs are in need of more land to expand their new farm businesses. 

Why make your land available to lease? 
• Support socially disadvantaged farmers 
• Insure the maintenance and productive use of your land 
• Support local agriculture and regional food security 
• Support the local economy 

By inviting socially disadvantaged farmers on to your property you will be helping to build self-reliance for underserved populations, keep land in agriculture for future generations, and bring more local fresh, healthy foods to San Diego! 
Whether you have a vacant urban lot or multiple acres of designated farmland, we’d love to hear from you! We are especially interested in little to no cost opportunities. We will link a farmer to your property and help facilitate a land lease agreement. 

If you are interested in making your land available through the Land Bank, please contact Niki at Niki.Mazaroli@Rescue.org or +1 619 641 7510 ext. 302. For more information, visit the IRC Land Bank website at: Rescue.org/sdlandbank From Harm to Home Rescue.org/sandiego 

Deadline April 5th - Landscape Contest

Would you like to have the friendliest landscape in San Diego? Enter your efforts and be judged. 

The California friendly landscape contest is on again. Check out more details and get the application

Encourage your friends, neighbors and clients to apply!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Free Native Plant Gardening 2-Day Workshop

Presented by the San Diego Audubon Society
Come and learn the best practices for creating beautiful, water-saving native gardens. This workshop will equip you with knowledge, hands-on experiences and simple projects to get you started.

Details: Free 2-day workshop February 2nd and 9th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm., held at The Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve, 2437 Hutchison Street, Vista, CA 92084. Guest Speaker: Susan Krzywicki from the California Native Plant Society.

Enjoy: Field trip to local native plant gardens ...
Free light snacks and lunch at the February 2nd session ... Hands-on projects and outside field work (weather permitting)

Fine Print: In return we will ask each participant to commit 20 hours of Volunteer time to the preserve within the next year. For more info, and to sign up, contact Becky Wilbanks, Anstine Resident Manager, at (760) 295-1548 or beckywilbanks@cox.net