View Full Version : Native plants in Southern California?

07-05-2003, 04:31 AM
I recently moved to Southern California from Massachusetts. I`ve noticed that most people go to great effort to make it look like grass that requires watering twice a day is normal here ..

I want my backyard to look native, like I actually live in California! I`m a computer guy, not a botanist, so I`m wondering where I can go to get help in turning my backyard into a native habitat that doesn`t need interference from man? ;



07-05-2003, 05:15 PM
Mark -

How I wish more people were as perceptive as you are when it comes to lawns in California!

Your best bet is to contact your nearest CNPS chapter see the chapter map on the main CNPS website. They probably have a fall plant sale coming up, where you can acquire plants and information. In fact, if you join CNPS and volunteer at the plant sale, you will learn even more, and get first pick of the plants, too.

The San Gabriel Mountains Chapter has a couple who did a really, really great Power Point presentation on how they got rid of their lawn and created a native garden. The photos of their wild garden are just mouth-watering, and guaranteed to make you want to start gardening! You can contact that chapter via the main website.

Meanwhile, you should be planning and thinking - getting ready for fall planting time. Visit botanic gardens - Santa Barbara & Rancho Santa Ana in Claremont, for example. Check out all the CNPS chapters that have websites - some have lists of books to read and places to visit.

Good luck on your adventure!

Lori Hubbart, CNPS Dorothy King Young Chapter</p>

07-07-2003, 07:03 AM
You may find the services of a designer to be helpful, but for starters, I would suggest that you take as many nature hikes around your house as you can. That will give you a good sense of what the area was originally, and what will grow. In addition, now that summer has started you can get a good picture of what plants turn brown in the summer and which do not, and decide how much dissiguishnesssp? word? you can put up with. Also check the archives of this forum for how to do the demolition and soil preparation prior to planting.</p>

07-07-2003, 09:34 AM
Great to hear from an east coast person actually interested in doing the appropriate thing! Many easterners assume this to be a tropical paradise like Hawaii or South Florida paradise?, which it can be as long as you just add water! One of the best resources I`ve ever encountered is the Las Pilitas Nursery website, www.laspilitas.com, and its linked site, www.mynativeplants.com. You can actually input your zip code, water schedule start with none, soil type, exposure, and mulch shredded redwood and/or rocks, and it will create a list of native plants appropriate to your area. Since I happen to be a native landscape contractor in San Diego, I can vouch for it`s accuracy and completeness about 85-90%. Good luck and glad to have you on board.</p>