Wildflower Meadow in Sierra Madre GardenJennifer LaPlante and Steve D’Auria’s Sierra Madre garden will be on the Theodore Payne Garden Tour for the 4th year this Saturday!  The Tour runs from  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Theodore Payne Garden Tour features 47 gardens across the Los Angeles area during two days, Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd.  This garden is number 7.

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.”

At this point, the garden is more than 8,000 square feet of local native plants and hosts goldfinches, woodpeckers, scrub jays, squirrels, deer, bears and bobcats! It features a wildflower meadow ringed by coast live oaks.

Restoration of the local ecology was an important purpose in creating the garden. It features local native plants and 90% are species local to the area. Many are rare. It features plants such as the Humbolt Lily, Lilium humboldtii, Dudleya lanceolata and D. cymosa, the local Coral Bells, Heuchera caespitosa, 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/.

Bofe Instructors

‘Greener Gardens: Sustainable Garden Practice’ starts Monday Evening, March 31 at UCLA Extension.   It is still possible to register for this class.  This class will meet at The Learning Garden at Venice High School, not at UCLA.

I teach this class with co-instructor David King.  People who take this class will get the benefit of the breadth of experience that each of us brings to sustainability in the garden.  This class fulfills an elective for the certificate programs in both Horticulture and Global Sustainability.

We’ll be covering sustainable design, soils,  swales and earthworks,  appropriate use of greywater and rainwater harvesting, along with the basics of native and drought-tolerant planting.  All aspects of sustainable backyard food will be addressed.

Following is a quote from the UCLA Extension website:

“Sustainability is today’s buzzword and many people seek to create a lifestyle with a more favorable impact on the environment. From home and school gardens, to commercial sites, our gardens present the perfect place to start. Designed for horticulture students, gardening professionals, educators, and home gardeners, this course focuses on turning your green thumb into a “greener” garden. Topics include composting, irrigation, water harvesting, water wise plants, eating and growing local produce, recycling, and moving away from a consumptive, non-sustainable lifestyle when choosing materials and tools. … “

I’m pleased to teaching this class for the fifth year with David.  He is the founder of the Seed Library of Los Angeles and the Gardenmaster of The Learning Garden.  He teaches for both UCLA Extension and for the Master Gardeners, as well as frequently lecturing and writing about gardening.  He blogs at LA Garden Blog.

Here’s a link to UCLA Extension page for the class, which is still open:

https://www.uclaextension.edu/pages/Course.aspx?cn=X+498.10&dc=BIOLGY&Online=False

‘Greener Gardens: Sustainable Garden Practice’ started April 1 at UCLA Extension.   It is still possible to register for this class and attend the second session next Monday.   I teach this class with co-instructor David King.  People who take this class will get the benefit of the breadth of experience that each of us brings to sustainability in the garden.  This class fulfills an elective for the certificate programs in both Horticulture and Global Sustainability.

We’ll be covering sustainable design, soils,  swales and earthworks,  appropriate use of greywater and rainwater harvesting, along with the basics of native and drought-tolerant planting. All aspects of sustainable backyard food will be addressed.

Following is a quote from the UCLA Extension website:

“Sustainability is today’s buzzword and many people seek to create a lifestyle with a more favorable impact on the environment. From home and school gardens, to commercial sites, our gardens present the perfect place to start. Designed for horticulture students, gardening professionals, educators, and home gardeners, this course focuses on turning your green thumb into a “greener” garden. Topics include composting, irrigation, water harvesting, water wise plants, eating and growing local produce, recycling, and moving away from a consumptive, non-sustainable lifestyle when choosing materials and tools. … “

I’m pleased to teaching this class for the fourth year with David.  He is the founder of the Seed Library of Los Angeles and the Gardenmaster of The Learning Garden.    His expertise includes sustainable food gardens.   He teaches for both Extension and for the Master Gardeners, as well as frequently lecturing and writing about gardening. He blogs at The Beautiful Food Garden.

Here’s a link to UCLA Extension page for the class, which is still open:

https://www.uclaextension.edu/r/Course.aspx?cn=X+498.10&dc=BIOLGY

                                                                         Mike Evans

I’m pleased to be once again bringing the “good news”  and the “how to” of natives to Landscape Architects, Designers and LEED Professionals at the LA EXPO , in two seminars with Mike Evans.  Mike is both passionate and practical speaker, and has over 30 years of experience of success with California native plants. I will be focusing on color, with input from Mike, and Mike will be focusing on success using a plant community approach, with my input.  We plan robust discussion to help professionals counter obstacles to using natives in the landscape.

California’s Most Colorful Plants: Designing for Color Throughout the Year

Saturday February 9th – 8:30-10:00 a.m, CEU Accreditation: LA CES, 1.5; LEED, 1.5; APLD, 1.5

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Spring in California is a riot of color, sending photographers to the wildflower meadows and inspiring numerous native garden tours. Surprisingly, some natives bloom almost year-round. Other California plants bloom at different times of the year, whether in January or July. Features such as colorful leaves, berries and stems provide additional interest in Fall and Winter. Creating continuous bloom also helps pollinators thrive, enhancing habitat. This course provides a tour through the most colorful plants in the California native palette with plant descriptions and bloom times, as well as numerous examples of color in the landscape and the most striking color combinations. A descriptive plant list will be made available.

Success with Native Plant Design Using a Plant Community Approach

Saturday February 9th – 10:00 a.m-12:00  p.m., CEU Accreditation: LA CES, 1.5; LEED, 1.5; APLD, 1.5

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Success with California’s native plants depends on more than choosing the showiest native plants and putting them together in the landscape. Choosing a palette of plants based on natural communities and associations of plants is an ecologically sound basis for design, and leads to the most successful, longest-lasting and easiest to maintain landscapes. This course will focus on communities including Chaparral, Riparian/Alluvial Fan, Coastal Sage Scrub, Oak Woodlands, Meadow and Desert and how to match these associations to the micro-climates and soils on your site, as well as to features such as planted bio-swales. The best-looking and most reliable selections from these communities will be discussed. A descriptive plant list and plant community list will be made available.

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/.

                                                                         Mike Evans

Presented By:Mike Evans, Owner, Tree of Life Nursery & Orchid Black, Owner, Pitcher Sage Design

(1 CEU APLD; 1 CEU LEED) – Friday March 30th – 1:30 – 2:30 PM

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on all aspects of native plant landscaping including design, installation, establishment, and long term care. We will make special emphasis on resource conservation, water use, reduced run-off, limited use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and reduced green waste. We will discuss benefits to wildlife, especially birds and native beneficial pollinators, as well as the authentic beauty of the naturalistic garden. We will touch on how to integrate these design themes and horticultural techniques into existing landscapes in need of retrofit, as well as brand new sites. A descriptive plant list will be made available. 1.0 hours

I’m excited to be bringing the “good news” of natives to Landscape Architects and LEED Professionals at the LA EXPO, and very pleased to be speaking with Mike Evans.  Mike is one of the great speakers on why natives matter.