April 2012


Native Plants at Hunter's Nursery, Xeriscape Tour 2011, Photo Bill LaHaye

People have been checking on my blog to find out about this year’s Big Bear Xeriscape Tour, so I thought I’d help them out by posting this year’s  date, July 14, 2012.

There are 8 featured homes on the free self-guided tour, plus two nurseries, Eminger’s and Hunter’s.  I’ll be at Hunter’s Nursery (FB) as usual, providing information about the many native plants for sale at Hunters that day.

This is an opportunity to get your hands on some very rare high-altitude native plants.  Last year Lemon Lily, Lilium parryi, Humboldt Lily, Lilium humboldtii, and Rose Sage, Salvia pachyphylla were all available at the Hunter’s, plus a wonderful assortment of drought-tolerant plants that will grow above 7,000 feet.

The tour is created by the Sierra Club Big Bear Group, and co-sponsored by the Big Bear DWP.   I’ll post more information nearer the date.  For more information, please call Christie Walker at (909) 866-5006.

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Erigeron 'W.R' in Rows at a CNPS Plant Sale, November 2011

I’ll be doing my talk on “Easy Native Plants” at the Native Plant Week Symposium, Wildflower Show & Plant Sale.  There are two other wonderful speakers, Dr. Anthony Valois, talking about “Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains,” and native plant horticulture maven Lili Singer speaking on why “Native Plants + Pollinators = Bountiful Gardens.”

Dr. Valois speaks at 9:30 a.m., I speak at 11:30 a.m. and Lili will speak at 2:00 p.m.

There is also a poetry reading from 1-2:00 p.m., and I plan to read a poem or three. The event features a wildflower show, native plants and books for sale, exhibits and demos. You’ll be able to find many of the plants on my Easy Natives  Plant List for sale at the event.

Date:  Sat. April 21, 2012 – 9 am – 4 pm

Place:  Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino

Sponsors:   LA/SMM Chapter of CNPS and the Theodore Payne Foundation

It was a truly joyous weekend to see all of the work of the Sierra Madre project come to fruition.  I was thrilled to see native plant rock stars Bart O’Brien, Carol Bornstein, and Greg Rubin come to visit, and I almost passed out with excitement when my biggest hero, Bart, said I’d done a good job.

Bart O’Brien and Carol Bornstein, along with David Fross, wrote the bible on our plants:  California Native Plants for the Garden.  Their new book is Reimagining the California Lawn.  Greg Rubin’s design/build company is California’s Own Native Landscape Design.

Over 200 people came to the garden!  It showed that using “local natives” – plants not just from California, but from the local region – can work in the landscape, creating both a restoration and a tranquil garden.

Meditation Garden features Deergrass, Brittlebush, Desert Willow, Hooker's Evening Primrose, and Mountain Sedge framing a fountain and bench by Bruce Goss

My clients’ Sierra Madre garden will be on the Theodore Payne Garden Tour this Saturday!  The Tour runs from  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Theodore Payne Garden Tour features 37 gardens across the Los Angeles area during two days, Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th.  This garden is number 19.

Here is what TPF wrote about the garden:

“This foothills landscape showcases unusual plants from the San Gabriel Mountains and local wilderness. The steep, narrow 4,000-square-foot garden, begun early 2011, includes terraces of local stone, rock water features, permeable paving, drains and swales, and formal and woodland plantings.”

Restoration of the local ecology was an important purpose in creating the garden. It features local native plants and more than 75% are species local to the area. Many are rare. It features plants such as the Stream Orchid, Epipactis gigantea, Dudleya lanceolata and D. cymosa, the local Coral Bells, Heuchera elegans, and the Soaproot, Chlorogalum pomeridianum.

Several beautiful fountains by Stonemason Bruce Goss evoke the many streams, rivers and seeps of the San Gabriel Mountains.  See his Flickr Gallery, and find more photos on Facebook.

To see beautiful photos of the work in progress by artist/photographer A. Fanto, go to http://afanto.com/ansg/.