View Full Version : Late Summer and Fall Color Zone 18...suggestions?

04-21-2003, 11:06 AM
The last time I posted here I was planning to buy a house in the mountains where I`ve been living for the last 8 years. I knew most of the natives and had my whole garden planned around them. Well, that house didn`t work out and now we are in the process of purchasing a different place at a different elevation in an area I`m not near as familiar with! I`m very excited and happy about the new place but now I have to totally re-think the garden. Our new place is in zone 18, the inland foothills. I`ve found lots of good plants but most of them bloom in spring and early summer. It`s so hot down there compared to the mtns. Is there anything that shows color in the late season? I don`t want to use too many non-natives in my new yard. I`m saving the bulk of the watering for the veggie garden. I`d appreciate any tips on good plants for the area and especially from anyone who lives in that or a similar zone. Thanks.</p>

04-23-2003, 10:43 AM
Val, Yeah big difference in zones! For summer color i would try such things as Cleveland sage , Abutilon palmeri, Eriogonum arborescens, Chilopsis linearis, Epilobium Zauschneria californica and `Catalina`, Parkinsonia aculeata, Verbena lilacina, and Isocoma menziesii. Of course, these plants are not all from the zone you speak of but will grow well there. Hopefully you do not live near the 'urban interface' where more care must be taken when planting whether native OR exotic. Well, that is my short list of suggestions off the top of my head-Good luck! Dan</p>

04-23-2003, 01:31 PM
What do you mean by 'urban interface?' Our property is on the very edge of the neighborhood backed up to a park and national forest area. Is that what you mean? I`ve heard you should be careful in areas like that so that the plants in the yard won`t breed with and mess up the naturals nearby. But I`m not really sure what 'being careful' means. Do I have to find the exact species that are growing nearby? </p>

04-24-2003, 04:06 AM
Val, Yes, your situation is near or on an urban interface! It is an exciting place to live with the native flora so close at hand but it also brings responcibilty to those who care about our native treasures. It also makes landscaping more challenging when you attempt to plant material whether native OR exotic that won`t seed itself out into the natural areas and outcompete the natives AND when you attempt to find locally propagated natives to use so that cross pollination does not damage the genetics of you surrounding naturally occuring populations of natives. Please click to the CNPS home page and follow the left margin down to 'Policy Archives' and take a look at the second policy, 'Guidelines for landscaping to prevent genetic degradationetc, etc'. I can`t remember the exact wording of the title but you get the idea. Our existing flora is so valuable to us all that protection of those natural and possibly genetically different species is to be applauded and encouraged. If you have specific questions please get back to us. I live down south of you near Irvine so i know the plant pallete you would likely be working with fairly well. My very best-Dan</p>

04-24-2003, 08:34 PM
Thanks Dan. I think I might have read the column before sometime but I`ll definitely read it again. Unfortunately, the neighborhood is not new and the yard does have some non-natives, some that I suspect could be invasive. I`m sure there are plenty of not-so-nice things in the neighborhood. But I`ll be happy to get rid of anything nasty in my yard and look for local natives. I`ll also take you up on the offer of advice. We don`t move in for a month yet but I`ll probably have a flood of questions by then. Thanks so much. </p>

04-28-2003, 12:30 PM
Val - Just to add a bit to Dan`s excellent replies - The general rule of thumb for people living near wild areas is to find out what grows there naturally a process of discovery and adventure in itself!. Then you just avoid planting anything that would hybridize with the local native plants - especially the rare ones. I leave near wildlands, and I grow only local forms of manzanita and Ceanothus. Luckily for me, there are several species of each in my area! Most natives do not become invasive, so I don`t worry about that too much. I`m also lucky that several native plant cultivars were discovered in my area,propagated from cuttings, and given names. Arctostaphylos `Emerald Carpet` is one of those. Researching the local plants does take time, but meanwhile, there are probably many, many native plants that can take hot, dry conditions, that pose no threat to wild plant populations. Home landscapes are always better when we take time to learn and understand the local plants, animals, weather conditions, etc. For quick effects, you can always plant in big containers. I shudder to think of the dreadful things I contemplated when we first moved to our place. I was going to put a plant propagation area right on top of what turned out to be excellent mushroom habitat! Speaking of plant propagation, I hope you will be able to grow your own plants from local seed or cuttigs. There are probably unknown plant treasures just waiting to be discovered around your new home. Good luck, Lori Hubbart</p>