On Thursday, May 4, 2017, CNPS is participating in a huge fundraising challenge for the Sacramento region called the BIG Day of Giving. For 24 hours, starting and ending at midnight, online donations made to California Native Plant Society through the event website, bigdayofgiving.org, will be eligible for Incentive Pool funds and prizes that may help CNPS win additional money. A modest donation of only $20 may help CNPS win prizes ranging from $500 to $5000! Worried you may not be around on May 4 to make a donation? Don't despair! For the first time ever, donations can be scheduled in advance starting April 14 at bigdayofgiving.org/cnps, however, please note that only gifts given on May 4 make CNPS eligible for incentive prizes.
Spring in the Garden
Spring is an amazing time to celebrate our native plant gardens. From garden tours and plant sales to workshops, CNPS chapters and partners are offering up inspiration up and down the state. Don't miss your chance to visit a garden near you or expand your knowledge about native plant gardening. Click here to see the latest.
20 Years of Gothic Gardening - Cultivating Native Plants in a Historic Cemetery
Cassandra Nguyen Musto
On a cloudy and chilly Sunday morning in January 1997, a hardy group of citizens came together and sowed native wildflower seeds in ten, long-neglected plots within the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery. This group was composed of a few members of the Sacramento Valley Chapter, Sacramento City and County staff, and folks from the community who answered the call in the local newspaper for garden volunteers. Before this group started their work that morning, the irrigation system was non-existent and weeds and scraggly ornamentals grew in crumbling plots.
California Native Plant Week (CNPW) is now seven years old! Check out the CNPS Events Calendar for CNPW events occuring in your area - native plant sales, wildflower shows, gardening workshops, lectures, hikes, garden tours, and other activities are taking place throughout the state. Click here to find an event in your community. Enjoy a festive California Native Plant Week!
2017 Plant Science Workshops
In small classes taught by subject matter experts, CNPS workshops provide science-backed education and hands-on experience in beautiful locales. The CNPS Plant Science Training Program is gearing up for an exciting season of workshops in 2017, all of which are now open for registration! Further details, including a list of all upcoming workshops, and registration information are available here. Contact Becky Reilly at
for more information.
Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Relevé
October 3-5, Bodega Bay
Taught by Jennifer Buck-Diaz & Anne Klein
$375 CNPS Members, $395 Non-Members; +$265 for onsite meals & lodging (optional)
CEQA Impact Assessment October 24-25, Camp Pollock, Sacramento
Taught by David Magney
$335 CNPS Members, $365 Non-Members
Chapter Events - A Sampling from Around the State
To connect to your local chapter, or to find other events in your region, see this page for a list and map of CNPS chapters. Even more events from CNPS chapters and partners can be viewed on the Horticulture Events Calendar
Marin Chapter Spring Native Plant Sale Saturday, April 1, 9 am - 1 pm
Get your garden ready for summer at our spring plant sale, co-sponsored by the Marin Master Gardeners. This spring we are focusing on native plants for native pollinators, and encouraging all gardeners to choose plants that will encourage these beneficial insects to visit their gardens. We’ll be offering a limited number of native annuals, some stock of milkweed plants, plus a wide selection of California native perennials, grasses, and shrubs in 4" and one gallon pots, as well as some select larger plant specimens. We also carry native seed packets, books, posters and cards. Come early for the best selection! Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael (across from the San Rafael Public Library).
Come by and check out our incredible selection of native plants, including a wide variety of drought tolerant and deer resistant species that grow well in our area. Books on gardening with native plants and natural history will also be available for sale. If you are new to gardening with native plants, there will be plenty of experienced gardeners at the sale to answer your questions. A list of plants is available here (downloads as pdf). El Dorado County Government Building C (below the library) at 2850 Fairlane Ct, Placerville.
San Diego Chapter Garden Native Garden Tour Saturday-Sunday, April 1-2, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Presenting our fifth annual Tour, “Gardens of Growth and Legacy”. 25 private and five public gardens the South Bay area and North and South Park neighborhoods of San Diego. Tickets available here.
South Coast Chapter Member Meeting: How to Influence Our Elected Officials Monday, April 3, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Lively panel discussion with representatives from our state and federal government. Time will be given for audience participation. Doors open at 7:15. South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes, 90274. For more information, contact David Berman at
Meet at Chico Park & Ride (Hwy 32 & 99) west lot. Participation is limited to 20 people. This will be two miles through BCCER with long-time volunteer Paul Maslin, Professor and Field Director Emeritus, who undoubtedly knows more than anyone about its history. The 3-4 hour hike will not be steep but there will be about three slightly tricky spots. Everyone should wear sturdy hiking boots, long pants, bring lunch/water, and consider mosquito repellent, hat, and sunscreen. Heavy rain cancels. To reserve a spot, contact John Aull at
This free, self-guided tour features 28 gardens in Sacramento, Placer, and Yolo counties. Gardens are comprised of at least 50% CA native plants. On tour day attendees can speak with garden hosts and docents about landscape designs and plants. Free registration here.
The annual Wildflower Show of the Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains chapter of the California Native Plant Society is scheduled for April 15 at the Sepulveda Garden Center in conjunction with a simultaneous Native Plant Week Symposium, plant, and book sale. The Symposium will feature speakers throughout the day. Plants for sale will be available courtesy of our Symposium partner, the Theodore Payne Foundation. Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino, 91436
Hike through oak woodlands, vernal pools, and springs. Meet at the Howell Creek Gate (two miles south of Talmage on Old River Road) at 10 am. Bring sunscreen, a bagged lunch, and a water bottle. Wear walking shoes or boots and comfortable outdoor clothing. For more information, contact Eloise Twining 415-613-1745.
Our Annual Wildflower Show at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. The rain so far this winter gives us hope that we will have a good display. The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural has some exciting classes and events scheduled during the show, including painting and sketching classes, how to make an herbarium, garden walks, and much more. See their website for further details. During the show members of CNPS will be available to identify plants and Bruce Cowen will lead tours of the Museum’s native plant garden. The CNPS bookstore will be there all three days offering books on California native plants including numerous books that can to help you identify native plants, show you how to use them in your garden, find them on your travels, and learn about their historical and current importance. 165 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.
Hiking level: easy, but with some rocky, steep areas. We’ll visit remnants of ancient lava and mud flows, where we can expect to find goldfields, monkeyflowers, and volcanic specialist species. Meet at 10 am at the Camp Mather General Store in Mather. For driving directions or any other information, contact leaders Barry and Judy Breckling at 209-878-3041.
15th Annual Going Native Garden Tour! A free, self-guided tour of up to 60 public and private gardens featuring California native plants that are attractive, low maintenance, and pollinator friendly, many with water-saving features. Plant sales at select gardens. Registration required.
Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge is a very special place and it's open to the public only by permit. Trip limited to 20 people; RSVP to Patty Gradek at
by Tuesday, April 19. The Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge protects the habitat of a variety of animals and plants, including the California condor, golden eagle, prairie falcon and the San Joaquin kit fox. The Refuge also contains rare plant species such as Eremalche parryi ssp kernensis. Meet at the “Park and Ride” at the corner of Real Road and Stockdale Highway on Bakersfield at 7:30 am to form carpools. Refuge staff will meet us at the refuge headquarters and will give us a brief talk on the refuge and their current monitoring efforts prior to starting our walk. This will be a full day field trip and there are restrooms at the refuge headquarters.
In two hours, in a quarter-acre of the Lanphere Dunes Unit of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, naturalist Carol Ralph will introduce eight species of our common ferns and talk about some of the amazing aspects of fern life. Bring a hand lens if you have one, and be prepared for mosquitoes. Meet at 10 a.m. at Pacific Union School, 3001 Janes Rd, Arcata, and carpool to the protected site. Co-sponsored by Friends of the Dunes. Please reserve your space by contacting Friends of the Dunes at 707-444-1397.
Contributors and Photo Credits
Cassandra Nguyen Musto
Spring in the Garden - Kathy Kramer
Sign at Sacramento Valley Chapter's Demonstration Garden in Historic City Cemetery – Cassandra Nguyen Musto
An example of a water ring around a manzanita - Laura Camp