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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Romneya coulteri

I was at Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden and took some shots of Romneya coulteri - that is one sculptural plant. High aesthetic value.

I think my photography skills are starting to improve. Practice makes...better, if not perfect. Thanks to all of you who gave me advice.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

...and here's another link...

I didn't have this one in the presentation, but wanted to add it - good resource for wildflowers:

Santa Monica Mountains Wildflowers

Over one THOUSAND plants listed with over 7000 links! Rich data source. The above photo is curtesy of their site.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Links! Links! Links!

Last week, I presented at the Natives For Novices segment of the chapter meeting. It was all about online resources.

Due to not-so-nice hardware failure issues, I couldn't post the links till now. My computer is back up and running - so far, today - so I am going to take this opportunity to post the info I'd promised last week.

It's all about the pretty pictures...

...and the gardens
Plant Information and Cultivation 
What to plant where

Blogs and stuff

Thanks to 
    • CNPSSD Gardening Committee
    • Las Pilitas for photos
    • Sue Marchetti
    • Bringing Back the Natives

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pretty picture

I love the beauty and visual appeal of natives. And, I love using plants that aren't found all over the place. One of my favorites is Cupressus forbesii or Hesperocyparis forbesii - the clean resinous scent, the sculptural form.

It is easy to grow and I have about a dozen or so growing on my own property. I've included it in garden designs from Los Angeles to Chula Vista...here is a cute picture at my home:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In praise of Manzanita's for the garden

Having enjoyed a Spring of extensive manzanita bloom - now heavy with berries - in my North Park yard, I'm suggesting them as dependable,  'multi-tasking' plants as a significant part of a garden composition, rather than a few singular specimens.

First, I acknowledge this is written from mostly a design (rather than regional) orientation, in a small yard in Coastal Sage Scrub North Park, with numerous Arctostaphylii combined with CSS natives, oak, and some Island natives as well, and no regular irrigation (overhead hand watered every 4-6 weeks if long dry period). 

What's attractive is the wide variety of plant forms from ground-hugging 2" high Carmel Sur, low John Dourley, tidy mid size  Franciscana and Sunset, wiry Del Mar, larger Lester Rountree, up to large (slowly!) Dr. Hurd's. Aside from size, there is a variety of leaf texture and color (grey to bright green), as well as both white and pink flowers. 

For the smaller urban/suburban yard, choosing mostly hybrids or horticulturally oriented varieties of native has proven to work well to maintain size and form.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pix from NOAA tour

Royal Fraser sent these photos of the recent NOAA Tour of their green rooftop.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Grove...

No, I am not talking about old-growth forests. This is about that delightful shop in North Park - The Grove Bookshop and Gift Store. They are an independent shop in the heart of some good native gardening space. Carrie Schneider and Wes Hudson live nearby... several homes from the 2012 Garden Tour are within a nice walk.

And, they carry Greg and Lucy's California Native Landscape book - so if you are at the North Park Festival of the Arts this coming weekend, stop by and buy the book (if you don't already have it).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

San Diego Botanic Garden Foundation tonight - speaking engagement

Flicki Dormer, the CNPS representative to the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation - the group that provide facilities where all of our local horticultural groups can meet. 

CNPS is a member and we have used the facility for shows to display our accomplishments, sell plants in the fall and run monthly meetings. We have a library, in conjunction with this group, that is a full-on research botanical library and all of these accommodations are open to the public. 

Tonight, as a way of spreading the native plant message, I'll be speaking at the Garden Foundation's bi-monthly meeting. 7 PM, Room 104, if you are interested, stop by.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Watch TV Thursday, May 9th

Nan Sterman's next segment on her program, A Growing Passion, will be about natives.

"California Native Grown" (Native Plants In The Landscape) airs Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. & Saturday, May 11 at 4 p.m. - They are in our canyons and hillsides, estuaries, mesas and mountains. They are native plants and San Diego has an astounding diversity of them, from desert to coast.

Photo courtesy KPBS website
This should be a fun watch. I'll have to figure out a way to see it, not having an actual TV that plays television - one of my many quirks...I don't have cable or get any channels on my set. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

For Rent...a good native plant person opportunity

Carrie Schneider forwarded this -


My artist friend and roommate recently moved out and I'm looking for a new roommate. I'm renting out the top floor of my 2 story house with very large master bedroom (15 x 19 feet), sitting loft area and bathroom with tub, shower and toilet plus sharing the kitchen. I have a huge yard at the bottom of a long driveway which is 1 1/2 acres full of native plants, fruit and nut trees, cactus and agave gardens, herbs and tropical trees. The house is 10 minutes from downtown off highway 94 just  west of Lemon Grove. I-15 and 805 and 125 are all very close.  I am an herbalist by profession and I"m pretty mellow. I'm looking for someone who is fairly quiet, and mature, although age doesn't matter. Either a male or female roommate would be fine. Someone who likes camping and is earthy would really like this place. If you are interested in nature, plants, wildlife, herbs, or biology you would really enjoy living here. It is an unusual house and setting.
There is plenty of room to plant a vegetable garden if you are interested or herbs, etc... The house is a rustic setting kinda like a cabin and we have a lot of wildlife - birds, rabbits, hawks, owls, woodpeckers, coyotes, ground squirrels... It is almost like a little nature sanctuary down here in this peaceful canyon. I have an elderly dog I used to hike with and an orange male tabby cat. One mellow dog who likes cats would be welcome but no cats. Part of the yard is fenced for the pets. I'm asking $700 plus $75 utilities, but if someone wants to help me around the yard 8 hours a month with mulching, weeding, watering and trimming plants & trees,  it would only be $600 a month plus $75 utilities. I have cox cable basic t.v. and internet but would be willing to split an upgrade with a roommate. I'm doing a lot of work on the house currently and it will be available July 1st. Thanks for letting people know who might be interested. Have them call me - Susan Branch 619-517-2954 or
email me at suebbranch@cox.net

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hot and dry

The Union Tribune is telling us about the dry, hot weather - Camarillo is still experiencing wildfires this morning.

This image courtesy of the Ventura County Star:
A little extra moisture in your own garden and a keen eye looking out across the hills for any sign of smoke. Keep it safe.